\ 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?

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for else

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb But just to say, the facts are this is about standing, about nothing else. ABC News, 5 Sep. 2021 If nothing else, BYU also brings a broad and passionate fan base and has shown the ability to adapt to the ever-changing landscape in college athletics. Scooby Axson, USA TODAY, 4 Sep. 2021 These cover crops also help anchor the soil when there is nothing else growing. jsonline.com, 2 Sep. 2021 If nothing else, pair a cloth mask with a medical mask. Tara Haelle, Wired, 1 Sep. 2021 The problem, as Lewis readily acknowledges, is that there’s almost nothing else of interest to tourists nearby. al, 31 Aug. 2021 If nothing else, President Joe Biden can claim to have had the courage to end US involvement in a war that his predecessors all knew was going nowhere. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 31 Aug. 2021 Dak needed a couple or three series against Jacksonville to shake off the dust, if nothing else. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, 31 Aug. 2021 If nothing else, the stadium’s seats will be bright red for Thursday’s season opener against Weber State. Aaron Falk, The Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Aug. 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, 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 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, 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.

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, 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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About else

Time Traveler for else

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near else

El Salvador



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for else

Last Updated

8 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Else.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/else. Accessed 19 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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 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?

More from Merriam-Webster on else

Nglish: Translation of else for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of else for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Spelling Words Quiz

  • alphabet pasta spelling help
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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