Definition of have in US English:


verbhas, having, had

[with object]
  • 1Possess, own, or hold.

    ‘he had a new car and a boat’
    ‘have you got a job yet?’
    ‘I don't have that much money on me’
    ‘he's got the equipment with him’
    • ‘They gave me a job for two years where I held the unique and enviable position of having the desk closest to the nearest pub.’
    • ‘Football, even at youth level, should be about rewarding best practice and not just who has the most money.’
    • ‘McLaren have the best package at the moment, but in Formula 1, it is not just about having the fastest car.’
    • ‘No point having the dirtiest car in Lincolnshire if you go doing daft things like cleaning it.’
    • ‘We have a one bedroom flat and on our current budget will not be able to move for another 2 years.’
    • ‘Lucas was adamant about having a nice, reliable car for us to drive the baby around in.’
    • ‘I know people who work in television but boast about not having a set at home.’
    • ‘He has the most money, but the people behind him do not understand how to use this power.’
    • ‘He was advised to get an agent to help promote the salon, but he had little money.’
    • ‘Somehow this usually results in us having more possessions than we started out with.’
    • ‘My uncle works in a children's bookshop in London, and has a fantastic flat full of books of all types.’
    • ‘Almost every household today has a computer.’
    • ‘But if you don't keep an eye on the way things are going, then pretty soon you may not have a job to go to.’
    • ‘If I was offered the chance to have this as my company car I would be very happy indeed.’
    • ‘Perhaps it could be the place where I finally realise my dream of having an island of my own.’
    • ‘In addition we must ensure that we retain our advantages of having a highly skilled and adaptable workforce.’
    • ‘I was about seventeen and a half now and I had my own flat, which was ok, but it was just a place to sleep for me.’
    • ‘If you have enough clothes, a fine piece of art makes a beautiful Christmas gift.’
    • ‘A friend of mine has a young dog that bit into a cable running to the passenger seatbelt.’
    • ‘Sometimes it's as simple as earning more money, or having a better job.’
    possess, own, be in possession of, be the owner of, be the possessor of, be the proud possessor of, have in one's possession, have to one's name, count among one's possessions, be blessed with, boast, enjoy
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Possess or be provided with (a quality, characteristic, or feature)
      ‘the ham had a sweet, smoky flavor’
      ‘she's got blue eyes’
      ‘the house has gas heat’
      • ‘How they managed to walk up and down the street in shoes that had six inch soles was beyond us.’
      • ‘The new house had a back garden, 100 foot long and desperately overgrown.’
      • ‘A new version of the model having such features is near completion and will be presented shortly.’
      • ‘In addition, he has both the star quality we were looking for and is an inspired lyricist.’
      • ‘It also boasts of having the world's highest rate of beautiful people per square inch!’
      • ‘He's a complete player, but he doesn't have the supreme quality of the very greatest.’
      • ‘Aesthetically it is a dump and, but for the area around the harbour, has no redeeming features.’
      • ‘Beyond that, having breadth and depth in the management team is the key to success.’
      • ‘Maradona described him as having unparalleled speed and a keen sense of how to defend.’
      • ‘We have showed we have the quality in the past and I'm sure we will get it right.’
      • ‘He's got black hair and is tall with a lean body.’
      • ‘A record collection can be displayed, and the display itself has an aesthetic quality.’
      • ‘I have known him as a player for a long time and have always rated him and believed he had leadership quality.’
      • ‘The atmosphere is made up of a mechanical mixture of gases, which all have mass.’
      • ‘The music has a cinematic quality which conjures up images of film noir classics.’
      • ‘I thought he had a bit more sense, but no.’
      • ‘Naive art has a quality of its own that is easy to recognize but hard to define.’
      • ‘This is a car that has much more to offer than its diminutive looking size belies.’
      • ‘Yet credit is due to Kilmarnock for remaining resolute throughout and having the capacity to respond.’
      • ‘He explained to me that every good villain has some outstanding feature that stood out about them.’
    2. 1.2have oneselfNorth American informal Provide or indulge oneself with (something)
      ‘he had himself two highballs’
      • ‘Whoever wins today's presidential runoff has themselves an enormous job, restoring hope and opportunity to a generation that has known only war.’
      • ‘A few weeks ago he was having himself a high old time at a fancy-dress party.’
      • ‘While you're having yourself a merry little Christmas, one of the songs you might often hear is a recent classic, a song whose author waited 20 years for the right student to put his music to words.’
      • ‘But I really don't want to get into this other than to say, right now, we have ourselves a messy problem.’
      • ‘I made a short post last night, at the time I was having myself a drink and feeling quite good.’
      • ‘You can't have yourself any coleslaw without slicing that head of cabbage into ribbons.’
      • ‘Karolina says one way to deal with the jitters before she steps out onto the red carpet is to have herself a gut laugh and get it out of her system.’
      • ‘Anyway, now I'm starving, and I think I shall have myself a little snacky-snack.’
      • ‘So it looks like our boy Bill has himself a brand new policy.’
      • ‘The good doctor also has himself a solo career, and his latest song is called democracy, whisky, sexy, a phrase which many of you will recognize.’
      • ‘If I had read that over the Internet back in the States, I would have assumed some Pentagon-friendly hack was having himself a little fun.’
      • ‘America's retail sector is having itself a not so merry little Christmas.’
      • ‘Of course, SSRI withdrawal is just as dangerous as depression itself and if you take a depressed person and add a dash of withdrawal, you might have yourself a psychiatric emergency.’
      • ‘Every year everyone would drive to the State Capitol, and we'd have ourselves a good ol'fashioned Donatin’ Day.’
      • ‘This somewhat self-satisfied consensus that we're having ourselves a serious argument about the proper role of government gives the candidates - and the voters - too much credit, I think.’
      • ‘Kyra, have yourself a fantastic evening and I will talk to you tomorrow.’
    3. 1.3 Be made up of; comprise.
      ‘in 1989 the party had 10,000 members’
      • ‘My job has two parts: teaching an instrument privately and teaching classroom music theory.’
      • ‘This book, which has 17 chapters on many aspects of diabetes care, is mainly well written.’
      • ‘For example, we are accustomed to saying that the English language has many dialects.’
      • ‘The co-op currently has 1,000 members representing 635 households.’
      • ‘Their year is divided into 13 months, 12 of which have 30 days each; the 13th month has five days, or six if it is a leap year.’
      comprise, consist of, contain, include, incorporate, be composed of, be made up of, be formed of
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 Used to indicate a particular relationship.
      ‘he's got three children’
      ‘do you have a client named Pedersen?’
      • ‘Although Sue thrives on all the noise and hustle and bustle of having such a large family she still enjoys a break.’
      • ‘We returned to find that a cousin of mine has a new son and there is a naming conference in progress.’
      • ‘He had no wife, no children, to enrich and complicate the simplicity of his daily life.’
      • ‘Penny now had playmates near at hand and there was always someone for me to talk to.’
      • ‘He has two brothers, Joe and Lawrence.’
      • ‘Parents Ray and Betty have nine children, three of whom farm with them.’
      • ‘He said that he always envisioned himself having a family, and now it might be too late.’
      • ‘My mum and Glenda are about the same age and my mum, who never had a sister, was always close to Glenda.’
      • ‘John has got friends all over the world.’
    5. 1.5 Be able to make use of (something available or at one's disposal)
      ‘how much time have I got for the presentation?’
      • ‘Bove notes that when parents walk in the door at the end of the day, having a few minutes to regroup can be crucial.’
      • ‘Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.’
      • ‘He had his own family money to spend and he knew his modern purchases were infuriating his father.’
      • ‘This double booking does lead to many schools having a few places available but this takes time to be sorted out.’
      • ‘We all pay for their upkeep through the various tax regimes and we all have a right to use and enjoy them.’
      • ‘Does having a large disposable income guarantee good kitchen design?’
      • ‘We had a really good choice of men who were willing to take part in the show.’
      • ‘Adoption is a personal choice, but in this case the parents have had no choice.’
      • ‘I only have four yuan a day to spend, three yuan for the bed space and one yuan for a bun.’
      • ‘He knows the game so well and he had an almost free choice of which players he wanted to buy.’
      • ‘The Council has six weeks to clean up its act or lose its licence to operate refuse wagons.’
      • ‘Perhaps she also had fewer funds available due to the deflated stock market.’
      • ‘You have to work for yourself in order to have the freedom to do what is required to make the money.’
      • ‘The immense talent we have at our disposal is impressive to say the least.’
      • ‘He had a good exercise facility available for free to work out at.’
      • ‘It is a busy area and we don't want houses and ribbon developments, it is better to have a bit of open space.’
      • ‘One of the beauties of an adult gap year is the range of choices you have available.’
      • ‘He gave a lengthy explanation about why he had no other choice but to veto the bill.’
      • ‘Tenants will have six weeks to respond and the council can amend its plan before the vote in April.’
      • ‘He's now done it twice at Ascot, but normally in Hong Kong he would have six weeks between races.’
    6. 1.6 Have gained (a qualification)
      ‘he's got a BA in English’
      • ‘Milner, who has ten GCSEs, was capped at England under-17 level, scoring in a tournament which included Brazil and Italy.’
      • ‘His human resources officer told him that some of his employees were functionally illiterate, despite having high school diplomas.’
      • ‘She married Adam, who has a degree in criminal justice, in 1994.’
    7. 1.7 Possess as an intellectual attainment; know (a language or subject)
      ‘he knew Latin and Greek; I had only a little French’
  • 2Experience; undergo.

