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Definition of “must” - English Dictionary

"must" in American English

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mustmodal verb

 us   /mʌst, məst/ (must)
  • must modal verb (BE NECESSARY)

used to show that it is necessary or important that something happen in the present or future: Seeing what others have and she lacks, she believes that she must have more. We must not surprise them (= it is wrong, dangerous, or forbidden).
If you say that you must do something, you can mean that you have a firm intention to do something in the future: I must call my sister later.
Must is sometimes used for emphasis: I must admit I enjoy these movies.
  • must modal verb (PROBABLY)

used to show that something is likely, probable, or certain to be true: Death must be better than this. "It must have been fun." "No, it wasn’t."

mustnoun [C]

 us   /mʌst/
something that is necessary: If you live in the suburbs a car is a must.
(Definition of must from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)







"must" in British English

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mustmodal verb

uk   strong /mʌst/ weak /məst/ /məs/  us   /mʌst/  /məst/  /məs/
  • must modal verb (NECESSARY)

A2 used to show that it is necessary or very important that something happens in the present or future: Meat must be cooked thoroughly. I must get some sleep. You mustn't show this letter to anyone else. Luggage must not be left unattended (= it is against the rules).formal Must you leave so soon?formal "Must I sign this?" "Yes, you must."
If you say that you must do something, you mean that you strongly intend to do something in the future: I must phone my sister. We must get someone to fix that wheel.UK I mustn't bite my nails.
used for emphasis: I must say, you look absolutely great. I must admit, I wasn't looking forward to it.
B1 If you tell someone else that they must do something pleasant, you are emphasizing that you think it is a good idea to do that: You must come and stay with us one weekend. We must meet for lunch soon.

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  • must modal verb (PROBABLY)

B2 used to show that something is very likely, probable, or certain to be true: Harry's been driving all day - he must be tired. There's no food left - we must have eaten it all. When you got lost in the forest you must have been very frightened. "You must know Frank." "No, I don't."

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mustnoun [C]

uk   strong /mʌst/ /məst/ /məs/  us   /mʌst/  /məst/  /məs/ informal

must-prefix

uk   /mʌst-/  us   /mʌst-/ informal
(Definition of must from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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