Had
Had Had (h[a^]d), imp. & p. p. of {Have}. [OE. had, hafde, hefde, AS. h[ae]fde.] See {Have}. [1913 Webster]

{Had as lief}, {Had rather}, {Had better}, {Had as soon}, etc., with a nominative and followed by the infinitive without to, are well established idiomatic forms. The original construction was that of the dative with forms of be, followed by the infinitive. See {Had better}, under {Better}. [1913 Webster]

And lever me is be pore and trewe. [And more agreeable to me it is to be poor and true.] --C. Mundi (Trans.). [1913 Webster]

Him had been lever to be syke. [To him it had been preferable to be sick.] --Fabian. [1913 Webster]

For him was lever have at his bed's head Twenty bookes, clad in black or red, . . . Than robes rich, or fithel, or gay sawtrie. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Note: Gradually the nominative was substituted for the dative, and had for the forms of be. During the process of transition, the nominative with was or were, and the dative with had, are found. [1913 Webster]

Poor lady, she were better love a dream. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

You were best hang yourself. --Beau. & Fl. [1913 Webster]

Me rather had my heart might feel your love Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

I hadde levere than my scherte, That ye hadde rad his legende, as have I. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

I had as lief not be as live to be In awe of such a thing as I myself. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

I had rather be a dog and bay the moon, Than such a Roman. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. --Ps. lxxxiv. 10. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Had — can have more than one meaning:* Had (linguistics), the present tense of are * Had, an alternative for Hadit, the Thelemic version of an Egyptian god * Had, an alternative for Tag (game), used primarily in London * Abbreviation for Hole… …   Wikipedia

  • Had — Have Have (h[a^]v), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Had} (h[a^]d); p. pr. & vb. n. {Having}. Indic. present, I {have}, thou {hast}, he {has}; we, ye, they {have}.] [OE. haven, habben, AS. habben (imperf. h[ae]fde, p. p. geh[ae]fd); akin to OS. hebbian, D.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • had — past and past participle of have …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Had as lief — Had Had (h[a^]d), imp. & p. p. of {Have}. [OE. had, hafde, hefde, AS. h[ae]fde.] See {Have}. [1913 Webster] {Had as lief}, {Had rather}, {Had better}, {Had as soon}, etc., with a nominative and followed by the infinitive without to, are well… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Had as soon — Had Had (h[a^]d), imp. & p. p. of {Have}. [OE. had, hafde, hefde, AS. h[ae]fde.] See {Have}. [1913 Webster] {Had as lief}, {Had rather}, {Had better}, {Had as soon}, etc., with a nominative and followed by the infinitive without to, are well… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Had better — Had Had (h[a^]d), imp. & p. p. of {Have}. [OE. had, hafde, hefde, AS. h[ae]fde.] See {Have}. [1913 Webster] {Had as lief}, {Had rather}, {Had better}, {Had as soon}, etc., with a nominative and followed by the infinitive without to, are well… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Had rather — Had Had (h[a^]d), imp. & p. p. of {Have}. [OE. had, hafde, hefde, AS. h[ae]fde.] See {Have}. [1913 Webster] {Had as lief}, {Had rather}, {Had better}, {Had as soon}, etc., with a nominative and followed by the infinitive without to, are well… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Had I but known — is a form of foreshadowing that hints at some looming disaster in which the first person narrator laments his or her course of action which precipitates some or other unfortunate series of actions. Classically, the narrator never makes explicit… …   Wikipedia

  • Had better — Better Bet ter, a.; compar. of Good. [OE. betere, bettre, and as adv. bet, AS. betera, adj., and bet, adv.; akin to Icel. betri, adj., betr, adv., Goth. batiza, adj., OHG. bezziro, adj., baz, adv., G. besser, adj. and adv., bass, adv., E. boot,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Had rather — Rather Rath er (r[a^][th] [ e]r; 277), adv. [AS. hra[eth]or, compar. of hra[eth]e, hr[ae][eth]e, quickly, immediately. See {Rath}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. Earlier; sooner; before. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Thou shalt, quod he, be rather false than I.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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