What's the difference between
Enter two words to compare and contrast their definitions, origins, and synonyms to better understand how those words are related.

Might vs Had - What's the difference?

might | had |

As verbs the difference between might and had

is that might is (lb) used to indicate conditional or possible actions while had is (have).

As a noun might

is (uncountable) power, strength, force or influence held by a person or group.

As an adjective might

is mighty; powerful; possible.



(wikipedia might)

Etymology 1

From (etyl) might, myghte, (also maught, macht, maht), from (etyl) miht, mieht, meaht, .


  • (uncountable) Power, strength, force or influence held by a person or group.
  • (uncountable) Physical strength.
  • He pushed with all his might , but still it would not move.
  • (uncountable) The ability to do something.
  • Adjective

  • Mighty; powerful; possible.
  • Etymology 2

    From (etyl) meahte, from magan, whence English may.


  • (lb) Used to indicate conditional or possible actions.
  • :
  • * Bishop Joseph Hall
  • The characterism of an honest man: He looks not to what he might do, but what he should.
  • *
  • *:“A tight little craft,” was Austin’s invariable comment on the matron;. ¶ Near her wandered her husband, orientally bland, invariably affable, and from time to time squinting sideways, as usual, in the ever-renewed expectation that he might catch a glimpse of his stiff, retroussé moustache.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-07, author=David Simpson
  • , volume=188, issue=26, page=36, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Fantasy of navigation , passage=It is tempting to speculate about the incentives or compulsions that might explain why anyone would take to the skies in [the] basket [of a balloon]: perhaps out of a desire to escape the gravity of this world or to get a preview of the next;
  • (lb) (may) Used to indicate permission in past tense.
  • :
  • (lb) (may) Used to indicate possibility in past tense.
  • :
  • *, chapter=1
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage=I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.}}
  • *{{quote-book, year=1963, author=(Margery Allingham), title=(The China Governess)
  • , chapter=19 citation , passage=Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.}}
    * archaic second-person singular simple past - mightest * nonstandard, archaic third-person singular simple past - mighteth

    See also

    * could *




  • (have)
  • *1814 , Jane Austen, Mansfield Park :
  • *:About thirty years ago, Miss Maria Ward of Huntingdon, with only seven thousand pounds, had the good luck to captivate Sir Thomas Bertram, of Mansfield Park, in the county of Northampton.
  • (auxiliary) Used to form the pluperfect tense, expressing a completed action in the past (+ past participle).
  • *2011 , Ben Cooper, The Guardian , 15 April:
  • *:Cooper seems an odd choice, but imagine if they had taken MTV's advice and chosen Robert Pattinson?
  • As past subjunctive: ‘would have’.
  • *1499 , (John Skelton), The Bowge of Courte :
  • *:To holde myne honde, by God, I had grete payne; / For forthwyth there I had him slayne, / But that I drede mordre wolde come oute.
  • *, II.4:
  • *:Julius Cæsar had escaped death, if going to the Senate-house, that day wherein he was murthered by the Conspirators, he had read a memorial which was presented unto him.
  • *1849 , , In Memoriam , 24:
  • *:If all was good and fair we met, / This earth had been the Paradise / It never look’d to human eyes / Since our first Sun arose and set.
  • Usage notes

    Had'', like (that), is one of a very few words to be correctly used twice in succession in English, e.g. ''He had had several operations previously.