- The definition of a must is something that has to be done.
An example of a must is seeing a movie that has won a Best Picture Academy Award.
- Must is used to express a requirement or a necessity.
An example of must is a student having to get all necessary credits to graduate.
- used to express compulsion, obligation, requirement, or necessity: I know I must pay her; I knew I must pay her
- used to express probability: then you must be my cousin; I thought he must be my cousin
- used to express certainty or inevitability: all men must die; they knew they must die
Origin of mustMiddle English moste, past tense , had to ; from OE, past tense of motan, may, akin to Gothic (ga)mot, (I) find room, am permitted, probably ; from Indo-European an unverified form m?t-, variant, variety of an unverified form med-, to measure from source mete
Origin of mustHindi mast, intoxicated ; from Persian mast ; from Indo-European base an unverified form mad-, to be moist from source meat
Origin of mustMiddle English ; from Old English ; from Classical Latin mustum, new wine, neuter of mustus, new, fresh ; from Indo-European base an unverified form meu-, moist from source moss
Origin of mustback-formation ; from musty
- To be obliged or required by morality, law, or custom: Citizens must register in order to vote.
- To be compelled, as by a physical necessity or requirement: Plants must have oxygen in order to live.
- Used to express a command or admonition: You must not go there alone. You simply must be careful.
- To be determined to; have as a fixed resolve: If you must leave, do it quietly.
- a. Used to indicate inevitability or certainty: We all must die.b. Used to indicate logical probability or presumptive certainty: If the lights were on, they must have been at home.
verb, intransitive Archaic
Origin of mustMiddle English moste, from Old English m&omacron;ste, past tense of m&omacron;tan, to be allowed; see med- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of mustProbably back-formation from musty.
Origin of mustMiddle English, from Old English, from Latin mustum, from neuter of mustus, new, fresh.
Origin of mustScottish, from Old French, variant of musc; see musk.
- (modal auxiliary, defective) to do with certainty; indicates that the speaker is certain that the subject will have executed the predicate
- If it has rained all day, it must be very wet outside.
- You picked one of two, and it wasn't the first: it must have been the second.
- Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Bible, Acts 9:6)
- (modal auxiliary, defective) to do as a requirement; indicates that the sentence subject is required as an imperative or directive to execute the sentence predicate, with failure to do so resulting in a negative consequence
- You must arrive in class on time. "” the requirement is an imperative
- This door handle must be rotated fully. "” the requirement is a directive
- The children must be asleep by now.
- (auxiliary, to do with certainty): Compare with weaker auxiliary verb should, indicating a strong probability of the predicate's execution.
- (auxiliary, to do as a requirement): Compare with weaker auxiliary verb should, indicating mere intent for the predicate's execution; and stronger auxiliary verb will, indicating that the negative consequence will be unusually severe.
- The past tense of "must" is also "must"; however, this usage is almost always literary (see Fritz Leiber quotation above). The past sense is usually conveyed by had to. It is possible to use be bound to for the past also. For this reason, have to and be bound to are also used as alternatives to must in the present and future.
- The principal verb, if easily supplied, may be omitted. In modern usage this is mainly literary (see Housman and Tolkien quotations above).
- Must is unusual in its negation. Must not still expresses a definite certainty or requirement, with the predicate negated. Need, on the other hand, is negated in the usual manner. Compare:
- You must not read that book. (It is necessary that you not read that book.)
- You need not read that book. (It is not necessary that you read that book.)
- The second person singular no longer adds "-est" (as it did in Old English).
From Middle English moste (“must", literally “had to"), from Old English mÅste (“had to"), 1st & 3rd person singular past tense of mÅtan (“to be allowed, be able to, have the opportunity to, be compelled to, must, may"). Cognate with Dutch moest (“had to"), German musste (“had to"), Swedish mÃ¥ste (“must, have to, be obliged to"). More at mote.
- The property of being stale or musty
- Something that exhibits the property of being stale or musty
- Fruit juice that will ferment or has fermented, usually grapes
(third-person singular simple present musts, present participle musting, simple past and past participle musted)
- A time during which male elephants exhibit increased levels of sexual activity and aggressiveness (also musth)
Persian Ù…Ø³Øª (mast, “drunk, inebriated"), from Middle Persian ð¬ð®ð² (mast).