Language: Old English
Origin: meahte, mihte


1 modal verb
might1 S1 W1 negative short form mightn't


a) if something might happen or might be true, there is a possibility that it may happen or may be true, but you are not at all certain:
I might be a few minutes late.
She might not want to come with us.
He might have missed the train.
This might well be her last public performance (=it is fairly likely).
One of the guards might easily panic and shoot someone (=it is likely).
b) used as the past tense of 'may' when reporting that someone talked or thought about the possibility of something:
He might be able to help you.
I thought they might have gone home.
She was worried that we might get hurt.
c) used to say that something was a possibility in the past but did not actually happen:
It was terrifying. We might have been killed.


used to suggest politely what someone should do:
If you need more information, you might try the Internet.
I thought we might go to the new Chinese restaurant on the High Street.
It might be a good idea to put those plants in the shade.
We're going to a concert. You might like to come with us.

asking permission

a) spoken especially British English used to politely ask for permission to do something:
Might I borrow your pen?
I wonder if I might speak to your son.
b) used when reporting that someone asked for permission to do something:
He asked if he might come in and look around.

somebody should have done something

used when you are annoyed because someone has not done something that you think they should do:
You might at least say thank you.
They might have cleaned up before they left.

past purpose

used after 'so that' or 'in order that' to say that someone did something in order to make something else happen or be possible:
I asked for names and addresses so that I might pass on details to the police.

might I say/ask/add etc

spoken especially British English used to politely give more information, ask a question, interrupt etc:
Might I ask how old you are?
Might I just say how lovely it is to see everyone here today.

I might say/add

spoken used to emphasize what you are saying:
I was, I might say, not surprised.

I might have known/guessed etc

spoken used to say that you are not surprised at a situation:
I might have known it was you!
I might have guessed I'd get no sympathy from my family.

might (just) as well

a) used to suggest that someone should do something, because there is no good reason to do anything else:
I suppose we might as well go home.
b) used to say that the effect of an action or situation is the same as if it was another one:
They might as well have a badge on them saying 'Steal me'.
He might as well have been a million miles away.


used to say that even though something is perhaps true, something different or opposite is also true:
He might be nearly seventeen but he's still very immature.
Surprising as it might seem, some tourists actually enjoy the British weather.
Although she might understand his beliefs, she could not accept them.
Try as I might (=although I tried hard), I couldn't work out the answer.

formal question

used to ask a question in a formal and rather unfriendly way:
And who might you be, young man?

might well

used to say that there is a good reason for a reaction, question, or feeling:
'What do they hope to achieve?' 'You might well ask.'
a system of which we in Britain might well be envious
This caused a few gasps, as well it might.

Dictionary results for "might"
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