Definition of have verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



; həv
; əv
; strong form hæv
(In some senses have got is also used, especially in British English.)


1 (also have got) have something (not used in the progressive tenses) to own, hold or possess somethingHe had a new car and a boat.Have you got a job yet?I don't have that much money on me.She's got a BA in English.

consist of

2 (also have got) have something (not used in the progressive tenses) be made up ofIn 2008 the party had 10000 members.


3 (also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) to show a quality or featurehave something The ham had a smoky flavour.The house has gas-fired central heating.They have a lot of courage.have something + adjective He's got a front tooth missing.4 (also have got) have something to do something (not used in the progressive tenses) to show a particular quality by your actionsSurely she didn't have the nerve to say that to him?


5 (also have got) have somebody/something (not used in the progressive tenses) used to show a particular relationshipHe's got three children.Do you have a client named Peters?

something available

6 (also have got) have something (not used in the progressive tenses) to be able to make use of something because it is availableHave you got time to call him?We have no choice in the matter.


7 (also have got) have something (not used in the progressive tenses) to be in a position where you ought to do somethingWe have a duty to care for the refugees.8 (also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) to be in a position of needing to do somethinghave something I've got a lot of homework tonight.have something to do I must go—I have a bus to catch.


9 (also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) have somebody/something + adverb/preposition to hold somebody/something in the way mentionedShe'd got him by the collar.He had his head in his hands.

put/keep in a position

10 (also have got) have something + adverb/preposition (not used in the progressive tenses) to place or keep something in a particular positionMary had her back to me.I soon had the fish in a net.


11 (also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) have something to let a feeling or thought come into your mindHe had the strong impression that someone was watching him.We've got a few ideas for the title. (informal) I've got it! We'll call it ‘Word Magic’.


12 (also have got) have something (not used in the progressive tenses) to suffer from an illness or a diseaseI've got a headache.


13 have something to experience somethingI went to a few parties and had a good time.I was having difficulty in staying awake.She'll have an accident one day.


14 have something to organize or hold an eventLet's have a party.


15 have something to eat, drink or smoke somethingto have breakfast/lunch/dinnerI'll have the salmon (= for example, in a restaurant).I had a cigarette while I was waiting.

do something

16 have something to perform a particular actionI had a swim to cool down. (British English) to have a wash/shower/bath

give birth

17 have somebody/something to give birth to somebody/somethingShe's going to have a baby.


18 have something to produce a particular effectHis paintings had a strong influence on me as a student.The colour green has a restful effect.


19 have something (not usually used in the progressive tenses) to receive something from somebodyI had a letter from my brother this morning.Can I have the bill, please?20 have something to be given something; to have something done to youI'm having treatment for my back problem.How many driving lessons have you had so far?21 (also have got) (not used in the progressive tenses) have something doing something to experience the effects of somebody's actionsWe have orders coming in from all over the world.

have something done

22 (used with a past participle) have something done to suffer the effects of what somebody else does to youShe had her bag stolen.23 (used with a past participle) have something done to cause something to be done for you by somebody elseYou've had your hair cut!We're having our car repaired.24 to tell or arrange for somebody to do something for youhave somebody do something He had the bouncers throw them out of the club. (informal) I'll have you know(= I'm telling you) I'm a black belt in judo.have somebody + adverb/preposition She's always having the builders in to do something or other.


25 (used in negative sentences, especially after will not, cannot, etc.) to allow something; to accept something without complaininghave something I'm sick of your rudeness—I won't have it any longer!have somebody/something doing something We can't have people arriving late all the time.

put somebody/something in a condition

26 to cause somebody/something to be in a particular state; to make somebody react in a particular wayhave somebody/something + adjective I want to have everything ready in good time.have somebody/something doing something He had his audience listening attentively.

in argument

27 (also have got) have somebody (informal) (not used in the progressive tenses) to put somebody at a disadvantage in an argumentYou've got me there. I hadn't thought of that.


28 have somebody (slang) to have sex with somebodyHe had her in his office.


29 [usually passive] have somebody (informal) to trick or cheat somebodyI'm afraid you've been had.


