again

adverb \ ə-ˈgen , -ˈgin , -ˈgān \
Updated on: 11 Dec 2017

Definition of again

1 : in return : back
  • … swore he would pay him again when he was able.
  • —William Shakespeare
2 : another time : once more : anew
  • I shall not look upon his like again.
  • —William Shakespeare
3 : on the other hand
  • He might go, and again he might not.
4 : in addition : besides
  • Again, there is another matter to consider

Examples of again in a Sentence

  1. Please, come see us again.

  2. It was nice to see my friends again.

  3. She wants to prove that she can do it again.

  4. Things are back to normal again.

  5. When we heard the news, we all said, “Oh no! Not again!”.

  6. She demonstrated yet again her remarkable artistic talents.

  7. It'll just be the same thing all over again.

  8. When he stood up, he got so dizzy that he had to sit down again.

Recent Examples of again from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'again.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of again

Middle English ayen, ayein, ayan, ageyn, again "back, in the opposite direction, to a former state, once more, another time," going back to Old English ongeagn, ongeæn, ongēan, ongān, ongegn, ongēn, agēn (Northumbrian ongægn, ongǣn), (compare parallel compounds in Old Saxon angegin "once more, toward," Old High German ingagan, ingegin "in opposition") from on-, a- 1on, 1a- + -geagn (going back to Germanic *gagna-, whence Old High German gagan "towards, against," Old Norse gagn- "against, counter, through") or -gegn (going back to Germanic *gagni-, whence Old Saxon & Old High German gegin "against," Old Frisian jēn, Old Norse gegn)
Note: It has been assumed that certain Old English forms, such as ongeagn, reflected an original *gagna-, and others, such as ongegn, an original *gegni-, though the evidence for the latter in Old English is not entirely clear. The rare instances of ongegn could represent "palatal monophthongization" of ongeagn, while ongēn would be a contraction of ongegn—this would leave only reflexes of *gagna- in Old English. Old English ongān (continued in Middle English ayan) apparently represents a monophthongization of ongēan after the crest of the diphthong had shifted forward. Middle English ayen, the most common southern form well into the 14th century, may be the outcome of either ongēan or ongēn. The form ayein would appear to directly continue ongegn. Originally northern again is presumed to have the velar /g/ from Old Norse i gegn. The shortened vowel in the usual pronunciation of again is probably due to against, where it was conditioned by the final consonant cluster. The origin of Germanic *gagna-, *gegni- (Gothic correspondent lacking) is obscure.



AGAIN Defined for English Language Learners

again

adverb

Definition of again for English Language Learners

  • : for another time : one more time

  • : to a previous position or place

  • —used to introduce a statement that repeats and stresses something previously said


AGAIN Defined for Kids

again

adverb \ ə-ˈgen \

Definition of again for Students

1 : for another time : once more
  • did it again
2 : on the other hand
  • You might, but then again, you might not.
3 : in addition
  • half as much again


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