Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “have”

have

modal verb     strong /hæv/ weak /həv/ /əv/
have (got) to do sth A2 to need to or be forced : I have to go to Manchester tomorrow on business . What time do you have to be there? Do we have to finish this today? We'll have to start keeping detailed records . Jackie's ill so they've had to change their plans .Duty, obligation and responsibility C2 used to say that something must be true : That total has to be right - I've checked it twice . Grammar:Have got to and have toHave got to and have to mean the same. Have got to is more informal. We use have (got) to here to refer to both verbs.Grammar:Have got to and have to: formsGrammar:Have got to and have to: meaningGrammar:Have got to and have to: tenseWhen future obligations and plans are already agreed, the present tense of have (got) to is preferred, rather than will have to:
(Definition of have modal verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of have

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Duty, obligation and responsibility, but you might be interested in these topics from the Causing and forcing topic area:

Definitions of “have” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

gastronomy

the art and knowledge involved in preparing and eating good food

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