how

adverb
\ ˈhau̇ \

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

how

noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

The Fed is widely expected Wednesday to raise interest rates for a fourth time this year and likely indicate how much and how often officials expect to increase rates in coming years. Jessica Menton, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Need a Santa Claus Rally to Avoid a Losing Year," 17 Dec. 2018 Several operatives working for the group were listed in a February 2018 indictment from special counsel Robert Muller detailing how Russian nationals interfered in the 2016 election. P.r. Lockhart, Vox, "How Russia exploited racial tensions in America during the 2016 elections," 17 Dec. 2018 The decision resurrected questions about how the military treats detainees and how soldiers should conduct themselves in places where lethal danger is ever present. Taimoor Shah, The Seattle Times, "Trump to ‘review’ case of Green Beret accused of murdering Afghan," 16 Dec. 2018 Yet how fabulously civilised was the public response in the streets today. David Abrahams, Vogue, "A Very British Protest Unites London," 14 July 2018 There was no explanation of how the driving was suspicious. Pauline Repard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Border Patrol seizes 45 pounds of meth in pickup along I-15 in Fallbrook," 14 July 2018 So, how was that, to see that story all the way through? Abby Gardner, Glamour, "How a Former Glamour College Woman of the Year Helped Break the Alice Johnson Story," 13 July 2018 Don’t wait for your job to check in with you to see how things are. NBC News, "Be proactive and step out of your comfort zone:," 13 July 2018 Somehow, the youngest Skarsgård’s brother has figured out how to be skeletal and hulking at the same time. refinery29.com, "Handmaid’s Tale," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

There are seemingly endless resources available to help do-it-yourselfers, such as books with step-by-step instructions and online how-to videos. Brett Martin, House Beautiful, "Should You DIY Or Call A Pro?," 26 Dec. 2018 Like, do-joint-interviews-and-gush-about-how-we're-real-life-best-friends great. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern Went Christmas Shopping Together in Coordinating Outfits in LA," 23 Dec. 2018 The venture seeks to combine Bayer’s drugmaking know-how with the Broad’s gene-sequencing expertise to come up with new treatments for heart disease. Jonathan Saltzman, BostonGlobe.com, "Bayer AG teams up with the Broad to tackle congestive heart failure," 28 June 2018 The best of chef Ronnie Killen's know-how with steaks and smoke are combined here. Houston Chronicle, "Houston's best steakhouses," 10 May 2018 Any time a number of cars and bikes bunched up during the Lockdown mode, the where-and-how of my rivals was a grab-bag. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Onrush game review: Sexy arcade racing in serious need of a tune-up," 5 June 2018 Uruguay showed all their know-how and experience, though, as Atletico Madrid defensive pair Jose Gimenez and Diego Godin helped see out the closing moments with ease. Afp, chicagotribune.com, "Uruguay qualify for Round of 16 with victory over Saudi Arabia," 20 June 2018 Joint ventures, like the one being formed by AmEx, have drawn particular ire from some Trump administration officials who see them as a tool China uses to reduce American companies’ profits and siphon off their technical know-how. Chao Deng, WSJ, "China Approves American Express Card Service, Addressing U.S. Concerns About Markets," 9 Nov. 2018 The Curbed Handbook, our how-to guide for finding and making a home in the modern age, is a one-stop shop for expert advice, visual inspiration, beginner’s guides, and more. Jenny Xie, Curbed, "Sign up for the Curbed Handbook newsletter," 6 Aug. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of how

Adverb

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

Conjunction

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

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about how

Statistics for how

Last Updated

27 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for how

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for how

how

adverb

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

how

adverb
\ ˈhau̇ \

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
: hello

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on how

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

WORD OF THE DAY

means, resources, or money

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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