- a simple past tense and past participle of will1.
- (used to express the future in past sentences): He said he would go tomorrow.
- (used in place of will, to make a statement or form a question less direct or blunt): That would scarcely be fair. Would you be so kind?
- (used to express repeated or habitual action in the past): We would visit Grandma every morning up at the farm.
- (used to express an intention or inclination): Nutritionists would have us all eat whole grains.
- (used to express a wish): Would he were here!
- (used to express an uncertainty): It would appear that he is guilty.
- (used in conditional sentences to express choice or possibility): They would come if they had the fare. If the temperature were higher, the water would evaporate.
- would have, (used with a past participle to express unfulfilled intention or preference): I would have saved you some but Jimmy took it all.
- would like, (used to express desire): I would like to go next year.
- would rather. rather(def 9).
Origin of would1
- am (is, are, etc.) about or going to: I will be there tomorrow. She will see you at dinner.
- am (is, are, etc.) disposed or willing to: People will do right.
- am (is, are, etc.) expected or required to: You will report to the principal at once.
- may be expected or supposed to: You will not have forgotten him. This will be right.
- am (is, are, etc.) determined or sure to (used emphatically): You would do it. People will talk.
- am (is, are, etc.) accustomed to, or do usually or often: You will often see her sitting there. He would write for hours at a time.
- am (is, are, etc.) habitually disposed or inclined to: Boys will be boys. After dinner they would read aloud.
- am (is, are, etc.) capable of; can: This tree will live without water for three months.
- am (is, are, etc.) going to: I will bid you “Good night.”
- to wish; desire; like: Go where you will. Ask, if you will, who the owner is.
Origin of will1
- the faculty of conscious and especially of deliberate action; the power of control the mind has over its own actions: the freedom of the will.
- power of choosing one's own actions: to have a strong or a weak will.
- the act or process of using or asserting one's choice; volition: My hands are obedient to my will.
- wish or desire: to submit against one's will.
- purpose or determination, often hearty or stubborn determination; willfulness: to have the will to succeed.
- the wish or purpose as carried out, or to be carried out: to work one's will.
- disposition, whether good or ill, toward another.
- a legal declaration of a person's wishes as to the disposition of his or her property or estate after death, usually written and signed by the testator and attested by witnesses.
- the document containing such a declaration.
- to decide, bring about, or attempt to effect or bring about by an act of the will: He can walk if he wills it.
- to purpose, determine on, or elect, by an act of will: If he wills success, he can find it.
- to give or dispose of (property) by a will or testament; bequeath or devise.
- to influence by exerting control over someone's impulses and actions: She was willed to walk the tightrope by the hypnotist.
- to exercise the will: To will is not enough, one must do.
- to decide or determine: Others debate, but the king wills.
- at will,
- at one's discretion or pleasure; as one desires: to wander at will through the countryside.
- at one's disposal or command.
Origin of will2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for would
But on Thursday Boxer triggered a Golden State political earthquake, announcing that she would not seek a fifth term in 2016.The Golden State Preps for the ‘Red Wedding’ of Senate Races
January 9, 2015
It would became one of the first great mysteries in the United States of America, as it was only then 23 years old.New York’s Most Tragic Ghost Loves Minimalist Swedish Fashion
January 8, 2015
Almost all of the network and cable news channels said that they would not be showing the cartoons either.Politicians Only Love Journalists When They're Dead
January 8, 2015
Why would “they” want to crush him just for attempting to buy something twenty years ago?Phylicia Rashad and the Cult of Cosby Truthers
January 8, 2015
Have there been discussions with FX regarding an Archer movie, and how do you think that would play out?‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed Spills Season 6 Secrets, From Surreal Plotlines to Life Post-ISIS
January 8, 2015
"But in a maiden it would be less seemly," answered Philothea.
But, my daughter, why is it that the commands of Phidias would have made you unhappy?
