from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun An obsolete or dialectal form of might, preterit of may.
  • noun An obsolete or dialectal variant of moth.

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

  • imperative Might.

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

  • verb Alternative form of might.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • He "mought" keep us all night, but he'd "ruther not, as we could git a place to stay down the spur."

    A Knight of the Cumberland

  • "Why, yas, I reckon yo 'mought's well -- but seem's like yo' allus a-wantin 'to gad.

    The Gold Girl

  • Or listen to the President while keeping you mought shut.

    Defiant Wilson raises more than $200,000 after outburst

  • The part of Epimetheus mought well become Prometheus, in the case of discontentments: for there is not a better provision against them.

    The Essays

  • Queen Elizabeth of England, with bills to sign, but he would always first put her into some discourse of estate, that she mought the less mind the bills.

    The Essays

  • For so much was then subject to demonstration, that the globe of the earth had great parts beyond the Atlantic, which mought be probably conceived not to be all sea: and adding thereto the tradition in

    The Essays

  • Surely Comineus mought have made the same judgment also, if it had pleased him, of his second master, Lewis the

    The Essays

  • But it mought be applied likewise to Pluto, taking him for the devil.

    The Essays

  • And hereafter may do for that, as she turnes out: for one mought be loth to part with her, mayhap, so verry soon too; espessially if she was to make the notable landlady your Honner put into my head.

    Clarissa Harlowe

  • "Why, to speak de troof, massa, him not so berry well as mought be."

    The Gold-Bug


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • (verb) - (1) This old past tense of "may," now obsolete in England, has been retained in the South, and is very common in all parts of the Union. Until of late years, its use was mainly confined to . . . people in the interior of the New England states. Latterly, however, a spirit of change appears to have revived the popularity of this form. In North Carolina, "perhaps" is almost invariably rendered "it mought be."

    --John Farmer's Americanisms Old and New, 1889

    (2) Frequently heard in the South, where the negroes use it almost exclusively. Derived from the ancient verb mowe - the ancestor of may and corresponding to the German mochte - it was once correct.

    --M. Schele de Vere's Americanisms, 1872

    January 14, 2018