Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “should”

should

modal verb (DUTY)   /ʃʊd, ʃəd/
used to express that it is necessary , desirable , or important to perform the action of the following verb : He should have told me about the change in plans . People like that should go to jail . Where should we meet tonight ?
(Definition of should modal verb (DUTY) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of should

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 “should” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

prenuptial agreement

an official document signed by two people before they get married that says what will happen to their possessions and/or children if they divorce (= officially stop being married)

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