    ‘I went to a few parties and had a good time’
    ‘I was having difficulty in keeping awake’
    • ‘We've all had problems and experienced a lot of terrible things, and our choice is to be happy.’
    • ‘I don't know why they are all having such a difficult time getting good grades.’
    • ‘Paul, the publicist tells me, is having a far more difficult and epic journey.’
    • ‘If it wasn't for them having such an unbelievable season, I think we'd be in first place.’
    • ‘Every team has a bad patch during a season and hopefully we had ours at the start.’
    • ‘He had a disappointing World Cup by his own high standards but has done well in Super League.’
    • ‘I've had the opportunity to play guys who are having a more difficult time living in society than others.’
    • ‘We experienced problems with cars using our car park and also had problems with litter.’
    • ‘I also had many other difficulties which I do not wish to discuss at present.’
    • ‘Despite the fall he has been having one of the best seasons of his career.’
    • ‘Zabel has had a less successful season than usual by his own exalted standards.’
    • ‘We were having a very difficult time hearing you earlier, so you can redo that report.’
    • ‘This will lead to loss of trade to the shopkeepers who are all having a hard enough time to make ends meet as it is.’
    • ‘It's hard to imagine the Hull forwards having a harder time in the season ahead.’
    • ‘I had a short and successfully anonymous encounter with a podgy woman in spectacles.’
    • ‘We lost her but she didn't suffer, she had a happy life and a family who adored her.’
    • ‘When I was very young, I had an accident and was in bed for many months.’
    • ‘Are the people who experience ecstatic religious states just having a really good trip?’
    • ‘Tom O'Sullivan is having a very good season and his club mate Aidan O'Mahony had a very good final.’
    • ‘He's not been having such a good season but he always talks the talk so you never know what he's actually feeling.’
    experience, encounter, undergo, face, meet, find, go through, run into, come across, be subjected to, have experience of, be faced with
    experience, enjoy, taste
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Suffer from (an illness, ailment, or disability)
      ‘I've got a headache’
      • ‘We have in our extended family more than one member who has a psychotic illness.’
      • ‘The student insisted that a patient who had a terminal illness should on no account be told.’
      • ‘Many people are unaware they have had the illness so do not know if they are immune.’
      • ‘She suffered from cancer and also has Crohn's disease which is affected by stress.’
      • ‘This season he's had one or two injuries and not played as many games as he, or we, would have liked.’
      • ‘Dad has had a terrible cold this week, and I have a feeling that it's starting to hit me.’
      • ‘I had to give up work early, because of having an illness, so I was unable to save towards a private pension.’
      • ‘Lisa and her husband have three children, each of whom has a disability of some kind.’
      • ‘I'd love to finish it but I've had a cold these past few days and haven't been feeling up to it.’
      • ‘I went to a car boot sale in the morning with my dogs and had a small epileptic fit.’
      • ‘The good thing about having this illness is that it allows me to be a little bit crazy.’
      • ‘It may be necessary to track down a donor if it is determined that he or she has an infectious disease.’
      • ‘It affects people differently, with many having the illness without knowing it.’
      • ‘Rob has also been forced to adapt to a life in which he now has a disability.’
      • ‘He had a great sense of life and, although he had a disability of his own, he did not let that affect him.’
      • ‘Many young people cope well with the emotional aspects of having a chronic illness.’
      • ‘The bug is capable of killing if it infects someone who has recently had flu.’
      • ‘If you have an ongoing chronic illness you might be at higher risk of complications.’
      • ‘It increases the likelihood of a person having asthma, eczema or hay fever.’
      • ‘She described having a breakdown soon after she killed her first daughter and showed intense grief.’
      be suffering from, be afflicted by, be affected by, be troubled with, be a sufferer from
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Let (a feeling or thought) come into one's mind; hold in the mind.
      ‘he had the strong impression that someone was watching him’
      ‘we've got a few ideas we're kicking around’
      ‘I've no doubt he's as busy as I am’
      • ‘Lewis was ringside in Las Vegas and admitted he was having real thoughts of ending his reign on a high.’
      • ‘I look at the woman next to me, and she is clearly having similar thoughts.’
      • ‘Obviously the gentleman who first coined the phrase was having similar thoughts.’
      • ‘I had a strong idea of the opening and the closure, with no real angle or drive to the middle.’
      • ‘He certainly had no thoughts of continuing his long and winding career path north of the Border.’
      • ‘I said I would do anything they asked me to, though I already had a bad feeling about it.’
      • ‘I remember going for a run and cutting the grass and having nasty thoughts about the selectors.’
      • ‘He had a strong suspicion about who was behind most of these killings, he said.’
      • ‘Madonna has given me so much good advice through the years: she has such strong opinions.’
      • ‘I think that every case should be dealt with individually rather that having a strong opinion about it.’
      • ‘Did you have this concept in mind from the start, or did it take shape as you wrote the album?’
      • ‘Do you have any uneasy feelings about what you can or cannot do or of your past failures?’
      • ‘I have a feeling this site is going to get a boost in popularity thanks to Mr. Crowe.’
      • ‘I think the council is being very mean about this and I do hope it has second thoughts.’
      • ‘We walked down the corridor in silence, each having our own thoughts.’
      • ‘I've been calling the editor a lot, explaining that I'm having second thoughts.’
      • ‘When they beat Portugal in the opening match I had a feeling that they would do something.’
      • ‘Although we had seen nothing from where we were, I had a feeling of complete and utter terror.’
      • ‘Like an awful lot of people, I really don't have any strong feelings one way or the other.’
      • ‘She, it seems, has thoughts and ideas about what she wants to do in the weeks and months after the baby is born.’
      harbour, feel, entertain, foster, nurse, cherish, nurture, bear, sustain, maintain, keep in one's mind
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    3. 2.3with past participle Experience or suffer the specified action happening or being done to (something)
      ‘she had her bag stolen’
      • ‘They suffered the indignity of having their pictures splashed all over the papers.’
      • ‘We have had previous experience of having cars damaged and stolen.’
      • ‘Three years ago a friend of ours had his mini stolen, and this is the email he sent me.’
      • ‘The man staying next to me at the hotel had his travel bag stolen from the room yesterday.’
    4. 2.4 Cause (someone or something) to be in a particular state or condition.
      ‘I want to have everything ready in good time’
      ‘I had the TV on with the sound turned down’
      • ‘His unashamedly feel-good tunes look set to have us smiling for a few more years to come.’
      • ‘I haven't even had the radio on, so the current news just passed me by.’
      • ‘At one point, they even thought about removing her or having her removed from the jury.’
      • ‘Now her article has me thinking.’
      • ‘We see little wildlife during the dive, but the experience has my adrenalin pumping.’
      • ‘We'll have a room ready as soon as possible.’
      • ‘The fire brigade soon had the blaze under control and were able to extinguish it swiftly.’
      • ‘It's a treat and guaranteed to have you curling up in laughter at some of the yarns and stories from times past.’
      • ‘We cannot chastise her for what she does, because, ultimately, he had us fooled as well.’
    5. 2.5with past participle Cause (something) to be done for one by someone else.
      ‘it is advisable to have your carpet laid by a professional’
      • ‘A nursery appeared on television after it suffered problems having its swimming pool installed.’
      • ‘Meanwhile actress Lucy McLellan has just had her hair dyed with shocks of scarlet.’
      • ‘It will look at the experience of writers having their work translated into other languages.’
      • ‘I sat with her while she was having her make up put on and just stared in awestruck wonderment that someone could be so ladylike.’
      • ‘He noted that it is possible the woman lived on the streets despite having her hair dyed shortly before her death.’
      • ‘We make it easier for the students because they like to have things laid out for them.’
      • ‘Other staff will be coming in with bad hair and one teacher is having her hair dyed by the pupils.’
      • ‘Patrick, as a novelist, how was the experience of having your work adapted to film?’
      • ‘They are so determined to stay they are having French doors fitted and will soon be having their garden paved.’
      • ‘His fate changes when he loses a bet and pays his forfeit by having his hair dyed platinum blonde.’
      • ‘He said he was determined to have this work on track by the summer with a view to having it completed by the end of this year.’
      • ‘By the end of the match, we had cars laid on, but it took a while to sort out.’
      • ‘The insurance company decided to pay out for a write-off but the owner had had it repaired.’
      • ‘Fineline Productions will then take their film on to the festival circuit with a view to having it shown on terrestrial television.’
      • ‘Whoever that someone was, he had had water and electricity laid on to a medieval castle.’
      • ‘The tribunal heard that Sir Ian found the panel's decision ‘extraordinary’ and sought legal advice about having it overturned.’
      • ‘Surely in order to have one's lung cancer treated, one has to, er, go to a hospital and ask to be seen?’
      • ‘A good idea would have been to have an old coat dyed or cleaned, and lined with the fur.’
      • ‘One Scottish filmmaker who is having his feature screened is Richard Jobson.’
      • ‘We're having a small, flat roof added as part of our loft extension.’
      • ‘Well most of the morning was taken up by having the new carpet laid in the dining room.’
      • ‘Soon he will have his right leg amputated at the knee and replaced with a prosthetic limb.’
      cause to, make, ask to, request to, get to, tell to, require to, persuade to, induce to, prevail upon someone to
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6 Tell or arrange for something to be done.
      ‘always having the builders in to do something’
      ‘she had her long hair cut’
      • ‘Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.’
      • ‘I am also a little unsure as to the relevance to safety of not always having a member of staff there to make sure that everyone has a ticket!’
      • ‘If you are worried that you will be reduced to fits of giggles by having someone touch your feet, there's really no need to worry.’
      • ‘Some forces have responded by having high profile armed patrols walking the streets within those areas.’
      • ‘You don't always have the Panther crew on the side of the highway to change your wheels.’
      • ‘I will have her give you a call tonight.’
      • ‘He had my lover thrown out of his house.’
      • ‘He did not sound optimistic about having Burdisso available to face Mexico after what looked like a knee injury.’
      • ‘Now don't get me wrong, I don't like having people thrown out, but she was truly out of control.’
      • ‘Isn't that better than having someone tell you what to think all the damn time?’
      • ‘Owning a finished product like a record is like having a book instead of just having someone read it to you.’
      • ‘She suffered much, and often would have one of us sit with her to help calm her.’
    7. 2.7informal Have put (someone) at a disadvantage in an argument (said either to acknowledge that one has no answer to a point or to show that one knows one's opponent has no answer)
      ‘you've got me there; I've never given the matter much thought’
      • ‘What is a unit trust? OK, you've got me there.’
      • ‘She replied ‘Besides, you're the soldier, you should have noticed it before me.’ Damn. She had him there.’
    8. 2.8usually be hadinformal Cheat or deceive (someone)
      ‘I realized I'd been had’
      • ‘Then he realized he'd been had - and a big grin spread over his face.’
      • ‘I was had, the advertisers did their bit and got me, they well and truly got me!’
      trick, fool, deceive, cheat, dupe, take in, outwit, double-cross, hoodwink, swindle
      View synonyms
    9. 2.9vulgar slang Engage in sexual intercourse with (someone).
      have sexual intercourse, have sexual intercourse with, make love, make love to, sleep together, sleep with, go to bed together, go to bed with
      View synonyms
  • 3have to do something" or "have got to do somethingBe obliged or find it necessary to do the specified thing.

