View synonyms for have


[ hav; unstressed huhv, uhv; haf ]

verb (used with object)

2nd: had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest2nd: have or (Archaic) hastpresent plural: have3rd: has or (Archaic) hath3rd: hadpresent singular 1st person: havepast participle: hadpast singular 1st person: hadpresent participle: havingpast plural: had
  1. to possess; own; hold for use; contain:

    He has property. The work has an index.

    Antonyms: lack

  2. to hold, possess, or accept in some relation, as of kindred or relative position:

    He wanted to marry her, but she wouldn't have him.

  3. to get, receive, or take:

    to have a part in a play; to have news.

    Synonyms: procure, secure, gain, obtain

  4. to experience, undergo, or endure, as joy or pain:

    Have a good time. He had a heart attack last year.

  5. to hold in mind, sight, etc.:

    to have doubts.

  6. to cause to, as by command or invitation:

    Have him come here at five.

  7. to be related to or be in a certain relation to:

    She has three cousins. He has a kind boss.

  8. to show or exhibit in action or words:

    She had the crust to refuse my invitation.

  9. to be identified or distinguished by; possess the characteristic of:

    He has a mole on his left cheek. This wood has a silky texture.

  10. to engage in or carry on:

    to have a talk; to have a fight.

  11. to partake of; eat or drink:

    He had cake and coffee for dessert.

  12. to permit or allow:

    I will not have any talking during the concert.

  13. to assert, maintain, or represent as being:

    Rumor has it that she's going to be married.

  14. to know, understand, or be skilled in:

    to have neither Latin nor Greek.

  15. to beget or give birth to:

    to have a baby.

  16. to hold an advantage over:

    He has you there.

  17. to outwit, deceive, or cheat:

    We realized we'd been had by an expert con artist.

  18. to control or possess through bribery; bribe.
  19. to gain possession of:

    There is none to be had at that price.

  20. to hold or put in a certain position or situation:

    The problem had me stumped. They had him where they wanted him.

  21. to exercise, display, or make use of:

    Have pity on him.

  22. to invite or cause to be present as a companion or guest:

    We had Evelyn and Everett over for dinner. He has his bodyguard with him at all times.

  23. to engage in sexual intercourse with.

verb (used without object)

3rd: hadpast participle: hadpast plural: had3rd: has or (Archaic) hathpresent participle: havingpresent plural: havepresent singular 1st person: havepast singular 1st person: had2nd: had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest2nd: have or (Archaic) hast
  1. to be in possession of money or wealth:

    There are some who have and some who have not.

auxiliary verb

3rd: has or (Archaic) hath2nd: have or (Archaic) hastpresent singular 1st person: havepast plural: hadpast singular 1st person: hadpresent plural: have3rd: hadpast participle: had2nd: had or (Archaic) hadst or haddestpresent participle: having
  1. (used with a past participle to form perfect tenses):

    She has gone. It would have been an enjoyable party if he hadn't felt downcast.

  2. to be required, compelled, or under obligation (followed by infinitival to, with or without a main verb):

    I have to leave now. I didn't want to study, but I had to.


  1. Usually haves. an individual or group that has wealth, social position, or other material benefits ( have-not ).

verb phrase

  1. to go at vigorously; attack:

    First he decided to have at his correspondence.


/ hæv /


  1. to be in material possession of; own

    he has two cars

  2. to possess as a characteristic quality or attribute

    he has dark hair

  3. to receive, take, or obtain

    she had a present from him

    have a look

  4. to hold or entertain in the mind

    to have an idea

  5. to possess a knowledge or understanding of

    I have no German

  6. to experience or undergo

    to have a shock

  7. to be infected with or suffer from

    to have a cold

  8. to gain control of or advantage over

    you have me on that point

  9. slang.
    usually passive to cheat or outwit

    he was had by that dishonest salesman

  10. foll by on to exhibit (mercy, compassion, etc, towards)

    have mercy on us, Lord

  11. to engage or take part in

    to have a conversation

  12. to arrange, carry out, or hold

    to have a party

  13. to cause, compel, or require to (be, do, or be done)

    have my shoes mended

  14. takes an infinitive with to used as an auxiliary to express compulsion or necessity

