\ ˈel(t)s How to pronounce else (audio) \

Definition of else

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : in a different manner or place or at a different time how else could he have acted here and nowhere else
b : in an additional manner or place or at an additional time where else is gold found
2 : if not : otherwise leave or else you'll be sorry used absolutely to express a threat do what I tell you or else



Definition of else (Entry 2 of 2)

: other:
a : being different in identity it must have been somebody else
b : being in addition what else did he say?

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Synonyms & Antonyms for else

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of else in a Sentence

Adverb We decided to go someplace else for dinner. if you could do it over again, how else would you have done it? Adjective is there anything else you would like to add to your list?
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Processing plants have labor issues like seemingly everyone else, putting a strain on everything from ribs to bacon. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, "Josh joust, wing shortage, helping Canada: News from around our 50 states," 26 Apr. 2021 Of the two outstanding problems, the five-cycle was the more prominent, because of the elevated status granted it by Erdős and Hajnal, and consequently by everyone else. Quanta Magazine, "New Proof Reveals That Graphs With No Pentagons Are Fundamentally Different," 26 Apr. 2021 Lanvin work hit global audiences when Tilda Swinton won Best Actress for Michael Clayton at the 2008 Academy Awards, wearing Alber’s simple asymmetric fall of black panne velvet that made everyone else on the red carpet look overdressed. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Remembering Alber Elbaz, Visionary Designer, Generous Spirit, and Friend to All," 25 Apr. 2021 After all, everyone else here knows who’s good and who’s trouble. Tim Prudente, baltimoresun.com, "In West Baltimore, a verdict and impending reforms stir memories of injustice and hope for better police relations," 24 Apr. 2021 But like everyone else, Mark’s about to learn some hard truths about his dad. Oliver Sava, Vulture, "Invincible Recap: Trust Issues," 24 Apr. 2021 Masks are still required for everyone else — band, crew and audience — and ushers were strictly enforcing the policy at my performance. Matthew J. Palm, orlandosentinel.com, "Music is the star of ‘Always... Patsy Cline’ | Review," 24 Apr. 2021 Maybe everyone else has tired of the at-home sourdough craze that took hold around this time last year, but it’s a whole new world for me, and I am enthralled. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "I'm Growing All the Things," 24 Apr. 2021 The fact that my back aches and I hate myself a little is nothing compared to the horrific suffering of practically everyone else on planet Earth. Annah Feinberg, The New Yorker, "But I Can’t Complain," 24 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective But there’s little else voters approve of, and Democratic strategists believe that knocking Trump on the economy could be his campaign’s death knell. Nicole Goodkind, Fortune, "Everything we just learned about how Joe Biden would run the economy," 9 July 2020 My resting state is giving someone else attention -- not actually receiving it. Brooke Baldwin, CNN, "How fighting coronavirus taught me about the gift of connection," 19 Apr. 2020 And no different than anyone else tests and launches, et cetera. Time Staff, Time, "Donald Trump's Interview With TIME on 2020: Read the Transcript," 20 June 2019 These can be chores (do a load of laundry), exercise (bang out a set of push-ups), or something else (break for coffee and tea). Fortune Editors, Fortune, "How to work from home if you don’t have room for an office—or even a desk," 27 Mar. 2020 There are also interviews, bedtime stories, and everything else celebrities can come up with to keep our spirits afloat. Kathryn Lindsay, refinery29.com, "Celebrities Are Creating Their Own Reality TV Shows For Us During Quarantine," 19 Mar. 2020 To put him on the 40-man, and thus give him a chance to get called up in September, the Rockies would have had to cut somebody else and risk losing them on waivers. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies Mailbag: Colorado’s bad record doesn’t trump the “experience” of Coors Field," 10 Sep. 2019 Have a question about the Senate trial or something else impeachment-related? NBC News, "Making the Case," 23 Jan. 2020 But events since then have been so fast-paced and chaotic by the standards of Mr. Putin’s deliberate, no-drama style of domestic leadership that many observers now wonder whether something else might be afoot. Anton Troianovski, New York Times, "Big Changes? Or Maybe Not. Putin’s Plans Keep Russia Guessing.," 21 Jan. 2020

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


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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for else


Middle English elles, going back to Old English elles, adverbial use of genitive singular neuter of elle "other," going back to Germanic *alja- "other" (whence, with parallel formation, Old High German alles, elles "else," Gothic aljis), going back to Indo-European *h2el-i̯o-, whence also Latin alius "other," Old Irish aile, Middle Welsh eil "second," Greek állos "other," Armenian ayl, Tocharian B allek "other, another"

Note: Excepting the frozen genitival constructions represented by Old English elles (cf. owiht elles, elles awiht, literally "aught of other" = "aught else"), the pronoun *alja- is marginally attested in Germanic languages outside of compounds (as Old English elcor, ellicor "else," Old High German ellihor "further," Old Norse elligar, ellar, ella "otherwise") and the initial element el- "other, foreign" (cf. Old English eleland "foreign country," Old High German elilenti "foreign").


Middle English elles, going back to Old English — more at else entry 1

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Time Traveler for else

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for else

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Else.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/else. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for else



English Language Learners Definition of else

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a different or additional manner or place : at a different or additional time



English Language Learners Definition of else (Entry 2 of 2)

used to refer to a different or additional person or thing


\ ˈels How to pronounce else (audio) \

Kids Definition of else

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in a different way or place or at a different time How else could it be done?
2 : if the facts are or were different : if not Hurry or else you'll be late.



Kids Definition of else (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : being other and different Ask someone else.
2 : being in addition What else can I bring?

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More from Merriam-Webster on else

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for else

Nglish: Translation of else for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of else for Arabic Speakers

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