either

adjective
ei·​ther | \ ˈē-t͟hər How to pronounce either (audio) also ˈī- How to pronounce either (audio) \

Definition of either

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : being the one and the other of two : each flowers blooming on either side of the walk plays either instrument well
2 : being the one or the other of two take either road

either

pronoun

Definition of either (Entry 2 of 4)

: the one or the other take either of the two routes

Definition of either (Entry 3 of 4)

used as a function word before two or more coordinate words, phrases, or clauses joined usually by or to indicate that what immediately follows is the first of two or more alternativescan be used either as a guest room or as an office

either

adverb

Definition of either (Entry 4 of 4)

1 : likewise, moreover used for emphasis after a negativenot smart or handsome either
2 : for that matter used for emphasis after an alternative following a question or conditional clause especially where negation is impliedwho answers for the Irish parliament? or army either?— Robert Browning

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Examples of either in a Sentence

Adjective French and English are closer to each other than either language is to Chinese. You may take either road. You may choose either answer. Either way is all right with me. Pronoun I haven't written to either of my parents. Adverb you won't convince them, and, in fact, I don't agree either!
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That is not how either admirers or detractors on the right view President Trump. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, "McMaster and the Challenge of Sharia Supremacism," 12 Aug. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Conjunction But scientists and doctors say things aren’t that simple — and a belief that exposing children to marijuana, either directly or indirectly, is harmless isn’t supported by the facts. Daniel M. Jimenez, The Cannifornian, "With cannabis use growing, doctors still caution to keep kids away from secondhand smoke," 22 June 2017 Consumers face two possible outcomes — insurers will either leave the marketplace or be forced to raise their rates. Bloomberg News, The Denver Post, "Trump’s threats on Obamacare funds may drive out poor, insurers," 5 May 2017 Either the gravitational influence from a passing star or group of stars, or the shock waves from an old exploding star in the distance, stirs up the nebula. Mike Lynch / Sky Watch, Twin Cities, "Sky Watch: Learning about the stellar life cycle is a gas — literally," 11 Mar. 2017 Now either the president is flip-flopping or his staff is, once again, speaking out of turn. Alicia Wallace, The Cannabist, "Trump administration puts recreational marijuana in crosshairs," 23 Feb. 2017 The tests use either a cheek swab or saliva and return autosomal DNA reports, sampling at more than 700,000 locations along a genome. Katharine Gammon, Orange County Register, "The mystery of the missing parentage," 30 Jan. 2017 The quarterbacks are the storyline for the 1:35 p.m. kickoff, but not in the way either team would’ve liked. Jimmy Durkin, The Mercury News, "Raiders’ Connor Cook in line to make history if he starts playoff opener," 3 Jan. 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Cutting spending to pay off the debt isn't really an option either. Stephen Gandel, CBS News, "How will the U.S. pay for $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package?," 27 Mar. 2020 There is no vaccine against COVID-19 and no known effective treatment, either. Stephanie Innes, azcentral, "Arizona's next big need: Ventilators. Here's what we know," 26 Mar. 2020 Thus no single judgment that historians of the future might pass on our time is inevitable, either. William Hogeland, The New Republic, "History Won’t Save Us," 25 Mar. 2020 No one seems to care—and the reveal isn't that exciting, either. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "This Is Us Season-Four Finale Recap: Who Is the Mother of Kevin’s Child?," 25 Mar. 2020 There were a few panhandlers, a grimacing old man curled up on a stone bench and a couple of guys who were either exhausted, high or drunk. Greg Jefferson, ExpressNews.com, "Jefferson: Empty sidewalks, eerie silence on San Antonio’s River Walk amid coronavirus outbreak," 20 Mar. 2020 This may partly have been because of the weight of Cuban-Americans: Mr Sanders—in an act either of admirable principle or political lunacy—has repeatedly praised the accomplishments of the Castro regime. The Economist, "Electoral distancing Joe Biden builds an insurmountable lead," 19 Mar. 2020 For other festivals and filmmakers, however, the in-person, communal experience of a theater audience is either too hard to replicate, or an experience worth waiting for. Aric Jenkins, Fortune, "Filmmakers must make a choice as coronavirus forces festivals online," 19 Mar. 2020 Two hours later, however, Google communications felt compelled to issue a statement saying that nearly everything about this is either not quite right or badly mistaken. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Google and Verily clarify their roles in the US coronavirus response [UPDATED 3/15]," 15 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'either.' 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 either

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Pronoun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Conjunction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for either

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English ǣghwæther both, each, from ā always + ge-, collective prefix + hwæther which of two, whether — more at aye, co-

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Time Traveler for either

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for either

Cite this Entry

“Either.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/either. Accessed 8 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for either

either

adjective
How to pronounce either (audio) How to pronounce either (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of either

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: one and the other of two
: one or the other of two

either

pronoun

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

: the one or the other

either

adverb

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

: in addition

either

adjective
ei·​ther | \ ˈē-t͟hər How to pronounce either (audio) , ˈī- \

Kids Definition of either

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : each entry 1 There are flowers on either side of the road.
2 : being one or the other You can take either road.

either

pronoun

Kids Definition of either (Entry 2 of 4)

: the one or the other She hadn't told either of her parents.

Kids Definition of either (Entry 3 of 4)

used before words or phrases the last of which follows “or” to show that they are choices or possibilitiesYou can either go or stay.

either

adverb

Kids Definition of either (Entry 4 of 4)

: also used after a negative statementThe car is reliable and not expensive either.

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More from Merriam-Webster on either

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for either

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with either

Spanish Central: Translation of either

Nglish: Translation of either for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of either for Arabic Speakers

Comments on either

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