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


    Etymology 1

    From Middle English might, myghte, ( also maught, macht, maht ), from Old English miht, mieht, meaht, mæht ( “might, bodily strength, power, authority, ability, virtue, mighty work, miracle, angel” ), from Proto-Germanic *mahtiz, *mahtuz ( “might, power” ), from Proto-Indo-European *magʰ- ( “to allow, be able, help” ). Cognate with Scots micht, maucht ( “might” ), North Frisian macht ( “might, ability” ), West Frisian macht ( “might, ability” ), Dutch macht ( “might, power” ), German Macht ( “power, might” ), Swedish makt ( “might” ), Icelandic máttur ( “might” ) .


    • enPR: mīt, IPA: /maɪt/, X-SAMPA: /maIt/
    • Homophone: mite
    • Rhymes: -aɪt


    might ( uncountable )

    1. ( uncountable ) Power, strength, force or influence held by a person or group .
    2. ( uncountable ) Physical strength .
      He pushed with all his might, but still it would not move .
    3. ( uncountable ) The ability to do something .


    might ( comparative mighter, superlative mightest )

    1. ( obsolete, chiefly before 1900 ) Mighty; powerful; possible .

    Etymology 2

    Old English meahte



    1. ( auxiliary ) Used to indicate conditional or possible actions .
      I might go to the party, but I haven't decided yet .
    2. ( auxiliary ) Simple past of may. Used to indicate permission in past tense .
      He asked me if he might go to the party, but I haven't decided yet .
    3. ( auxiliary ) Simple past of may. Used to indicate possibility in past tense .
      I thought that I might go the next day .

    See also


Explanation of might by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. physical strength

    Definition of might by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. May ( mā ), v. [imp. Might ( mīt )] [AS. pres. maeg I am able, pret. meahte, mihte; akin to D. mogen, G. mögen, OHG. mugan, magan, Icel. mega, Goth. magan, Russ. moche. √103. Cf. Dismay, Main strength, Might. The old imp. mought is obsolete, except as a provincial word.] An auxiliary verb qualifying the meaning of another verb, by expressing: Ability, competency, or possibility; -- now oftener expressed by can.

      How may a man, said he, with idle speech,

      Be won to spoil the castle of his health! Spenser.

      For what he [the king] may do is of two kinds; what he may do as just, and what he may do as possible. Bacon.

      For of all sad words of tongue or pen

      The saddest are these: “It might have been.” Whittier.

      Liberty; permission; allowance.

      Thou mayst be no longer steward. Luke xvi. 2.

      Contingency or liability; possibility or probability.

      Though what he learns he speaks, and may advance

      Some general maxims, or be right by chance. Pope.

      Modesty, courtesy, or concession, or a desire to soften a question or remark.

      How old may Phillis be, you ask. Prior.

      Desire or wish, as in prayer, imprecation, benediction, and the like. “May you live happily.” Dryden.

      May be, and It may be, are used as equivalent to possibly, perhaps, maybe, by chance, peradventure. See 1st Maybe.

    2. Might ( mīt ), imp. of May. [AS. meahte, mihte.]

    3. Might, n. [AS. meaht, miht, from the root of magan to be able, E. may; akin to D. magt, OS. maht, G. macht, Icel. māttr, Goth. mahts. √103. See May, v.] Force or power of any kind, whether of body or mind; energy or intensity of purpose, feeling, or action; means or resources to effect an object; strength; force; power; ability; capacity.

      What so strong,

      But wanting rest, will also want of might? Spenser.

      Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deut. vi. 5.

      With might and main. See under 2d Main.