else

1 of 2

adverb

1
a
: 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

else

2 of 2

adjective

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

Example Sentences

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?
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
In an era before smartphones put a camera in everyone’s pocket and social media made private events public, the dress was mostly seen by the party guests, including Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Grace and Nancy Reagan, but no one else. Danica Kirka, ajc, 27 Nov. 2022 With no one else rising to speak to the team, sophomore safety Kamren Kinchens seized the moment to address his upset teammates before a potentially tumultuous offseason began. Adam Lichtenstein, Sun Sentinel, 27 Nov. 2022 One obstacle is that all these workers have recently been released from prison, so no one else will hire them. Margaret Gray, Los Angeles Times, 23 Nov. 2022 The company reached a whole new stratosphere where no one else could fairly compete. Krista Brown, Rolling Stone, 23 Nov. 2022 But Rorem, more than most, seemed to understand that legacy only counted for so much — that the composer’s primary task was to say what needed to be said, in a way that no one else could say it. Michael Andor Brodeur, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2022 According to NFL Research, Patterson has seven career touchdowns of 100 or more yards; no one else in league history has more than three. Mark Maske, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2022 After Simon was named as the suspect, Hadley said there were no other suspects and no one else was being considered for criminal charges. Phil Helsel, NBC News, 21 Nov. 2022 No one else could have been the Black Panther than Shuri. Kathleen Newman-bremang, refinery29.com, 18 Nov. 2022
Adjective
But there’s little else individuals can do to protect themselves once the crowd’s pressure builds. WIRED, 3 Nov. 2022 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, 9 July 2020 My resting state is giving someone else attention -- not actually receiving it. Brooke Baldwin, CNN, 19 Apr. 2020 And no different than anyone else tests and launches, et cetera. Time Staff, Time, 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, 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, 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, 10 Sep. 2019 Have a question about the Senate trial or something else impeachment-related? NBC News, 23 Jan. 2020 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb

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").

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adverb

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

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near else

Cite this Entry

“Else.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/else. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

else 1 of 2

adverb

1
: in a different or additional manner or place or at a different time
how else could it be done
where else can we meet
2
: if the facts are or were different : if not : otherwise
leave or else you'll be sorry

else

2 of 2

adjective

1
: being different in identity
somebody else
2
: being in addition
what else

More from Merriam-Webster on else

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