Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- 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
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
Old English wolde, past tense of willan "to will" (see will (v.)). Would-be (adj.) "wishing, pretending" is first recorded c.1300.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
In addition to the idioms beginning with would
- would rather
- would that
- as luck would have it
- fly on the wall, would like to be a
Also see underwouldn't.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.