    ‘you don't have to accept this situation’
    ‘we've got to plan for the future’
    • ‘Many of those people are now having to eat humble pie and accept their new status as list MPs also.’
    • ‘It is quick and simple and allows us to make arrests without having to resort to weapons or excessive physical force.’
    • ‘But I feel very strongly that we have got to become proactive in our own lives and our own health situation.’
    • ‘Your own figures show they will more than repay their education costs without having to repay tuition fees on top.’
    • ‘In the case of North Sea fisheries we are having to accept the consequence of those commitments ourselves.’
    • ‘She is still having to attend classes to improve her balance, which was seriously affected by the illness.’
    • ‘Sprout growers are having to take on extra labour because recent poor weather had made it harder to harvest the crop.’
    • ‘He said haulage firms were already being badly hit by increases, which were having to be passed on to customers.’
    • ‘Just imagine the extra mileage that will occur in this area with every single household having to go to the tip every week!’
    • ‘This may have been acceptable in the past, but we now have to look to the future.’
    • ‘Paton confirmed he was in the unusual position of having to reapply for his post as chief executive soon if he wanted to keep it.’
    • ‘Of course I try to block it out but I have to accept I am playing in a difficult position.’
    • ‘The court does not have to rule whether the explanation should be accepted or rejected.’
    • ‘Indeed, most drivers still resent strongly the notion of having to pay for a place to park.’
    • ‘He is having to move out today after only two weeks because of flooding - not from the river but from the windows.’
    • ‘They have to accept unless they come up with the cash they are not going to get on to the housing ladder.’
    • ‘Until it opens, drivers are having to use the York Outer Ring Road flyover to cross the dual carriageway.’
    • ‘If the price of staying out of the EU will be having to queue for a visa to travel, then fine, I'll queue.’
    • ‘Death and taxes are said to be the only certainties in life, but more Scots than ever are having to endure both at the same time.’
    • ‘We have got to be ready for anything and, if necessary, to act alone, obviously.’
    must, have got to, be obliged to, be required to, be compelled to, be forced to, be bound to, be duty-bound to, be under an obligation to
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    1. 3.1 Need or be obliged to do (something)
      ‘he's got a lot to do’
    2. 3.2 Be strongly recommended to do something.
      ‘if you think that place is great, you have to try our summer house’
      • ‘This is the best spaghetti I've ever had! You've just got to try it!’
      • ‘The film is really something one has to see.’
      • ‘But you've got to visit the City once in your life!’
    3. 3.3 Be certain or inevitable to happen or be the case.
      ‘there has to be a catch’
      • ‘There are bound to be some disappointed lads who have missed out because the competition for places is so strong but that has got to be good for the team.’
      • ‘Since I can't be as big or strong as my brothers, my small build has got to be good for something; and that something is agility.’
      • ‘Inevitably, both parties are in dispute and there has got to be a certain amount of compromise.’
      • ‘Why is it that it always has to rain when I take the kids to and from school and then clear up straight afterwards.’
      • ‘Somewhere in all this the heart of a free nation has got to be still beating strongly, even if the heartbeat sounds faint to my ears.’
      • ‘Seeing so many physically strong women on-screen has got to be a good thing.’
  • 4Perform the action indicated by the noun specified (used especially in spoken English as an alternative to a more specific verb)

