\ˈel(t)s \

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?

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for else

Synonyms: Adverb

differently, other (than), otherwise

Synonyms: Adjective

added, additional, another, farther, fresh, further, more, other

Antonyms: Adverb


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of else in a Sentence


We decided to go someplace else for dinner. if you could do it over again, how else would you have done it?


is there anything else you would like to add to your list?
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The galleries were there and the artists were there, but there was nothing else, no fashion, no nothing. Laird Borrelli-persson, Vogue, "Dianne Benson, A Maverick Retailer in 1980s New York, Talks Fashion, Art, and Collaborators Like David Wojnarowicz and Cindy Sherman," 13 July 2018 If nothing else, Mr. Trump’s apparent willingness to turn over the table has gotten the attention of Western allies, creating a sense of urgency to meet the spending goals, and not everyone drew back in alarm. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Amid the Trumpian Chaos, Europe Sees a Strategy: Divide and Conquer," 13 July 2018 Nothing else appeared to be missing at the time of the report. Austen Erblat, Sun-Sentinel.com, "West Boca crime log: June 23-July 1," 13 July 2018 If nothing else, a visit to Totokaelo this week will feel like walking into a museum. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Rare Comme des Garçons Clothes Are on Sale Right Now," 11 July 2018 Here’s proof that, if nothing else, protest can be exhilarating. Greg Kot, chicagotribune.com, "Greg Kot picks his top albums of 2018 ... so far," 6 July 2018 Needless to say, Donald Trump Jr.’s Instagram account has become interesting, if nothing else. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Donald Trump Jr.'s Instagram Features the President in Surreal Fourth of July-Themed Posts," 5 July 2018 This gives us an opportunity to collect our thoughts, if nothing else. Ed Silverman, STAT, "Pharmalittle: CVS tells Azar it is not blocking lower drug prices; pharma sheds lots more jobs in the U.S.," 5 July 2018 To shore up his standing with white evangelicals, the president released lists of potential nominees during the campaign, and has met at least seven people on those lists, though Mr Trump, an inveterate showman, may choose someone else entirely. The Economist, "A court with a solid conservative majority could reshape American life," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In there nothing else matters, including the losing. Tom Verducci, SI.com, "The Star That Still Won't Shine: The Incredible, Unprecedented but Unseen Greatness of Mike Trout," 12 July 2018 So, the word went out and the police began pressuring various black militants and gang members, arresting some and hassling others, sending a stern behave-or-else message. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Politicians with short memories helped Chicago become the first city with a Martin Luther King Jr. Drive," 23 Apr. 2018 Public goods have an inherent free-rider problem: For anyone who can, the impulse is to let someone else foot the bill, and simply consume the public good for free. Noah Smith, chicagotribune.com, "Domino's Pizza fixing potholes is an ominous sign," 20 June 2018 Have someone else mark the arrow an inch in front of the bow handle. Andrew Del-colle And Lara Sorokanich, Popular Mechanics, "How to Make a Bow and Arrow By Hand," 5 June 2018 LeBron James and Kobe Bryant now have something else in common: the Lakers. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "How LeBron James Was Courted by the Lakers," 2 July 2018 Both men have something else in common: They are largely unfazed by criticism or bad press. New York Times, "How Anti-Immigration Passion Was Inflamed From the Fringe," 18 June 2018 His stepmother, Sherry, walked off the course to wait for him by the scoring area, and pretty soon Erin Hills and Shinnecock Hills would have something else in common: A champion. Michael Rosenberg, SI.com, "With a Steely Resolve and Back-to-Back U.S. Opens, Brooks Koepka Earns His Place Among Golf's Elite," 17 June 2018 The machine correctly predicted success 75% of the time, compared with the 4% rate that guessing success at random from the music database would yield—something else music executives might pay attention to. The Economist, "What makes good music?," 17 May 2018

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.

See More

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, from Old English; akin to Latin alius other, alter other of two, Greek allos other

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about else

Statistics for else

Last Updated

16 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for else

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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?

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on else

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for else

Spanish Central: Translation of else

Nglish: Translation of else for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of else for Arabic Speakers

Comments on else

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!