1

either

play
adjective ei·ther \ˈē-thər also ˈī-\

Definition of either

  1. 1 :  being the one and the other of two :  each <flowers blooming on either side of the walk> <plays either instrument well>

  2. 2 :  being the one or the other of two <take either road>

Examples of either in a sentence

  1. French and English are closer to each other than either language is to Chinese.

  2. You may take either road.

  3. You may choose either answer.

  4. Either way is all right with me.

Origin and Etymology of either

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


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

either

pronoun ei·ther

Definition of either

  1. :  the one or the other <take either of the two routes>

Examples of either in a sentence

  1. I haven't written to either of my parents.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of either

before 12th century


3

either

conjunction ei·ther

Definition of either

  1. —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>

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of either

before 12th century


4

either

adverb ei·ther

Definition of either

  1. 1 :  likewise, moreover —used for emphasis after a negative <not smart or handsome either>

  2. 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>

Examples of either in a sentence

  1. <you won't convince them, and, in fact, I don't agree either!>

15th Century

First Known Use of either

15th century



EITHER Defined for English Language Learners

1

either

play
adjective ei·ther \ˈē-thər also ˈī-\

Definition of either for English Language Learners

  • : one and the other of two

  • : one or the other of two


2

either

pronoun ei·ther

Definition of either for English Language Learners

  • : the one or the other


4

either

adverb ei·ther

Definition of either for English Language Learners

  • : in addition


EITHER Defined for Kids

1

either

play
adjective ei·ther \ˈē-thər, ˈī-\

Definition of either for Students

  1. 1 :  1each <There are flowers on either side of the road.>

  2. 2 :  being one or the other <You can take either road.>


2

either

play
pronoun ei·ther

Definition of either for Students

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


3

either

play
conjunction ei·ther

Definition of either for Students

  1. —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.>


4

either

play
adverb ei·ther

Definition of either for Students

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



Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

skillful, artistic, or intricate

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog--hot-dog-cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