Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


So while you were having your fun there I was having mine here, and I had it good and plenty.

He not only closed it, but locked it, having secretly hidden the key in his pocket.

There sat his nephew in the old place, apparently not having stirred.

Having a partiality for Robert, this was not likely to recommend his enemy in her eyes.

I know all about that, and who was the means of having him sent away.

Come, before he comes to gibe us for having heeded a moment.

It is very honorable in you to make the offer, and I like you the better for having made it.

You are, indeed, fortunate in having escaped from the snare he laid for you.

He came home with me, and, far from having perished at sea, is now alive and well.

We are very fortunate in having such a good depot, as the feed is very good.


Old English habban "to own, possess; be subject to, experience," from Proto-Germanic *haben- (cf. Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbjan, Old Frisian habba, German haben, Gothic haban "to have"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). Not related to Latin habere, despite similarity in form and sense; the Latin cognate is capere "seize." Old English second person singular present hæfst, third person singular present hæfð became Middle English hast, hath, while Old English -bb- became -v- in have. The past participle had developed from Old English gehæfd.

Sense of "possess, have at one's disposal" (I have a book) is a shift from older languages, where the thing possessed was made the subject and the possessor took the dative case (e.g. Latin est mihi liber "I have a book," literally "there is to me a book"). Used as an auxiliary in Old English, too (especially to form present perfect tense); the word has taken on more functions over time; Modern English he had better would have been Old English him (dative) wære betere. To have to for "must" (1570s) is from sense of "possess as a duty or thing to be done" (Old English). Phrase have a nice day as a salutation after a commercial transaction attested by 1970, American English. Phrase have (noun), will (verb) is from 1954, originally from comedian Bob Hope, in the form Have tux, will travel; Hope described this as typical of vaudevillians' ads in "Variety," indicating a willingness to perform anywhere, any time.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.