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English definition of “modal verb”

modal verb

noun [C]  /ˈmoʊ·dəl ˈvɜrb/ (also modal auxiliary,  /ˈmoʊ·dəl ɔɡˈzɪl·jər·i/) us  
grammar a verb used with another verb to express an idea such as possibility that is not expressed by the main verb: The modal verbs in English are "can," "could," "may," "might," "must," "ought," "shall," "should," "will," and "would."
(Definition of modal verb from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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