- 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."
Webster's New World College Dictionary Copyright © 2010 by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Cleveland, Ohio.
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”]
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nounThe American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.