Meaning of MUST in English

must 1

/must/ , auxiliary verb.

1. to be obliged or bound to by an imperative requirement: I must keep my word.

2. to be under the necessity to; need to: Animals must eat to live.

3. to be required or compelled to, as by the use or threat of force: You must obey the law.

4. to be compelled to in order to fulfill some need or achieve an aim: We must hurry if we're to arrive on time.

5. to be forced to, as by convention or the requirements of honesty: I must say, that is a lovely hat.

6. to be or feel urged to; ought to: I must buy that book.

7. to be reasonably expected to; is bound to: It must have stopped raining by now. She must be at least 60.

8. to be inevitably certain to; be compelled by nature: Everyone must die.


9. to be obliged; be compelled: Do I have to go? I must, I suppose.

10. Archaic. (sometimes used with ellipsis of go, get, or some similar verb readily understood from the context): We must away.


11. necessary; vital: A raincoat is must clothing in this area.


12. something necessary, vital, or required: This law is a must.

[ bef. 900; ME most ( e ), OE moste (past tense); c. G musste. See MOTE 2 ]

Syn. 1. MUST, OUGHT, SHOULD express necessity or duty. MUST expresses necessity or compulsion: I must attend to those patients first. Soldiers must obey orders. OUGHT (weaker than MUST) expresses obligation, duty, desirability: You ought to tell your mother. SHOULD expresses obligation, expectation, or probability: You are not behaving as you should. Children should be taught to speak the truth. They should arrive at one o'clock.

must 2

/must/ , n.

new wine; the unfermented juice as pressed from the grape or other fruit.

[ bef. 900; ME, OE mustum, short for vinum mustum new wine ]

must 3

/must/ , n.

mold; moldiness; mustiness: a castle harboring the must of centuries.

[ 1595-1605; back formation from MUSTY 1 ]

must 4

/must/ , n.


must 5

/must/ , Obs.


1. musk, esp. a powder made from musk.


2. to powder (the hair).

[ 1480-90; earlier moist must, var. of musc MUSK ]

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .