aux.v. Past tense of will2
1. Used to express desire or intent: She said she would meet us at the corner.
2. Used to express a wish. This sense is archaic (“I would you were so honest a man!”—William Shakespeare) except in contexts with an implicit first person singular subject and followed by a clause beginning with that: Would that it stop snowing!
3. Used after a statement of desire, request, or advice: I wish you would stay.
4. Used to make a polite request: Would you go with me?
5. Used in the main clause of a conditional statement to express a possibility or likelihood: If I had enough money, I would buy a car. We would have gone to the beach, had the weather been good. See Usage Note at if.
6. Used to express presumption or expectation: That would be Steve at the door.
7. Used to indicate uncertainty: He would seem to be getting better.
8. Used to express repeated or habitual action in the past: Every morning we would walk in the garden.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.