Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of had
Meaning of had by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /hæd/, SAMPA: /h{d/
    • Rhymes: -æd



    1. Simple past tense and past participle of have.
    2. ( auxiliary ) Used to form the pluperfect tense, expressing a completed action in the past ( + past participle ).
    3. ( auxiliary, now rare ) As past subjunctive: ‘would have’.

    Related terms

    Usage notes

    Had is one of a very few words to be correctly used twice in succession in English, e.g. He had had several operations previously .



    • ADH
    • AHD
    • dah
    • DHA


    Proto-Germanic *haiduz ( “state, condition, rank, person” ). Akin to Old Norse heiðr "dignity, honor", Gothic ������������ ( haidus, “manner” ) .


    hād m .

    1. person, individual; character
    2. individuality
    3. rank, order; degree
    4. honor, dignity
    5. office ( esp religious )
    6. state, condition; nature, manner
    7. sex, gender
    8. race; kindred, family; tribe, group
    9. choir


    Related terms

    • -hād


    By Wiktionary ( 2011/04/28 18:21 UTC Version )


    Proto-Germanic *haiduz ( “state, condition” ) ( originally a noun, represented by Old English hād ). Cognate with Old Saxon -hēd ( Dutch -heid ), Old High German -heit ( German -heit ) .


    • IPA: /haːd/



    1. forming nouns of condition or quality, from nouns or adjectives
      cildhād "childhood"



    • English -hood

Definition of had by GCIDE Dictionary


  1. Had ( hăd ), imp. & p. p. of Have. [OE. had, hafde, hefde, AS. hæfde.] See Have.

    Had as lief, Had rather, Had better, Had as soon, etc., with a nominative and followed by the infinitive without to, are well established idiomatic forms. The original construction was that of the dative with forms of be, followed by the infinitive. See Had better, under Better.

    And lever me is be pore and trewe.

    [And more agreeable to me it is to be poor and true.] C. Mundi ( Trans. ).

    Him had been lever to be syke.

    [To him it had been preferable to be sick.] Fabian.

    For him was lever have at his bed's head

    Twenty bookes, clad in black or red, . . .

    Than robes rich, or fithel, or gay sawtrie. Chaucer.

    Gradually the nominative was substituted for the dative, and had for the forms of be. During the process of transition, the nominative with was or were, and the dative with had, are found.

    Poor lady, she were better love a dream. Shak.

    You were best hang yourself. Beau. & Fl.

    Me rather had my heart might feel your love

    Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy. Shak.

    I hadde levere than my scherte,

    That ye hadde rad his legende, as have I. Chaucer.

    I had as lief not be as live to be

    In awe of such a thing as I myself. Shak.

    I had rather be a dog and bay the moon,

    Than such a Roman. Shak.

    I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. Ps. lxxxiv. 10.

  2. Have ( hăv ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Had ( hăd ); p. pr. & vb. n. Having. Indic. present, I have, thou hast, he has; we, ye, they have.] [OE. haven, habben, AS. habben ( imperf. hæfde, p. p. gehæfd ); akin to OS. hebbian, D. hebben, OFries. hebba, OHG. habēn, G. haben, Icel. hafa, Sw. hafva, Dan. have, Goth. haban, and prob. to L. habere, whence F. avoir. Cf. Able, Avoirdupois, Binnacle, Habit.]
    1. To hold in possession or control; to own; as, “he has a farm”.

    2. To possess, as something which appertains to, is connected with, or affects, one.

    The earth hath bubbles, as the water has. Shak.

    He had a fever late. Keats.

    3. To accept possession of; to take or accept.

    Break thy mind to me in broken English; wilt thou have me? Shak.

    4. To get possession of; to obtain; to get. Shak.

    5. To cause or procure to be; to effect; to exact; to desire; to require.

    I had the church accurately described to me. Sir W. Scott.

    Wouldst thou have me turn traitor also? Ld. Lytton.

    6. To bear, as young; as, “she has just had a child”.

    7. To hold, regard, or esteem.

    Of them shall I be had in honor. 2 Sam. vi. 22.

    8. To cause or force to go; to take. “The stars have us to bed.” Herbert. “Have out all men from me.” 2 Sam. xiii. 9.

    9. To take or hold ( one's self ); to proceed promptly; -- used reflexively, often with ellipsis of the pronoun; as, “to have after one; to have at one or at a thing, i. e., to aim at one or at a thing; to attack; to have with a companion.” Shak.

    10. To be under necessity or obligation; to be compelled; followed by an infinitive.

    Science has, and will long have, to be a divider and a separatist. M. Arnold.

    The laws of philology have to be established by external comparison and induction. Earle.

    11. To understand.

    You have me, have you not? Shak.

    12. To put in an awkward position; to have the advantage of; as, “that is where he had him”. [Slang]

    ☞ Have, as an auxiliary verb, is used with the past participle to form preterit tenses; as, I have loved; I shall have eaten. Originally it was used only with the participle of transitive verbs, and denoted the possession of the object in the state indicated by the participle; as, I have conquered him, I have or hold him in a conquered state; but it has long since lost this independent significance, and is used with the participles both of transitive and intransitive verbs as a device for expressing past time. Had is used, especially in poetry, for would have or should have.

    Myself for such a face had boldly died. Tennyson.

    To have a care, to take care; to be on one's guard. -- To have ( a man ) out, to engage ( one ) in a duel. -- To have done ( with ). See under Do, v. i. -- To have it out, to speak freely; to bring an affair to a conclusion. -- To have on, to wear. -- To have to do with. See under Do, v. t.

    Syn. -- To possess; to own. See Possess.