\ ˈbōth How to pronounce both (audio) \

Definition of both

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the one as well as the other both of us

Definition of both (Entry 2 of 3)

used as a function word to indicate and stress the inclusion of each of two or more things specified by coordinated words, phrases, or clauses prized both for its beauty and for its utilityhe … who loveth well both man and bird and beast— S. T. Coleridge



Definition of both (Entry 3 of 3)

: being the two : affecting or involving the one and the other both feet both his eyes both these armies

Examples of both in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Conjunction

Case in point: Right after King Arthur cuts off one, then both, of the Black Knight’s arms, a woman walks in with a basket and scoops them up. Joanne Engelhardt, The Mercury News, "‘Spamalot’ is an infectious crowd-pleaser at Palo Alto Players," 3 May 2017 Get her to the Early Bird, a charming little breakfast spot with locations in both Westminster and DTC that is super casual and super good. Allyson Reedy, The Know, "We’ve made your Denver Mother’s Day plans based on the kind of mom you have," 23 Apr. 2017 After a bullpen session, Pini suggested Gavin turn his two solid breaking balls (a curveball and a slider) into one really strong pitch, a slurve (combo of both), that became a bit more like a slider. Mirin Fader, Orange County Register, "Cal State Fullerton pitcher John Gavin won’t settle for anything less than great," 4 Apr. 2017 What are your biggest concerns and priorities at this time — both in terms of the regulatory as well as industry development? Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist, "Exclusive: Here’s how Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper really feels about marijuana," 31 Mar. 2017 It was built in 1922 at 107 E. Chestnut St. Both the city of Stillwater and Washington County, which had first and second dibs, declined to purchase the building. Mary Divine, Twin Cities, "New armory in Stillwater will highlight history," 27 Feb. 2017 Neither squad has lost an in-state game yet, as both the Grizzlies (9-1) and the Patriots (10-1) each went 3-1 in their respective brackets in the prestigious Tarkanian Classic from Dec. 16-20 in Las Vegas. Kyle Newman, The Denver Post, "5A’s top squads face off as ThunderRidge travels to George Washington," 3 Jan. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The pickup in inflation in March reversed downtrends for both the consumer prices, which had been decelerating since late last year, and producer prices, which began softening last summer. WSJ, "Chinese Inflation Picks Up," 10 Apr. 2019 Still, something seems awry with the dance school, and the peculiar behavior of both the women that run the place and fellow dancers like Sara (Mia Goth) increase the sense that something isn’t quite right. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Suspiria is an ambitious remix of a horror classic," 26 Oct. 2018 In fact, life is full of wins and losses for both the women who are running, and the kids who love them. Barbara Boxer And Nicole Boxer, Marie Claire, "Yes, Running for Office Is Risky, But It's Worth It," 9 Oct. 2018 Music becomes really important escapism for both those characters, especially in their relationships with Adora. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, ""You’ll notice there are a lot of 'mama' songs!"," 29 Aug. 2018 When both the sun and communication planet Mercury enters Gemini on Tuesday, May 21, your mind is focused on multitasking. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What May’s Capricorn Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 30 Apr. 2019 That is what Trump's behavior -- both this past weekend and more generally speaking -- creates the possibility for: Major reorientation of allies and partnerships worldwide. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "The absolute chaos of Donald Trump's G7 meeting (and what it means moving forward)," 11 June 2018 The Yankees did their best to beat both the Washington Nationals and the inclement weather on Tuesday night, but could not succeed on either count. New York Times, "Yankees Have Unfinished Business After Rain Suspends Play," 15 May 2018 Where both those dresses had delicate floral motifs, today’s dress only featured floral embroidery on the collar, and Middleton finished the look with simple Gianvito Rossi stilettos. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "Kate Middleton Wears Jenny Packham to Introduce the Third Royal Baby," 23 Apr. 2018

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

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First Known Use of both

Pronoun, plural in construction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


13th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for both

Pronoun, plural in construction, Conjunction, and Adjective

Middle English bothe, probably from Old Norse bāthir; akin to Old High German beide both

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Time Traveler for both

The first known use of both was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of both

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: each one of two things or people

English Language Learners Definition of both (Entry 2 of 3)

used before two words or phrases connected with and to stress that each is included



English Language Learners Definition of both (Entry 3 of 3)

used to indicate that two things or people are being referred to rather than just one


\ ˈbōth How to pronounce both (audio) \

Kids Definition of both

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: each one of two things or people : the two both of us

Kids Definition of both (Entry 2 of 3)

used before two words or phrases connected with and to stress that each is included both New York and London



Kids Definition of both (Entry 3 of 3)

: the two Both books are mine.

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More from Merriam-Webster on both

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with both

Spanish Central: Translation of both

Nglish: Translation of both for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of both for Arabic Speakers

Comments on both

What made you want to look up both? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


something valued as if it were money

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