\ ˈhau̇ How to pronounce how (audio) \

Definition of how

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : in what manner or way How did you two meet each other? How did he die? How do you know that?
b : for what reason : why How would I know if it's going to rain or not?
c : with what meaning : to what effect How are we to interpret such behavior?
d : by what name or title How art thou called?— William Shakespeare
2 : to what degree or extent How much longer do we have to wait? I don't know how old she is.
3 : in what state or condition How are you? How do you feel?
4 : at what price how a score of ewes now— Shakespeare
how about
: what do you say to or think of how about it, are you going?
how come
: how does it happen that : why How come you can't go?

Definition of how (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : the way or manner in which asked how they could help the story of how the company was founded remember how they fought also : the state or condition in which reported how the patient was found by the paramedics
b : that told them how he had a situation— Charles Dickens
2 : however, as a reader can shift his attention how he likes— William Empson



Definition of how (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : a question about manner or method the eternal whys and hows of small children— Jeanne Massey
2 : manner, method examining the hows and whys of exercise

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Examples of how in a Sentence

Adverb How and where did you meet him? How shall I address the President? How will we pay for the trip? How did you get here?” “By bus.” How did she die?” “She had cancer.” How do you know that? How did you find us? How could you have known? How did you happen to move here? Conjunction We asked how we could help. Let me tell you how we'll pay for the trip. The book tells the story of how the company was founded. She explained how she came to live here. I don't know how the service is at the new restaurant. I remember how they fought. Be careful how you talk; you could get fired. She told us how she had to work hard. He knows how you are a valued employee. It's amazing how they completed the bridge so quickly. Noun the environmental activist eagerly launched into an explanation of the hows and whys of developing renewable energy sources
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Public health officials praised the state's quick action, marveling at how the nation's most populous state kept its cases and hospitalizations low while states like New York and New Jersey struggled to contain the highly contagious disease. Fox News, "Newsom orders closure of indoor activities across California as coronavirus cases increase," 14 July 2020 Prompted by protests after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, many corporate leaders are evaluating how best to advocate for underrepresented employees as part of broader diversity and inclusion efforts. Patrick Thomas, WSJ, "What Does Being an Ally Look Like? Companies Offer Training in Support of Black Colleagues," 13 July 2020 An extremely rare comet is expected to be visible from around the world this month, but Alaskans will be unlikely to catch a glimpse of it because of how bright the night sky is in the summer. Tess Williams, Anchorage Daily News, "Bright nighttime skies will make it difficult to see rare comet from Alaska," 13 July 2020 Utility players don’t win the award, no matter how deserving. Nick Piecoro, The Arizona Republic, "Ketel Marte has Gold Glove on his mind entering 2020," 13 July 2020 But as the pandemic rages, researchers are trying to figure out how air conditioning is linked to the spread of COVID-19, and how people grouping indoors amid the alarming summer heat can potentially help spread the virus. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "Texans have a love affair with air conditioning. But what if turning it off could slow COVID-19?," 13 July 2020 In the premiere episode, Paris, 22, delved into how her past has informed her music today. Nicholas Rice,, "Paris Jackson Shares New Photo with Brother Prince Michael, Says It's 'Always Fun Reconnecting'," 13 July 2020 Apart from how the home looks, its sounds and smells are also crucial factors to consider, but these can be nearly impossible to detect over video. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "Buying a Home? 7 Essential Tips for Getting the Most from Virtual Home Tours," 13 July 2020 Given how several current and former Longhorns reacted to the Hartzell’s letter, this isn’t the end of the story. Nick Moyle,, "Texas responds to student-athletes’ call for change," 13 July 2020

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


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


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


1533, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for how

Adverb, Conjunction, and Noun

Middle English, from Old English ; akin to Old High German hwuo how, Old English hwā who — more at who

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Learn More about how

Time Traveler for how

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for how

Last Updated

29 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“How.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for how


How to pronounce how (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of how

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in what manner or way : by what means
: for what reason
: to what degree, extent, or amount

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

: in what manner or way
: in whatever way


\ ˈhau̇ How to pronounce how (audio) \

Kids Definition of how

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in what way : by what means How do you work this thing? How did they get here?
2 : for what reason How can you treat me so badly?
3 : to what degree, number, or amount How cold is it?
4 : in what state or condition How are you?
how about
: what do you say to or think of How about a soda?
how come how do you do

Kids Definition of how (Entry 2 of 2)

: in what manner or condition We're studying how plants grow. I asked them how they were.

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More from Merriam-Webster on how

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for how

Spanish Central: Translation of how

Nglish: Translation of how for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of how for Arabic Speakers

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