\ 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 The Masters on Saturday released the breakdown of how the $11.5 million purse will be distributed this year, and first prize this year matches what Tiger Woods received for his win in 2019 and what Dustin Johnson got last year. Tim Reynolds, ajc, "For the 1st time, Japan is home to a leader of the Masters," 11 Apr. 2021 Percent positivity, which refers to the percent of COVID-19 diagnostic tests that are positive, has been declining but varies somewhat based on how it's measured. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Arizona's COVID-19 death count nears 17,100 as state reports 819 new cases, 30 deaths," 10 Apr. 2021 It's been two years, O'Connell says, marveling at how time flies. Terry Demio, The Enquirer, "Han Solo, Vader and Luke are rare brothers who live their best lives at the Cincinnati Zoo," 10 Apr. 2021 But labor activists argue that the lopsided vote shows how unfairly the odds are stack against union organizing efforts and highlight the need for Congress to reform US labor law., "After Amazon: Labor tries to regroup in wake of Alabama loss," 10 Apr. 2021 What wasn’t easy to predict, however, was how complicated this seemingly simple transaction could be. Robbie Shell, WSJ, "The Family Heirlooms That Our Children Don’t Want," 10 Apr. 2021 Despite its importance, many runners are uncertain of how to reach the correct pace. Megan Oster,, "Pace on treadmill vs. outside: Which is better?," 10 Apr. 2021 The fatal shooting early Saturday morning adds to a week where 10 people were shot fatally across Baltimore and another 14 were wounded by gunfire, perplexing leaders about how to stem the violence. Alex Mann,, "Man fatally shot in Baltimore overnight, adding to violent week, city police say," 10 Apr. 2021 Think of how Garland and Sexton looked overmatched most of their rookie years at 19. Terry Pluto, cleveland, "Reasons for hope with the Cavaliers? More positive or negative? Terry Pluto," 10 Apr. 2021

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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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

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“How.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for how



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
: 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on how

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for how

Nglish: Translation of how for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of how for Arabic Speakers

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