- ( modal auxiliary, defective ) to do with certainty; indicates that the speaker is certain that the subject will have executed the predicate
- ( modal auxiliary, defective ) to do as a requirement; indicates that the sentence subject is required as an imperative or directive to execute the sentence predicate, with failure to do so resulting in a negative consequence
- 1936, Alfred Edward Housman, More Poems, IX, lines 3-6
- 1937 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
- 1968 Fritz Leiber, Swords in the Mist
- ( auxiliary, to do with certainty ): Compare with weaker auxiliary verb should, indicating a strong probability of the predicate's execution .
- ( auxiliary, to do as a requirement ): Compare with weaker auxiliary verb should, indicating mere intent for the predicate's execution; and stronger auxiliary verb will, indicating that the negative consequence will be unusually severe .
- The past tense of "must" is also "must"; however, this usage is almost always literary ( see Fritz Leiber quotation above ). The past sense is usually conveyed by had to. It is possible to use be bound to for the past also. For this reason, have to and be bound to are also used as alternatives to must in the present and future .
- The principal verb, if easily supplied, may be omitted. In modern usage this is mainly literary ( see Housman and Tolkien quotations above ) .
- Must is unusual in its negation. Must not still expresses a definite certainty or requirement, with the predicate negated. Need, on the other hand, is negated in the usual manner. Compare:
- Appendix:English tag questions
- Something that exhibits the property of being stale or musty
- Fruit juice that will ferment or has fermented, usually grapes
- Must on Wikipedia .
- smut, stum, tums, UMTS, UTMS
From Middle English moste ( “must”, literally “had to” ), from Old English mōste ( “had to” ), 1st & 3rd person singular past tense of mōtan ( “to be allowed, be able to, have the opportunity to, be compelled to, must, may” ). Cognate with Dutch moest ( “had to” ), German musste ( “had to” ), Swedish måste ( “must, have to, be obliged to” ). More at mote .
Old French must, most, from Latin mustum
Persian مست ( mast, “drunk, inebriated” ) .
Explanation of must by Wordnet Dictionary