\ 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 clausesprized 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 Unfortunately, both the people who design these complex systems, and the massive sets of data that are used, have many historical and human biases built in. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "P&G Releases Their 2019 Citizenship Report," 10 Dec. 2019 The settlements, especially those populated mainly by radical Jews deep within the West Bank, are both a financial and security burden on the Israeli state. The Economist, "America legitimises Israeli settlements in the West Bank," 19 Nov. 2019 When inhaled, both these pollutants can cause serious harm to the body, including bronchitis, asthma, and heart attacks. Niharika Sharma, Quartz India, "Brace yourself Delhi, it may only be the beginning of the toxic air season," 4 Nov. 2019 Jocelyn Neal, a professor of music at UNC Chapel Hill, points to how both the song and movie have solidified their places in the holiday canon. Cady Lang, Time, "How Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You' Became the Holiday Gift That Keeps on Giving," 1 Nov. 2019 At that time the family lived in Lebanon, where both the Hoxie and Bartizek families had been engaged in farming. courant.com, "Ronald A. Bartizek," 10 Sep. 2019 Deputy Yates is partial to both the yellow curry and the broader field of vision that comes with it. CBS News, "A taste of India on the interstate," 24 Nov. 2019 Those credits, which will apply to both the Art Deco building and the 1962 addition, are given to developers in return for maintaining historic properties. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Journal Sentinel buildings to become affordable housing, and Major Goolsby's could eventually be demolished," 22 Nov. 2019 Under the accord, which was signed by both the government and opposition parties, a referendum will be held next April in order for Chileans to vote on the changes. Flora Charner, CNN, "Beaten and blinded, Chile's protesters face "policy of punishment," says Amnesty International," 22 Nov. 2019

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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for both

Cite this Entry

“Both.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/both?pronunciation&lang=en_us&file=both0001. Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for both


How to pronounce both (audio)

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 includedboth 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).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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