30 [no passive] have somebody/something to take care of somebody/something in your home, especially for a limited periodWe're having the kids for the weekend.31 [no passive] have somebody + adverb/preposition to entertain somebody in your homeWe had some friends to dinner last night.

be with

32 (also have got) have somebody with you (not used in the progressive tenses) to be with somebodyShe had some friends with her.

for a job

33 [no passive] have somebody as something to take or accept somebody for a particular roleWho can we have as treasurer?
Most idioms containing have are at the entries for the nouns and adjectives in the idioms, for example have your eye on somebody is at eye n.

have done with something

(especially British English) to finish something unpleasant so that it does not continueLet's have done with this silly argument.

have had it

(informal)1 to be in a very bad condition; to be unable to be repairedThe car had had it.2 to be extremely tiredI've had it! I'm going to bed.3 to have lost all chance of surviving somethingWhen the truck smashed into me, I thought I'd had it.4 to be going to experience something unpleasantDad saw you scratch the car—you've had it now!5 to be unable to accept a situation any longerI've had it (up to here) with him—he's done it once too often.

have it off/away (with somebody)

(British English, slang) to have sex with somebody

have it (that…)

to claim that it is a fact that…
Rumour has it that we'll have a new manager soon.

have (got) it/that coming (to you)

to be likely to suffer the unpleasant effects of your actions and to deserve to do so
It was no surprise when she left him—everyone knew he had it coming to him.

have it in for somebody

(informal) to not like somebody and be unpleasant to them

have it in you (to do something)

(informal) to be capable of doing somethingEveryone thinks he has it in him to produce a literary classic.You were great. I didn't know you had it in you.You spoke really well at that meeting, standing up for us all. I never knew you had it in you.

have (got) nothing on somebody/something

(informal) to be not nearly as good as somebody/something see also have something on somebody

not having any

(informal) not willing to listen to or believe somethingI tried to persuade her to wait but she wasn't having any.

what have you

(informal) other things, people, etc. of the same kindThere's room in the cellar to store old furniture and what have you.
Phrasal verbs

have (got) something against somebody/something

(not used in the progressive tenses) to dislike somebody/something for a particular reasonWhat have you got against Ruth? She's always been good to you.

have somebody back

to allow a husband, wife or partner that you are separated from to return

have something back

to receive something that somebody has borrowed or taken from youYou can have your files back after we've checked them.

have (got) something in

(not used in the progressive tenses) to have a supply of something in your home, etcHave we got enough food in?

have somebody on

(informal) to try to make somebody believe something that is not true, usually as a jokeYou didn't really, did you? You're not having me on, are you?

have (got) something on

(not used in the progressive tenses)1 to be wearing somethingShe had a red jacket on.He had nothing (= no clothes) on.2 to leave a piece of equipment workingShe has her TV on all day.3 to have arranged to do somethingI can't see you this week—I've got a lot on.

have (got) something on somebody

[no passive] (informal) (not used in the progressive tenses) to know something bad about somebody, especially something that connects them with a crimeI'm not worried—they've got nothing on me.

have something out

to cause something, especially a part of your body, to be removedI had to have my appendix out.

have something out (with somebody)

to try to settle a disagreement by discussing or arguing about it openlyI need to have it out with her once and for all.

have somebody up (for something)

(British English, informal) [usually passive] to cause somebody to be accused of something in courtHe was had up for manslaughter.
Usage noteUsage note: have you got? / do you have?Have got is the usual verb in British English to show possession, etc. in positive statements in the present tense, in negative statements and in questions:They’ve got a wonderful house. We haven’t got a television. Have you got a meeting today? Questions and negative statements formed with do are also common:Do you have any brothers and sisters? We don’t have a car.Have is also used but is more formal:I have no objection to your request. Have you an appointment? Some expressions with have are common even in informal language:I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue.In the past tense had is used in positive statements. In negatives and questions, forms with did have are usually used:They had a wonderful house. We didn’t have much time. Did she have her husband with her?In North American Englishhave and forms with do/does/did are the usual way to show possession, etc. in positive statements, negatives and questions:They have a wonderful house. We don’t have a television. Do you have a meeting today?Have got is not used in questions, but is used in positive statements, especially to emphasize that somebody has one thing rather than another:‘Does your brother have brown hair?’ ‘No, he’s got blond hair.’In both British English and North American Englishhave and forms with do/does and did are used when you are referring to a habit or routine:We don’t often have time to talk.