    ‘he had a look around’
    ‘the color green has a restful effect’
    • ‘There is information that having one or two drinks per day can reduce the risk of heart attack.’
    • ‘I really enjoy having a good old blether with my pals and socialise with them when I get the chance.’
    • ‘My mum called today and we had a good long chat about what's happening in both our lives.’
    • ‘We were both having a full blown argument but no one could hear us over the music.’
    • ‘The commuting public in Melbourne often enjoy having a good old whinge about the service.’
    • ‘It wasn't long before the three of us were sitting in the hotel bar having a very stiff drink.’
    • ‘For the bride to eat with the groom and to show her face for the first time must have had a powerful symbolic impact.’
    • ‘We ended up having a nice long chat after I admitted flicking through her diary.’
    • ‘A drunken couple at the far end of the bar were having a rather noisy argument, and his friends were taking his side.’
    • ‘We will be having a meeting soon to examine our options, to see what is possible.’
    • ‘I have been having a lovely girly chat with my good friend Bryony who called me out of the blue.’
    • ‘However, when we did next meet up, we had a really nasty row and said a lot of hurtful things about each other.’
    • ‘I might be having the odd little drink or two as the evening progresses.’
    • ‘We had a very intellectual little discussion with our extended family last weekend.’
    • ‘After he has a few drinks it's time to move on before he starts to tell you his problems.’
    • ‘If there is time, I may have a swim too.’
    • ‘We are having a further meeting with the Minister involved next week.’
    • ‘Anyway, we ended up going for a curry and a few pints, and having a good old chat about events back home in NZ.’
    • ‘The American election is having a particularly topsy-turvy effect on British politics.’
    • ‘Each of the children had a look through the camera, played with the zoom, tried on the headphones.’
    • ‘I was lying on the couch having a nap with him sleeping in my arms and the CD we were listening to had ended.’
    • ‘He and his wife would drop in unexpectedly, often after having a few drinks elsewhere.’
    perform, execute, effect, discharge, carry out, accomplish, fulfil, complete, conduct, implement, do, make
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    1. 4.1 Organize and bring about.
      ‘are you going to have a party?’
      • ‘This was no exception and we had a brilliant follow up party on Saturday night.’
      • ‘We shall have a public banquet in your honor!’
      • ‘I told her a friend of mine was having an open house at the artist co-op where she lived.’
      • ‘One night, we got back to our rooms after a couple of drinks at Manor Bar and decided to have a Chicago party.’
      • ‘I very quickly discovered through that experience the value of having an annual audit.’
      • ‘They're having a big opening party in Hamilton.’
      • ‘We head for town in little groups, and end up having our own little post-party parties.’
      organize, arrange, hold, give, host, throw, provide, put on, lay on, set up, fix up, make arrangements for, make preparations for, pencil in, prepare for, plan for
      View synonyms
    2. 4.2 Eat or drink.
      ‘I'll have the vegetable plate’
      • ‘To add to the meal that night we had a freshly baked apple pie and cinnamon buns.’
      • ‘It's 9:15 am here, and I have already had my hearty breakfast.’
      • ‘They have been in a few nights this week, having a few pints and a few fags.’
      • ‘Do you recommend that I can still take my daily vitamins whilst having a high performance drink?’
      • ‘We lose our temper and, as soon as we've had a cup of tea and a biscuit, we feel better.’
      eat, consume, devour, partake of
      View synonyms
    3. 4.3 Give birth to or be due to give birth to.
      ‘she's going to have a baby’
      • ‘I wondered why she decided to bring up her son by herself, as in l967 it was considered something of a scandal having a child out of wedlock and coming from a middle-class Army family?’
      • ‘The prospect of having children was always at the back of her mind but she did not let it trouble her too much.’
      • ‘In fact, most of them are perhaps of marrying age now and they are themselves having kids.’
      • ‘By having a baby a teenager won't be able to do these things, due to not being able to afford a babysitter.’
      • ‘Both ladies are 31, so the pressures on them to start having children will soon mount.’
      • ‘My mother knows a couple, newly married and who have just gone through the happy experience of having a set of twins.’
      • ‘It was her own experiences of having her two sons and two daughters that led her to wanting to become a midwife.’
      • ‘She was sterilised at Virginia Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded in 1957 after having twin boys out of wedlock.’
      give birth to, bear, produce, be delivered of, bring into the world
      View synonyms
  • 5also have gotShow (a personal attribute or quality) by one's actions or attitude.

