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

So any kind of risk premium on sort of policy uncertainty, that’s not in that long end either. WSJ, "Transcript: WSJ Interview With Cleveland Fed’s Loretta Mester," 13 July 2018 And by selling its $950 genetic tests, which require a doctor’s order (insurers don’t cover it, either). Megan Molteni, WIRED, "This Company Wants Your Fertility Data," 13 July 2018 No matter which company comes out on top, either is expected to turn around and offer up Fox’s roster of 22 regional sports networks (RSNs), from YES Network in New York to Fox Sports West in Southern California. Jacob Feldman, SI.com, "Five Potential Buyers for Fox's 22 Regional Sports Networks," 12 July 2018 Van Aken concentrated on acquiring varieties that were either important commercially, important parent varieties of other fruit or historically grown in the United States. Barbara Schreiber, charlotteobserver, "This artist ‘sculpts’ in living trees and fruit. Here’s what he’s doing now in Charlotte," 11 July 2018 The acquisition comprises just over 300 songs and includes 25 Billboard top 10 songs and four Grammy Award winners, either written, co-written or produced by The-Dream. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "Music Investment Firm Hipgnosis Buys Majority Stake in The-Dream's Catalog of Hits," 11 July 2018 This wouldn’t be the first time a LeBron mural was vandalized either. Andrew Joseph, For The Win, "Someone has already vandalized LeBron James' Lakers mural in Los Angeles," 8 July 2018 Every position group had to grapple with injuries either to starters or key reserves last season. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: 5 burning questions facing IU football in 2018," 12 July 2018 The complaint was prelude either to a lawsuit or a settlement. New York Times, "Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf Scientist?," 5 July 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

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

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