either

adjective
ei·ther | \ ˈē-t͟hər also ˈī- \

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

State-level resettlement officials in Illinois and Wisconsin said they do not either. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some refugees resettling in America find gun violence instead of peace," 27 June 2018 Other major incidents that might have constituted the meat of another playwright's work also are revealed indirectly, either in their aftermath or at a midpoint in their development. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Mary Page Marlowe': Theater Review," 13 July 2018 The Democratic politicians who previously served as bogeywomen are now either retired (Hillary Clinton) or in the twilight of their careers (Nancy Pelosi, Maxine Waters). Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is driving conservatives ’round the bend.," 6 July 2018 Care can be outsourced, either to nonprofits or for-profit companies such as Comprehensive Health Services of Cape Canaveral, which runs the Homestead shelter under a contract worth more than $30 million. Alex Leary And Steve Bousquet, miamiherald, "Who's holding immigrants in Florida? Private vendors, feds and county sheriffs, too.," 29 June 2018 Aries This is the work that is long and grinding, the kind of work that wears you out: to keep being kind even when your kindness isn’t enough, to keep being generous when generosity’s not enough either. Jenny Sharaf, The Cut, "Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of June 25," 25 June 2018 The aim of these drugs is to reduce the levels of amyloid in the brain, either by slowing down the formation of amyloid or by removing it from the brain. Christian Holscher, CNN, "New approach to Alzheimer's fight: Diabetes drugs," 15 June 2018 The devices are either bought by the fire department or obtained from the American Red Cross and the Illinois Office of the State Fire Marshal as part of a grant program. Michelle Mullins, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin News Digest," 15 June 2018 Assuming that is what the texts mean, nothing in the messages makes any reference either to the Trump campaign or to Russia. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump’s Latest FBI Conspiracy Theory Is His Craziest Yet," 5 June 2018

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

Phrases Related to either

either way

go either way

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 , 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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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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