Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “would”

would

modal verb (POSSIBLE)   /wʊd, wəd/
used to refer to a possibility or likelihood: I would hate to miss the show. Would is used with if in sentences that show what will happen if something else happens: What would you do if you lost your job?
(Definition of would modal verb (POSSIBLE) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of would

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Polite expressions, but you might be interested in these topics from the Admiration and respect topic area:

Definitions of “would” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

friendship

a situation in which two people are friends

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More