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

either

conjunction

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 alternatives can 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 negative not smart or handsome either
2 : for that matter used for emphasis after an alternative following a question or conditional clause especially where negation is implied who 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

But Hong Kong never enjoyed democracy under 155 years of British rule either. Washington Post, "In Hong Kong, colonial flag still a symbol of prized values," 6 July 2019 In fact, the Queen hasn’t been able to attend all of her great-grandchildren’s christenings previously, either. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Why the Queen Will Not Attend Archie Harrison's Christening This Weekend," 5 July 2019 Beyond this, there is absolutely no reason for solitary confinement to be used as a punishment either. Christie Marchese, refinery29.com, "When They See Us: What You Can Do About Mass Incarceration," 5 July 2019 Earthquake insurance does not cover damage to your vehicles either -- that may be covered by your auto policy. Faith Karimi, CNN, "Your homeowner's or renter's insurance won't help much after an earthquake. Here's why," 5 July 2019 Don’t sleep on the ridiculously delicious smoked beans studded with giant chunks of meat, either. Nancy Ngo, Twin Cities, "Where there’s smoke, there are barbecue restaurants. Here are 10 new ones.," 4 July 2019 Whenever the ball came to Brown, defenses hardly reacted, with his defender either helping in the paint or getting in position for the rebound. Vince Ellis, Detroit Free Press, "Pistons' Bruce Brown working on his shot: 'They left me all last year'," 4 July 2019 He was not elected to the American League All-Star team, either. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros battle on the road to sweep series against Rockies," 4 July 2019 Cold cases are reopened, and characters from Brodie’s past (and the earlier books) reappear, bent either on villainy or on avenging some terrible wrong. The Economist, "Jackson Brodie returns in “Big Sky”," 4 July 2019

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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Learn More about either

Dictionary Entries near either

eisteddfod

eiswein

eith

either

either-or

either way

ejaculate

Statistics for either

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for either

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

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More Definitions for either

either

adjective

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.

either

conjunction

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 possibilities You can either go or stay.

either

adverb

Kids Definition of either (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on either

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with either

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for either

Spanish Central: Translation of either

Nglish: Translation of either for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of either for Arabic Speakers

Comments on either

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

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