Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • auxiliary verb Used to indicate a condition or state contrary to fact.
  • auxiliary verb Used to indicate a possibility or probability that is weaker than may:
  • auxiliary verb Used to express possibility or probability or permission in the past.
  • auxiliary verb Used to express a higher degree of deference or politeness than may, ought, or should:
  • noun Great power or force, as of a nation or army.
  • noun Physical strength: synonym: strength.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Preterit of may.
  • noun The quality of being able; ability to do or act; power; active personal force or strength, physical or mental: as, a man of might; the might of intellect.
  • noun Power of control or compulsion; ability to wield or direct force; commanding strength: as, the might of empire.
  • noun Physical force; material energy.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Force or power of any kind, whether of body or mind; energy or intensity of purpose, feeling, or action; means or resources to effect an object; strength; force; power; ability; capacity.
  • noun See under 2d Main.
  • imp. of may.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb auxiliary Used to indicate conditional or possible actions.
  • verb auxiliary Simple past of may. Used to indicate permission in past tense.
  • verb auxiliary Simple past of may. Used to indicate possibility in past tense.
  • noun uncountable Power, strength, force or influence held by a person or group.
  • noun uncountable Physical strength.
  • noun uncountable The ability to do something.
  • adjective obsolete Mighty; powerful; possible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun physical strength

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English meahte, mihte, first and third person sing. past tense of magan, to be able; see may.]

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English meaht, miht; see magh- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English meahte, from magan, whence English may.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English might, myghte, (also maught, macht, maht), from Old English miht, mieht, meaht, mæht ("might, bodily strength, power, authority, ability, virtue, mighty work, miracle, angel"), from Proto-Germanic *mahtiz, *mahtuz (“might, power”), from Proto-Indo-European *mógʰtis, *magʰ- (“to allow, be able, help”), corresponding to Germanic *maganą + *-þiz. Cognate with Scots micht, maucht ("might"), North Frisian macht ("might, ability"), West Frisian macht ("might, ability"), Dutch macht ("might, power"), German Macht ("power, might"), Swedish makt ("might"), Icelandic máttur ("might").

Examples

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