- The definition of a modal auxiliary is a verb that is used with another verb to express a mood or tense.
- Examples of a modal auxiliary include can, may, must, ought, shall, should, will and would.
- An example of a modal auxiliary is the word "must" in the sentence "she must attend the party."
modal auxiliary definition by Webster's New World
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio. Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
an auxiliary verb that is used with another verb to indicate its mood, as can, could, may, might, must, shall, should, will, and would: it has no special form in the third person singular and no present or past participle [the modal auxiliary “would” indicates the subjunctive mood in “We would go if we could”]
modal auxiliary definition by American Heritage Dictionary
A verb characteristically used with other verbs to express mood or tense. In English, the modal auxiliaries are can, may, must, ought, shall, should, will, and would. Also called modal.