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definition of the word would

by the Wiktionnary

Rank of this word in the English language, from analyzing texts from Project Gutenberg.
we who said #45: would been will no

would (Simple past of will.)

  1. Indicating in action or state that is conditional on another.
    We would be warmer if you hadn't opened the window!
    Bill said he would go if it didn't rain.
  2. Indicating futurity relative to a past time.
    We didn't know it yet, but those would be his last words.
    We sat on the bench, wondering if the bus would be late this time.
    The waiter said he would be right back.
  3. Indicating an action in the past that happened repeatedly or commonly.
    In the winters, we would sit by the hole on the frozen lake and fish for hours.
  4. Used to express a polite request.
    Would you please turn off the TV?
  5. To wish, to desire; often with implied first-person singular subject; see usage notes.
    Would that it were true.
    • 1843, G. H. Barlow, "Concluding Remarks of the Introductory Address Delivered at Guy's Hospital, at the Commencement of the Medical Session, 1843 44", in Thomas Wakley (editor), The Lancet for 1843-1844, Volume I, John Churchill (printer), page 242:
      I would, indeed, if it were possible, that you were each of you conversant with the whole world of natural science, finding yourself at home and at ease in every region; but I would that you were so in order to be chiefs in your own particular province.

Definition from Wiktionary
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