    ‘he had little patience with technological gadgetry’
    ‘if you've got the drive to finish your degree’
    • ‘The volunteer might not have the patience or training for the task.’
    • ‘To be honest, I had no confidence in the techniques I applied.’
    • ‘"She has what it takes to pull it off, " he says.’
    • ‘Winning on clay is a mind game and he has the anticipation and knowledge when he plays the ball.’
    • ‘It's just a question of whether he's got the nerve to win.’
    • ‘Which of the candidates has got the capacity to convince people that life is precious?’
    manifest, show, display, exhibit, demonstrate, express, evince
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1often in imperative Exercise or show (mercy, pity, etc.) toward another person.
      ‘God have mercy on me!’
      • ‘Have pity on us, O Lord.’
      • ‘He has little mercy on flawed arguments, wherever they originate.’
    2. 5.2with negative Not accept; refuse to tolerate.
      ‘I can't have you insulting Tom like that’
      • ‘We will take 12,000 refugees a year, but we will not have people arriving here illegally and we will act to deter that occurring.’
      • ‘Said Retailer is having none of this and tries to carry on his tirade.’
      • ‘I don't like drama in my house. I won't have it.’
      • ‘We can't have you being late for something like this, now, can we?’
      • ‘I'm not having you talk to Emma like that in front of us.’
      tolerate, endure, bear, support, accept, put up with, go along with, take, countenance, brook
      View synonyms
  • 6Place or keep (something) in a particular position.

    ‘Mary had her back to me’
    ‘I soon had the trout in a net’
    • ‘Sue had the cat in her lap.’
    • ‘He had his arms around me and I felt safe.’
    • ‘She had her head down and was busily writing out the words that I had asked her to write.’
    • ‘He had his feet up on the coffee table while Jasmine got together some breakfast.’
    1. 6.1 Hold or grasp (someone or something) in a particular way.
      ‘he had me by the throat’
      • ‘In a matter of seconds, Jacob had me by the collar of my shirt.’
      • ‘The two tumbled for a minute before Ryan had him in a headlock.’
      • ‘He had me by the arm and lifted me, forcibly, to my feet.’
  • 7Be the recipient of (something sent, given, or done)

    ‘she had a letter from Mark’
    • ‘Carl admitted to having a few pampering treatments before the wedding day.’
    • ‘If you haven't had a bill for six months, ask for six months to pay off your arrears.’
    • ‘He had lessons in theory and composition from Rimsky-Korsakov.’
    • ‘I have received a number of e-mails from persons asking me why I am doing this.’
    • ‘Next, we sent an e-mail inquiry and within a day or so we had a reply.’
    • ‘Armstead is one of many players who plan to have surgery or already have had it to repair nagging injuries.’
    receive, get, be given, be sent, obtain, acquire, procure, come by, take receipt of
    View synonyms
    1. 7.1 Take or invite into one's home so as to provide care or entertainment, especially for a limited period.
      ‘we're having the children for the weekend’
      • ‘How about I have you up for the weekend after choir gets out for Winter Break?’
      • ‘Quick note to say it was fabulous having you, you're a great houseguest, come again any time.’
      • ‘We always seemed to have visitors and rushed to shut the windows to keep out the smell.’
      • ‘There is another arrival ceremony with short speeches thanking the hotel for having us.’
      • ‘I was going to have Peter and Chris over to plan our trip to Aspen the next day.’
      • ‘We are always thrilled to have him and it gives people who come up this way and visit a chance to call in.’
      entertain, be host to, cater for, receive
      View synonyms

auxiliary verbhas, having, had

  • Used with a past participle to form the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect tenses, and the conditional mood.

    ‘I have finished’
    ‘he had asked her’
    ‘she will have left by now’
    ‘I could have helped, had I known’
    ‘“Have you seen him?” “Yes, I have.”’
    • ‘He had been out wandering and came back to announce he had found the perfect restaurant for dinner.’
    • ‘She was still in a bad mood about having lost the contest and been wrong at the same time.’
    • ‘The evening has put me in a reflective mood and has set me rereading my old blogs.’
    • ‘He realised Jacklin had probably been forewarned and had thought out his position.’
    • ‘Police have sent letters to persistent criminals warning them to give up crime or else.’
    • ‘He has promised to finish the job but I said, don't worry about that and just get better.’
    • ‘However, critics have by no means agreed on his virtues.’
    • ‘He didn't complain or spout off a resume of what he had accomplished.’
    • ‘Many people who knew her as a young girl might have thought that she would make a mark as a singer.’
    • ‘This mood has not been lost on the hotel industry, which is all set to cash in on the season.’
    • ‘Nobody has ever seen anything like this.’
    • ‘The applicant has consistently denied each and every allegation of misconduct.’
    • ‘That I have had to get up at the crack of dawn the past two mornings has not helped my mood.’
    • ‘I would never destroy the perfect trust that had built up between us.’
    • ‘He was amazed to see that it was not a perfect sphere as he had been taught, but rough and mountainous.’
    • ‘Ms Kelly says a field next to the estate would have been perfect but it was sold to a golf course.’
    • ‘They are finally transformed into the opposite of the perfect family they had once aspired to be.’
    • ‘Whoever would have thought that plain bricks and mortar could get so complicated?’
    • ‘We all sat down to a cooked breakfast together after the programme had finished.’
    • ‘Tracy added she had always dreamed of being spotted and becoming a famous star.’


the haves
  • People with plenty of money and possessions.

