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[muhst] /mʌst/
auxiliary verb
to be obliged or bound to by an imperative requirement:
I must keep my word.
to be under the necessity to; need to:
Animals must eat to live.
to be required or compelled to, as by the use or threat of force:
You must obey the law.
to be compelled to in order to fulfill some need or achieve an aim:
We must hurry if we're to arrive on time.
to be forced to, as by convention or the requirements of honesty:
I must say, that is a lovely hat.
to be or feel urged to; ought to:
I must buy that book.
to be reasonably expected to; is bound to:
It must have stopped raining by now. She must be at least 60.
to be inevitably certain to; be compelled by nature:
Everyone must die.
verb (used without object)
to be obliged; be compelled:
Do I have to go? I must, I suppose.
Archaic. (sometimes used with ellipsis of go, get, or some similar verb readily understood from the context):
We must away.
necessary; vital:
A raincoat is must clothing in this area.
something necessary, vital, or required:
This law is a must.
Origin of must1
before 900; Middle English most(e), Old English mōste (past tense); cognate with German musste. See mote2
1. Must, ought, should express necessity or duty. Must expresses necessity or compulsion: I must attend to those patients first. Soldiers must obey orders. Ought (weaker than must ) expresses obligation, duty, desirability: You ought to tell your mother. Should expresses obligation, expectation, or probability: You are not behaving as you should. Children should be taught to speak the truth. They should arrive at one o'clock.


[muhst] /mʌst/ Obsolete
musk, especially a powder made from musk.
verb (used with object)
to powder (the hair).
1480-90; earlier moist < Middle French must, variant of musc musk Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for musting
Historical Examples
  • Bran left in, and sifted out as needed, helps to save from musting, and to preserve the delicate natural flavor.

    Dishes & Beverages of the Old South Martha McCulloch Williams
British Dictionary definitions for musting


/mʌst; unstressed məst; məs/
verb takes an infinitive without to or an implied infinitive
used as an auxiliary to express obligation or compulsion: you must pay your dues. In this sense, must does not form a negative. If used with a negative infinitive it indicates obligatory prohibition
used as an auxiliary to indicate necessity: I must go to the bank tomorrow
used as an auxiliary to indicate the probable correctness of a statement: he must be there by now
used as an auxiliary to indicate inevitability: all good things must come to an end
(used as an auxiliary to express resolution)
  1. on the part of the speaker when used with I or we: I must finish this
  2. on the part of another or others as imputed to them by the speaker, when used with you, he, she, they, etc: let him get drunk if he must
(used emphatically) used as an auxiliary to express conviction or certainty on the part of the speaker: he must have reached the town by now, surely, you must be joking
(foll by away) used with an implied verb of motion to express compelling haste: I must away
an essential or necessary thing: strong shoes are a must for hill walking
Word Origin
Old English mōste past tense of mōtan to be allowed, be obliged to; related to Old Saxon mōtan, Old High German muozan, German müssen


mustiness or mould
Word Origin
C17: back formation from musty


the newly pressed juice of grapes or other fruit ready for fermentation
Word Origin
Old English, from Latin mustum new wine, must, from mustus (adj) newborn


a variant spelling of musth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for musting



Old English moste, past tense of motan "have to, be able to," from Proto-Germanic *mot- "ability, leisure (to do something)" (cf. Old Saxon motan "to be obliged to, have to," Old Frisian mota, Middle Low German moten, Dutch moeten, German müssen "to be obliged to," Gothic gamotan "to have room to, to be able to"), perhaps from PIE root *med- "to measure, to take appropriate measures" (see medical (adj.)). Used as present tense from c.1300, from the custom of using past subjunctive as a moderate or polite form of the present.


"new wine," Old English must, from Latin mustum (also source of Old High German, German most, Old French moust, Modern French moût, Spanish, Italian mosto), short for vinum mustum "fresh wine," neuter of mustus "fresh, new, newborn," perhaps literally "wet," and from PIE *mus-to-, from root *meus- "damp" (see moss).

"mold," c.1600, perhaps a back-formation of musty (q.v.).

"male elephant frenzy," 1871, from Urdu mast "intoxicated, in rut," from Persian mast, literally "intoxicated," related to Sanskrit matta- "drunk, intoxicated," past participle of madati "boils, bubbles, gets drunk," from PIE root *mad- "wet, moist" (see mast (n.2)).

"that which has to be done, seen, or experienced," 1892, from must (v.). As an adjective, "obligatory, indispensable," by 1912, from the noun; must-read is from 1959.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with musting
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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