Would you not like to be buried with regal honour, in your native Clazomenæ?
Exactly in the measure that he indulged this would his pride smart.
You bet Mr. Arledge would 'a' got my decision right hot off the griddle.
- used as an auxiliary to form the past tense or subjunctive mood of will 1
- (with you, he, she, it, they, or a noun as subject) used as an auxiliary to indicate willingness or desire in a polite mannerwould you help me, please?
- used as an auxiliary to describe a past action as being accustomed or habitualevery day we would go for walks
- I wishwould that he were here
- (esp with you, he, she, it, they, or a noun as subject) used as an auxiliary to make the future tenseCompare shall (def. 1)
- used as an auxiliary to express resolution on the part of the speakerI will buy that radio if it's the last thing I do
- used as an auxiliary to indicate willingness or desirewill you help me with this problem?
- used as an auxiliary to express compulsion, as in commandsyou will report your findings to me tomorrow
- used as an auxiliary to express capacity or abilitythis rope will support a load
- used as an auxiliary to express probability or expectation on the part of the speakerthat will be Jim telephoning
- used as an auxiliary to express customary practice or inevitabilityboys will be boys
- (with the infinitive always implied) used as an auxiliary to express desire: usually in polite requestsstay if you will
- what you will whatever you like
- will do informal a declaration of willingness to do what is requested
- the faculty of conscious and deliberate choice of action; volitionRelated adjectives: voluntary, volitive
- the act or an instance of asserting a choice
- the declaration of a person's wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property after deathRelated adjective: testamentary
- a revocable instrument by which such wishes are expressed
- anything decided upon or chosen, esp by a person in authority; desire; wish
- determined intentionwhere there's a will there's a way
- disposition or attitude towards othershe bears you no ill will
- at will at one's own desire, inclination, or choice
- with a will heartily; energetically
- with the best will in the world even with the best of intentions
- (also intr) to exercise the faculty of volition in an attempt to accomplish (something)he willed his wife's recovery from her illness
- to give (property) by will to a person, society, etche willed his art collection to the nation
- (also intr) to order or decreethe king wills that you shall die
- to choose or preferwander where you will
- to yearn for or desireto will that one's friends be happy
Word Origin and History for would
Old English wolde, past tense of willan "to will" (see will (v.)). Would-be (adj.) "wishing, pretending" is first recorded c.1300.
Old English *willan, wyllan "to wish, desire, want" (past tense wolde), from Proto-Germanic *welljan (cf. Old Saxon willian, Old Norse vilja, Old Frisian willa, Dutch willen, Old High German wellan, German wollen, Gothic wiljan "to will, wish, desire," Gothic waljan "to choose"). The Germanic words are from PIE *wel-/*wol- "be pleasing" (cf. Sanskrit vrnoti "chooses, prefers," varyah "to be chosen, eligible, excellent," varanam "choosing;" Avestan verenav- "to wish, will, choose;" Greek elpis "hope;" Latin volo, velle "to wish, will, desire;" Old Church Slavonic voljo, voliti "to will," veljo, veleti "to command;" Lithuanian velyti "to wish, favor," pa-vel-mi "I will," viliuos "I hope;" Welsh gwell "better").
Cf. also Old English wel "well," literally "according to one's wish;" wela "well-being, riches." The use as a future auxiliary was already developing in Old English. The implication of intention or volition distinguishes it from shall, which expresses or implies obligation or necessity. Contracted forms, especially after pronouns, began to appear 16c., as in sheele for "she will." The form with an apostrophe is from 17c.
Old English will, willa, from Proto-Germanic *weljon (cf. Old Saxon willio, Old Norse vili, Old Frisian willa, Dutch wil, Old High German willio, German wille, Gothic wilja "will"), related to *willan "to wish" (see will (v.)). The meaning "written document expressing a person's wishes about disposition of property after death" is first recorded late 14c.
Idioms and Phrases with would
In addition to the idiom beginning with will