from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An event that could have but never did occur: "This is one of the great might-have-beens of modern history” ( Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.)
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Someone or something whose potential greatness was not achieved.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. an event that could have occurred but never did
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Maybe the glimpse (s) of suburban Manchester he got in the early 1950s were quite enough to feed his fantasies of that “provincial” might-have-been life.
Given the ethical dilemmas, the future scenarios of many of the movies discussed here have been consigned to the realm of might-have-been sci-fi.
Bear also does a great job of rewriting history here, with a dark version of 1938 that fits perfectly into might-have-been territory … Bear provides plenty of political intrigue, some tension and enough mythic conversation to make readers long for a mystical library collection of their own.
This is a fascinating might-have-been, a six episode script for the first season of Doctor Who telling the story of a murder conspiracy against Alexander the Great, by Moris Farhi.
Iceland is a sobering might-have-been for the Greeks.
If so, a duo that could have created so much, and yet created so little, is just another might-have-been.
So to answer your question, yes—there are zero points in time wherein we could have changed a might-have-been to an is.
In some cases, a might-have-been can even be viewed, as this one once was, by Masters Wells, Verne, and Sigurdsson.
Would-be, wannabe, might-have-been, Moss is an incarnation of that combination of boulomaic modality and subjunctivity level so common in Crime and Realism, that of failure, of events that "should have happened, but did not".
So on this anniversary day, allow me to recall Colbert's tentative entry into the 2008 race and what might-have-been.