    ‘an increasing gap between the haves and have-nots’
    • ‘The gap between the haves and have nots - both between the United States and the developing world, and between the rich and the poor within the developing countries - was growing.’
    • ‘It also encourages the haves to donate 2.5 percent of their income to the poor.’
    • ‘John Edwards talked about two Americas divided by class, the haves and the have-nots.’
    • ‘We need an international effort that recognises the growing inequities between the haves and the have-nots of this world and then seeks to redress these imbalances.’
    • ‘Though clearly a struggle of the have-nots versus the haves, characterizing these events as class conflict would not be entirely accurate, nor was that the basis on which authorities responded.’
    • ‘It seems to me that mass consumerism creates the haves and have nots and in order to be ‘a have’ one must very consciously make a choice.’
    • ‘Like every other American city, Cincinnati in the 1990s has undergone a deepening class division between the haves and the have-nots.’
    • ‘As for the source of terrorism, there can be no doubt that it comes from the enormous gap between the haves and the have nots.’
    • ‘Unlike Britain and other advanced countries, Indonesia is troubled by a wide gap between the haves and the poor, so school uniforms are necessary to avoid social envy in schools.’
    • ‘In Poland, ghettoization increases between the winners of the market economy and the unemployed, between the haves and the have-nots.’
    • ‘When the haves remake a culture, the people who pay the price are the have-nots.’
    • ‘But what came out of those years was an ever-wider gap between the incomes and experiences of the haves and the have-nots.’
    • ‘It can lead to bitter divisions and increase the psychological and social distance between the haves and the have nots.’
    • ‘The floods affected Jakarta residents indiscriminately, both the haves and the have nots.’
    • ‘Society is in chaos, tainted with conflict and splits between the haves and have-nots, conservatives and progressives, and management and labor.’
    • ‘The obstacles to the large-scale reform of the United Nations may reside above all in the split between the rich North and the poor South, the haves and the have-nots.’
    • ‘And the haves are the ones who give money and frequently have things they'd like to get done, and they do get done frequently.’
    • ‘The gap between the haves and have-nots has widened to almost Third World dimensions over the past 30 years.’
    • ‘It is hardly surprising that strictly economic ideas often, but not always, favor the interests of the haves over the have-nots.’
    • ‘They believe that the state's rulers serve the interests of the powerful against the weak and the haves against the have-nots.’


Have and have got: there is a great deal of debate on the difference between these two forms; a traditional view is that have got is chiefly British, but not correct in formal writing, while have is chiefly American. Actual usage is more complicated: have got is in fact also widely used in US English. In both British and US usage have is more formal than have got and it is more appropriate in writing to use constructions such as don't have rather than haven't got. A common mistake is to write the word of instead of have or 've: I could of told you that instead of I could've told you that. The reason for the mistake is that the pronunciation of have in unstressed contexts is the same as that of of, and the two words are confused when it comes to writing them down. The error was recorded as early as 1837 and, though common, is unacceptable in standard English. Another controversial issue is the insertion of have where it is superfluous, as for example I might have missed it if you hadn't have pointed it out (rather than the standard … if you hadn't pointed it out). This construction has been around since at least the 15th and 16th centuries, but only where a hypothetical situation is presented (e.g. statements starting with if). More recently, there has been speculation among grammarians and linguists that this insertion of have may represent a kind of subjunctive and is actually making a useful distinction in the language. However, it is still regarded as an error in standard English. See also usage at gotten


  • have got it bad (or badly)

    • 1informal Be very powerfully affected emotionally, especially by love.

      • ‘You got hit by the love bug and you have got it bad.’
      • ‘The owner, Keenan Wynn, has got it bad for his waitress Kotty (Terry Moore), but she only has eyes for for a research professor (Frank Lovejoy).’
      • ‘It's very rare to read about a man so incredibly crazy about a woman, but this guy has got it bad.’
      1. 1.1Be in a situation where one is treated badly or exploited.
        ‘if you think you've got it bad now, how would you like to be paid to collect pebbles?’
        • ‘Boy have I got it bad this year.’
        • ‘You see, just when you think your family has got it bad, you compare it to another person's family and you think you have a pretty sane bunch.’
        • ‘If we've got it bad, why should anyone else have it good?’
        • ‘We think we've got it bad shoveling snow.’
        • ‘A lot of people think they've got it bad, well they should live in my shoes for awhile!’
        • ‘If the dealer has got it bad, no one can afford to buy a book from them and they eventually go bust and end up selling 'The Big Issue' on the streets.’
        • ‘You think you've got it bad - check out what happened to this guy.’
        • ‘If we as readers think we've got it bad, imagine for a moment how it must be for the bands the magazine plucks seemingly at random to make into its straw man du jour.’
        • ‘If you think you've got it bad, what about the IT administrator who has got hundreds of passwords to memorize.’
        • ‘I tell ya, you think you guys have got it bad now?’
  • have had it

    • 1informal Be in a very poor condition; be beyond repair or past its best.

      ‘the car had had it’
      • ‘Ordinary cars had had it, their fat, sporty tyres utterly lost in the Arctic chill.’
      • ‘The roof's had it.’
      • ‘Yeah it's had it. I purchased a bulk lot of 5, with the seller saying he had not tried them and would not replace them if they did not work.’
      1. 1.1Be extremely tired.
        ‘tomorrow she would drive on through Germany, but for today, she'd had it’
        • ‘I've had it, I'm going home’
      2. 1.2Have lost all chance of survival.
        ‘looks like your plant’s had it’
        • ‘Once local residents move their car they have had it.’
        • ‘If any company fails in sales, then the company has had it.’
        • ‘There's still 16 days to go, but he says the government has had it.’
        • ‘As soon as you take away actors' control, live theatre has had it but I don't think we've reached that far.’
        • ‘It's had it now as a business, because the power of the supermarkets is too great for what was a useful social service.’
        • ‘It was like I was in slow motion, but I must admit I thought that I had had it.’
        be in trouble, be going to be punished, be going to suffer the consequences, be going to pay the price, be in for a scolding, be going to answer for something
        have no chance, have no hope, have failed, be finished, be out, be defeated, have lost, have no chance of success, have come to nothing
        View synonyms
    • 2informal Be unable to tolerate someone or something any longer.

      ‘I've had it with him—he's humiliated me once too often!’
      • ‘I have had it with members of your party undermining our troops.’
      • ‘By eighth grade the Special Ed class had had it with the teasing, and we got together during break times to back each other up.’
      • ‘Well I have had it with social networks now. I do not actively use any of them so I am just deleting all my accounts.’
      • ‘I have had it up to here with your silly nonsense and gossip.’
      • ‘A film aficionado has had it up to here with blood, guts and gore.’
      • ‘He reached for Nat again, who by this time had had it and was sick and tired of the crazy loon.’
      • ‘The public has had it with this Government, and no lolly scramble in the forthcoming Budget will save it.’
      • ‘I have had it up to here living in these conditions and I cannot take it anymore.’
      • ‘It comes with a small keyboard, correctly assuming that the public have had it with writing on screens.’
      • ‘The mothers who have lost their children, and there are many, and the children who have lost their parents, have had it with the ‘be patient’ response.’
  • have it

    • 1with clauseExpress the view that (used to indicate that the speaker is reporting something that they do not necessarily believe to be fact)

      ‘rumor had it that although he lived in a derelict house, he was really very wealthy’
      • ‘Legend has it that you could see the answers to all your problems in her eyes.’
      • ‘All ages joined in on Saturday although rumour has it that some of the younger ones couldn't stand the pace.’
      • ‘The orthodox view has it that the police brought universal benefits, but especially to the weaker sections of society.’
      • ‘And rumours have it that Scully was keen on the move to the South East too.’
      • ‘As the Nietzschean view has it, history is merely a set of stories; that what really happened is barely verifiable.’
      • ‘Joan knows about jokes because, rumor has it, she used to do comedy.’
      • ‘Rumour has it he was brought up by elderly grandparents.’
      • ‘A prevailing view has it that military authorities are gaining clout in the country.’
      • ‘Extreme versions of the view have it that all knowledge is, or ideally ought to be, based on reason.’
      • ‘The medieval view had it that comets were signs of a ruined world that has fallen into sin.’
    • 2Win a decision, especially after a vote.

