Idioms

Origin of have

before 900; Middle English haven, habben, Old English habban; cognate with German haben, Old Norse hafa, Gothic haban to have; perhaps akin to heave

SYNONYMS FOR have

ANTONYMS FOR have

1 lack.

Can be confused

halve have

Synonym study

1. Have, hold, occupy, own, possess mean to be, in varying degrees, in possession of something. Have, being the most general word, admits of the widest range of application: to have money, rights, discretion, a disease, a glimpse, an idea; to have a friend's umbrella. To hold is to have in one's grasp or one's control, but not necessarily as one's own: to hold stakes. To occupy is to hold and use, but not necessarily by any right of ownership: to occupy a chair, a house, a position. To own is to have the full rights of property in a thing, which, however, another may be holding or enjoying: to own a house that is rented to tenants. Possess is a more formal equivalent for own and suggests control, and often occupation, of large holdings: to possess vast territories.

Usage note

See of2.

Definition for had better (2 of 2)

Origin of better

1
before 900; Middle English bettre, Old English bet(t)(e)ra; cognate with Old High German bezziro (German besser), Dutch beter, Old Norse betr, Gothic batiza, equivalent to bat- (cognate with Old High German baz (adv.) better; akin to boot2) + -iza comparative suffix; suggested relation to Sanskrit bhadrá- “fortunate” is doubtful. See best

SYNONYMS FOR better

Related forms

un·bet·tered, adjective

Can be confused

better bettor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for had better (1 of 3)

Word Origin for better

Old English betera; related to Old Norse betri, Gothic batiza, Old High German beziro

British Dictionary definitions for had better (2 of 3)

better

2

esp US bettor

/ (ˈbɛtə) /

noun

a person who bets

British Dictionary definitions for had better (3 of 3)

have

/ (hæv) /

verb has, having or had (mainly tr)

noun

(usually plural) a person or group of people in possession of wealth, security, etcthe haves and the have-nots

Word Origin for have

Old English habban; related to Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbian, Old High German habēn, Latin habēre
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

Idioms and Phrases with had better (1 of 3)

had better


Also, had best. Ought to, should. For example, You had better finish this one before starting another, or We had best be going. [Mid-1400s] Also see you'd better believe it.

Idioms and Phrases with had better (2 of 3)

better


In addition to the idioms beginning with better

  • better half
  • better late than never
  • better off
  • better part of
  • better safe than sorry
  • better than

also see:

  • against one's better judgment
  • all better
  • all the better
  • discretion is the better part of valor
  • for better or for worse
  • get better
  • get the better (best) of
  • go one better
  • had better (best)
  • know better
  • seen better days
  • so much the better
  • sooner the better
  • take a turn for the better
  • think better of
  • you'd better believe it

Also see underbest.

Idioms and Phrases with had better (3 of 3)

have


In addition to the idioms beginning with have, also see entries beginning with get had, and keep

  • have a ball
  • have a big mouth
  • have a bone to pick
  • have a brush with
  • have a case on
  • have a clear conscience
  • have a clue
  • have a crack at
  • have a crush on
  • have a familiar ring
  • have a fit
  • have against
  • have a go at
  • have a good command of
  • have a good day
  • have a good head on one's shoulders
  • have a good mind to
  • have a good thing going
  • have a good time
  • have a grasp of
  • have a hand in
  • have a hard time
  • have a head for
  • have a heart
  • have a hold over
  • have all one's buttons
  • have a lot going for
  • have a lot on one's plate
  • have a mind to
  • have an edge on
  • have a nerve
  • have an eye for
  • have a nice day
  • have another guess coming
  • have an out
  • have a penchant for
  • have a right to
  • have a say in
  • have a screw loose
  • have a shot at
  • have a stake in
  • have at
  • have a thing about
  • have a thing going
  • have a time of it
  • have a way with
  • have a weakness for
  • have a whack at
  • have a word with
  • have a yen for
  • have designs on
  • have dibs on
  • have done
  • have eyes only for
  • have fits
  • have going for one
  • have got to
  • have had enough
  • have had it
  • have in common
  • have in one's hands
  • have it
  • have it both ways
  • have it coming
  • have it in for
  • have it in one
  • have it made
  • have it out
  • have kittens
  • have no business
  • have no heart for
  • have none of
  • have no stomach for
  • have nothing on
  • have nothing to do with
  • have no time for
  • have no truck with
  • have no use for
  • have on
  • have one's ass in a sling
  • have one's cake and eat it, too
  • have one's day
  • have one's druthers
  • have oneself
  • have one's eye on
  • have one's hands full
  • have one's head in the sand
  • have one's head screwed on right
  • have one's heart in it
  • have one's moments
  • have one's own way
  • have one's say
  • have one's way with
  • have one's wits about one
  • have one's work cut out for one
  • have on the ball
  • have out
  • have pity on
  • have pull with
  • have rocks in one's head
  • have someone's ear
  • have someone's hide
  • have someone's number
  • have someone by the balls
  • have something against
  • have something coming
  • have something going
  • have something on
  • have something to show for
  • have the better of
  • have the blues
  • have the courage of one's convictions
  • have the edge on
  • have the feel of
  • have the goods on
  • have the guts
  • have the heart to
  • have the last laugh
  • have the makings of
  • have the say
  • have to
  • have to do with
  • have to show for
  • have two left feet
  • have words with

    The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.