\ 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

It's been both a harrowing and empowering time to be a woman, especially a woman in a Hollywood that's been run by men like Harvey Weinstein for decades. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "It's a Parade of Pink on the Oscars Red Carpet," 25 Feb. 2019 Researchers cultured bacteria from 100 kitchen towels after one month of use to determine both the type and amount of bacterial growth. Mark Lieber, CNN, "Do you know what's growing on your kitchen towel?," 11 June 2018 Priestap, who oversaw both the Clinton email and Russia probes, is scheduled for a closed-door hearing on June 5. Alex Pappas, Fox News, "Justice Dept. IG, key FBI officials slated for Capitol Hill appearances as Clinton email report looms," 29 May 2018 It's been a busy month for Gaga, who is both a presenter and a nominee tonight. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Lady Gaga Dyed Her Hair Blue for the Golden Globes," 7 Jan. 2019 But the plane that would replace both the F-22 Raptor and F-15 Eagle could reach a staggering cost of $300 million per plane. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Air Force’s Next Great Fighter Jet Could Cost $300 Million Apiece," 17 Dec. 2018 Both achievements were history-making: Oh was both the first performer of Asian heritage to host the Golden Globes and the first Asian actor to win multiple Globes. Vogue, "5 Things You Didn’t Know About Sandra Oh," 7 Jan. 2019 But both those games were a chore to chart, mostly just watching your character walk across empty spaces. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "Anthem plays even smoother than Destiny, but BioWare's story will make or break it," 15 June 2018 The government interpreted language in the U.S. Constitution to mean that both the state Legislature (in that instance in West Virginia) and Congress had to approve before a state is split into two or more states. Taryn Luna, sacbee, "Three Californias? What you need to know.," 13 June 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).


to reflect, repel, echo, or resound

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