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Definition of "could" [could]

  • Used to indicate ability or permission in the past: I could run faster then. Only men could go to the club in those days. (auxiliary-verb)
  • Used with hypothetical or conditional force: If we could help, we would. (auxiliary-verb)
  • Used to indicate tentativeness or politeness: I could be wrong. Could you come over here? (auxiliary-verb)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "could" in a sentence
  • "I don't know if I could get you a gig there, but if I *could* would you want to?"
  • "I used to always wonder why I could be so awful to my family my parents, my sister, and I think it's because I knew I *could* be so mean to them & they would always be there."
  • "This means that when we speak of a person's actions, in most cases he could have done otherwise, given the Stoics 'analysis of ˜could™ and other modal concepts."