simple past tense and past participle of have.
3d pers. sing. pres. of Have.
(auxiliary) Used to form the pluperfect tense, expressing a completed action in the past (with a past participle).
As past subjunctive: would have.
‘And lever me is be pore and trewe.[And more agreeable to me it is to be poor and true.]’; ‘Him had been lever to be syke.[To him it had been preferable to be sick.]’; ‘For him was lever have at his bed's headTwenty bookes, clad in black or red, . . . Than robes rich, or fithel, or gay sawtrie.’; ‘Poor lady, she were better love a dream.’; ‘You were best hang yourself.’; ‘Me rather had my heart might feel your loveThan my unpleased eye see your courtesy.’; ‘I hadde levere than my scherte,That ye hadde rad his legende, as have I.’; ‘I had as lief not be as live to beIn awe of such a thing as I myself.’; ‘I had rather be a dog and bay the moon,Than such a Roman.’; ‘I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.’;