      ‘the ayes have it’
      • ‘The paper is worried that ‘as things stand, the noes have it, because the anti-war camp is getting the better of the argument.’’
      • ‘I started in the No camp but putting myself on both sides of the fence, I now think that the ayes have it.’
    • 3Have found the answer to something.

      ‘“I have it!” Rosa exclaimed’
      • ‘‘Ah,’ he said when the performance was over, ‘I have it. They are holding the horses.’’
  • have it away (or off)

    • vulgar slang Have sexual intercourse.

      have sexual intercourse, have sexual intercourse with, have sex, have sex with, make love, make love to, sleep together, sleep with, go to bed together, go to bed with
      View synonyms
  • have (got) it in for

    • informal Feel a particular dislike of (someone) and behave in a hostile manner toward them.

      • ‘The press have it in for him and I think it is pretty clear why - he represents one of the most despised figures of all for the London elite.’
      • ‘I don't know personally if the legal system does indeed have it in for dads.’
      • ‘But she disagreed with people who claimed the judge had it in for Nik.’
      • ‘‘At the moment it seems like they have got it in for small businesses,’ he said.’
      • ‘I explained that Susan had it in for me since grade school and she was just making up stories to get everyone to hate me.’
      • ‘I stand by the fact that I failed that class not through any fault of my own, but because the professor had it in for me.’
      • ‘A big reason I have it in for her, if you want to call it that, is the misinformation effect when she does health readings, which I consider to be potentially very dangerous.’
      • ‘I am not by nature paranoid, at least no more than anyone else, however they really have got it in for me.’
      • ‘But don't think everybody has it in for you - some experts totally disagree.’
      • ‘Well, I certainly must admit that Daina seems to have it in for you guys.’
      be hostile to, feel ill will towards, show ill will towards, show antagonism to, bear a grudge towards, be against, be set against, be prejudiced against, disapprove of
      View synonyms
  • have (got) it in one (to do something)

    • informal Have the capacity or potential (to do something)

      ‘everyone thinks he has it in him to produce a literary classic’
      • ‘We are a group of social entrepreneurs and believe that we have it in us to fulfil our dreams.’
      • ‘Because I hadn't written a song for 12 years, I believed I didn't have it in me.’
      • ‘I'll bet you have it in you to be not just gifted and talented academically, but gifted and talented with people too.’
      • ‘Keep up the good work, Jonesy, we know you have it in you.’
      • ‘We all have it in us to be more creative, original and individual than we think we are.’
      • ‘This is a young squad with a great future and the Edinburgh game showed we have it in us.’
      • ‘Not everyone has it in them - or has the inclination - to emulate Livingstone or Scott or Ellen MacArthur.’
      • ‘I fear that there are people who have it in them to be compulsive gamblers but do not know it, and could become addicted if there was a casino on their doorstep.’
      • ‘We don't know if we still have it in us to surf the big waves.’
      • ‘Taylor said: ‘Everyone has it in them to become an entrepreneur.’’
  • have it out

    • informal Attempt to resolve a contentious matter by confronting someone and engaging in a frank discussion or argument.

      ‘give her the chance of a night's rest before you have it out with her’
      • ‘I had it out with the dealer, and they still refused to modify the spring.’
      • ‘The bride finally snapped, had it out with her mother, and their relationship got ugly for months.’
  • have a nice day

    • Used to express good wishes when parting.

      • ‘… Thank you for your time, ma'm, have a nice day.’
      • ‘I truly hope that you have a nice day and that you do take some time to appreciate the day.’
      • ‘Thank you for traveling with us, and I hope you have a nice day!’
      • ‘‘So have a nice day, then,’ I said sarcastically to break off the awkwardness.’
      • ‘There was no please, thank you or have a nice day.’
      • ‘If they turn you down or make an excuse, thank them anyway and tell them to have a nice day.’
      • ‘Thank you all for coming, and have a nice day,’ he announced.’
      • ‘I hope you enjoyed the flight and thanks for flying with American Airlines, have a nice day.’
      • ‘I'm outta here for the first Auburn game in a few minutes, so y'all have a nice day, and may your team do well.’
      • ‘And he went upstairs and looked in my room and my kids' room and came back downstairs and told me to have a nice day.’
  • have (got) nothing on

    • 1informal Be not nearly as good as (someone or something), especially in a particular respect.

      ‘bright though his three sons were, they had nothing on Sally’
      • ‘We are all agents with the same password. 007 has got nothing on us!’
      • ‘It's decent, but doesn't really have anything on the original (which doesn't have much room for improvement).’
      • ‘Rip Van Winkle has nothing on the U.S. electric-transmission industry, which has slept for nearly two decades while market restructuring changed the world around it.’
      • ‘As Rich said on the drive last night: ‘Citizen Kane has got nothing on this one’.’
      • ‘Well, if you think today's Hollywood leading men love them and leave them, they have got nothing on Howard Hughes, baby.’
      • ‘All those wrote-a-story-about-murder-and-got-expelled-from-school anecdotes have got nothing on seven-year-old Paul.’
      • ‘Fergie and me acted as firemen just as it set fire to the table cloth, the rest of the room oblivious to our tactics… Batman and Robin have got nothing on Fergie and Sven.’
      • ‘Barry Norman has got nothing on me, as I have watched every DVD on the market - I really have watched every new release there is.’
      • ‘Magic the Gathering has got nothing on the new role-playing card game, Wacky Tobacco Torture.’
      • ‘We knew Manchester United against Manchester City, Arsenal against Tottenham and later Manchester United against Liverpool didn't have anything on the Old Firm derby.’
    • 2informal Know nothing (or something) discreditable or incriminating about (someone)

      ‘I am not worried—they've got nothing on me’
      • ‘She'd love to have something on me, I know it.’
      • ‘I don't know what he's so afraid of; he must think I've got something on him.’
      • ‘Those guys don't have anything on me.’
      • ‘And just like then, those Enforcers don't have anything on me.’
      • ‘If somebody tells me that they're on the verge of arresting me, my response would be, I haven't done anything to be arrested for, not, they don't have anything on me.’
      • ‘If the Justice Department tells the press we don't have anything on him, why do they keep telling the press that he's a person of interest?’
      • ‘But I would get over it and most importantly; at least you wouldn't have anything on me.’
      • ‘So you think you are as free as a bird - free to roam the globe in anonymity, safe in the knowledge that no one has anything on you.’
      • ‘They had this guy whom they knew was holding a little girl who would die unless they got hold of her, but they didn't have anything on him.’
      • ‘I mean, if they had anything on me and they had proceeded lawfully, like a court order or an affidavit, they didn't have to come to me.’
      have no evidence against, know nothing bad about, know nothing damning about, have no incriminating information about
      View synonyms
  • have (got) something to oneself

    • Be able to use, occupy, or enjoy something without having to share it with anyone else.