    I had to run quickly to escape him

  15. to eat, drink, or partake of

    to have a good meal

  16. slang.
    to have sexual intercourse with

    he had her on the sofa

  17. used with a negative to tolerate or allow

    I won't have all this noise

  18. to declare, state, or assert

    rumour has it that they will marry

  19. to put or place

    I'll have the sofa in this room

  20. to receive as a guest

    to have three people to stay

  21. to beget or bear (offspring)

    she had three children

  22. takes a past participle used as an auxiliary to form compound tenses expressing completed action

    I have gone

    I had gone

    I would have gone

    I shall have gone

  23. had better or had best
    ought to: used to express compulsion, obligation, etc

    you had better go

  24. had rather or had sooner
    to consider or find preferable that

    I had rather you left at once

  25. have done
    See done
  26. have had it informal.
    1. to be exhausted, defeated, or killed
    2. to have lost one's last chance
    3. to become unfashionable
  27. have it
    to win a victory
  28. have it away or have it off slang.
    to have sexual intercourse
  29. have it coming informal.
    to be about to receive or to merit punishment or retribution
  30. have it in for informal.
    to wish or intend harm towards
  31. have it so good
    to have so many benefits, esp material benefits
  32. have to do with
    1. to have dealings or associate with

      I have nothing to do with her

    2. to be of relevance to

      this has nothing to do with you

  33. I have it informal.
    I know the answer
  34. let someone have it slang.
    to launch or deliver an attack on, esp to discharge a firearm at someone
  35. not having any informal.
    foll by of refusing to take part or be involved (in)


  1. usually plural a person or group of people in possession of wealth, security, etc

    the haves and the have-nots

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Spelling Note

See of 2.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of have1

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

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Word History and Origins

Origin of have1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. had better / best, ought to:

    You'd better go now, it's late.

  2. have done, to cease; finish:

    It seemed that they would never have done with their struggle.

  3. have had it,
    1. to become weary of or disgusted with whatever one has been doing:

      I've been working like a fool, but now I've had it.

    2. to suffer defeat; fail:

      He was a great pitcher, but after this season he'll have had it.

    3. to have missed a last opportunity:

      He refused to take any more excuses and told them all that they'd had it.

    4. to become unpopular or passé:

      Quiz shows have had it.

  4. have it coming, to merit or deserve:

    When they lost their fortune, everyone said that they had it coming.

  5. have it out, to come to an understanding or decision through discussion or combat:

    We've been in disagreement about this for a long time, and I think we should have it out, once and for all.

  6. have it in / out for, to plan or wish to do something unpleasant to; hold a grudge against:

    She has it in for intelligent students who fail to use their abilities.

  7. have on,
    1. to be clothed in; be wearing:

      She had on a new dress.

    2. to have arranged or planned:

      What do you have on for Christmas?

    3. to tease (a person); make the butt of a joke. Compare put ( def 35 ).
  8. have to do with,
    1. to be connected or associated with:

      Your lack of confidence probably had a lot to do with your not getting the job.

    2. to deal with; be concerned with:

      I will have nothing to do with their personal squabbles.

  9. to have and to hold, to possess legally; have permanent possession of:

    The house, with the mortgage finally paid, was at last their own to have and to hold.

  10. had rather. rather ( def 9 ).

More idioms and phrases containing have

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    Synonym Study

    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.

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    Example Sentences

    Aksyonov has great fun inventing a culturally pureed lexicon for his might-have-been cosmopolitan Russians.

    The divide between the haves and the have-nots is so great that the elite never feel these things directly.

    Moran's point is a good one, but the truth is that Congress is already dominated by have's and want-to-have's.

    It's now a must-have wardrobe staple, similar to that of the t-shirt or a pair of jeans.

    Must-have TV channels are out, and cheap work-arounds are in.

    I appeal to yourself, Madam, whether these sublime notions have-any thing consoling in them?

    Ha-ha-have my head sha-a-ved, dress myself up li-like a Turk?

    He did not-have to teach Mappo very much, for the monkey could already do those things.

    No poorest man on earth would change places with this man-that-might-have-been, for his time draws nigh and his end is perdition.

    Has time-have my changed fortunes softened her stern determination towards me?


    Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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




    Havdalahhave a ball