      • ‘I enjoyed having this historic house to myself, complete with creaky floorboards, winding stairs, several portraits and all the original door handles.’
      • ‘I only thought it would be so much better if you were able to have the evening to yourself.’
      • ‘Its nice though, I am enjoying having the house to myself for once this evening, and yep, the vodka is working its magic…’
      • ‘They have rooms to themselves but share bathrooms.’
      • ‘She sat in the center of the sofa, as if to show that she enjoyed having the space to herself, but in her eyes I could see that she wasn't happy with the present arrangement.’
      • ‘Pupils are only a corridor away from resources such as Tonge Moor Library and are able to have it to themselves when it is closed.’
      • ‘I stretched, enjoying the feeling of having the bed to myself.’
      • ‘He was lucky that he was not sharing with anyone yet and had the whole room to himself.’
      • ‘If you revisit ports, you may prefer to stay onboard and revel in having the ship to yourself, a luxury many passengers never enjoy.’
      • ‘And in the highly competitive auto market, it's rare for anyone to have a niche to themselves for very long.’
  • have it coming

    • Deserve punishment or downfall.

      • ‘Intervening will only make it worse; perhaps she had it coming, even deserved it.’
      • ‘Did he cross the line or did the kids have it coming?’
      • ‘My parents told him that he had it coming and therefore he deserved to clean it.’
      • ‘And anyway, if you really did it, I'm quite sure they had it coming to them.’
      • ‘Really, the subliminal message here is that this woman had it coming to her.’
      • ‘You certainly had it coming by deciding to name-call the side that happened to win this election by a clear margin.’
      • ‘Sarah says that they all deserved it and they had it coming.’
      • ‘I could see how someone a bit more hotheaded than me would lose their temper with him - he probably had it coming to him when he got that scar on his cheek.’
      • ‘After all, to be accused is just one step away from guilt, so they have it coming.’
      • ‘The poet seems to invite these attacks: a writer who declares, after all, that he does not owe ‘any more as a social obligation than he owes as a moral obligation’ would appear to have it coming.’

Phrasal Verbs

  • have at

    • Attempt or attack forcefully or aggressively.

      • ‘There are so many things to hit and detonate in this game and it's never been so much fun having at it with weapons.’
      • ‘One of his tips involves printing the manuscript out in full and having at it with one's favourite colour pen.’
      • ‘Have at you, you English rogue!’
  • have someone on

    • Try to make someone believe something that is untrue, especially as a joke.

      ‘that's just too neat—you're having me on’
      • ‘We've been having you on for two and a bit millennia.’
      • ‘His approach is to stigmatise everyone on benefit and give the idea that they are having us on.’
      • ‘Even so, the book almost works, because Victor is one of the most unreliable narrators I've met, and he may or may not be having us on.’
      • ‘I didn't believe him - I thought he was having me on.’
      • ‘My first reaction was that the writers were having us on, but sadly I think they're serious.’
      • ‘She just announced that she was getting married and we thought she was having us on.’
      • ‘And then, after they started to give each other worried looks, we smile, and say, oh, just having you on!’
      • ‘It was the fact that the story would obviously have caused such distress to his family that made us suspend the journalistic imperative to tell you that this guy was having us on.’
      • ‘When it came to the short clay pipe, sure I was having you on.’
      • ‘He then said he could actually see two, but I thought he was having us on.’
      play a trick on, play a joke on, joke with, trick, tease, rag, pull someone's leg, fool about, fool around
      View synonyms
  • have (got) something on

    • 1Be wearing something.

      ‘she had a blue dress on’
      • ‘Kathryn sighed, wishing she had jeans on instead of the capris.’
      • ‘He was dressed casually in blue jeans and had a jacket on over his t-shirt.’
      • ‘Now she had a tank top on, blue jeans and sunglasses.’
      • ‘She has red trackpants on.’
      • ‘He was wearing the dark blue uniform, though he didn't have his shoes on.’
      • ‘Mary is dressed in a full-length gown and she has sandals on her feet.’
      • ‘I have my party dress on.’
      • ‘The two robbers were dressed in large white frocks, and one had a mask on and the other a black silk handkerchief over part of his face.’
      • ‘At 7: 30, we were done with all my makeup and my hair, and I had my dress on.’
      • ‘My hair is down, I have high-heels on, and am wearing a black sleeveless dress that hugs my curves all the way down to my knees.’
      be wearing, be dressed in, be clothed in, be garbed in, be attired in, be turned out in, be decked out in, be tricked out in, be robed in
      View synonyms
    • 2Be committed to an arrangement.

      ‘I've got a lot on at the moment’
      • ‘I can't make the game. I've got something else on that day.’
      • ‘Actually, I’ve got something on then, but I’m not doing anything Sunday.’
      be committed to, have arranged, have planned, have organized, have fixed up, have on the agenda, have made arrangements for
      View synonyms
  • have something out

    • Undergo an operation to extract the part of the body specified.

      ‘she had her wisdom teeth out’
      • ‘On top of everything, my daughter Leigh is having her tonsils out tomorrow and we're moving house on Thursday!’
      • ‘One dentist's visit cost 7/6 and having a tooth out cost 3 / 6.’
      • ‘Thinking back, I suppose I was lucky in a way, because I was never really ill, apart from having my tonsils out - I think that was the only time I was in hospital.’
      • ‘I'm having a wisdom tooth out today, at 14: 25 GMT.’
      • ‘Going for a job interview is more traumatic than having a wisdom tooth out.’
      • ‘So it appears that amputation of the soul isn't just a simple surgical job like having your appendix out.’
      • ‘She'll be having her tonsils out two days before Christmas.’
      • ‘I also looked after a teenage boy who was having his tonsils out and signed his consent form forbidding us to give him blood in an emergency.’
      • ‘Who among us doesn't know someone who had their tonsils out as a kid?’
      • ‘The weekend started off on a bad note when our captain Chris Conway was forced to withdraw from the team after having his appendix out on Friday.’


Old English habban, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch hebben and German haben, also probably to heave.