how

1 of 3

adverb

1
a
: 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 nowShakespeare

how

2 of 3

conjunction

1
a
: 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 situationCharles Dickens
2
: however, as
a reader can shift his attention how he likesWilliam Empson

how

3 of 3

noun

1
: a question about manner or method
the eternal whys and hows of small childrenJeanne Massey
2
: manner, method
examining the hows and whys of exercise
Phrases
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?

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
The Strap Tank was given the moniker because of how the bike's fuel and oil tank are attached to the cross-bar of the frame via nickel straps. Beck Andrew Salgado, USA TODAY, 11 Feb. 2023 At the event, Henningsen will discuss the six motivations people principally have when flirting and share how the nature of flirting creates the potential for miscommunication, organizers said. Chicago Tribune, 10 Feb. 2023 Below, experts explain how the new recommendations may save lives—and what else can be done to address maternal mortality in the US. Maggie O'Neill, SELF, 10 Feb. 2023 In a talk with ITV's Tom Bradby, Prince Harry recalled how Prince William, 40, and Kate reacted to his relationship with Meghan, 41 — an American actress who was divorced and biracial. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 10 Feb. 2023 See all Example Sentences for how 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'how.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb, Conjunction, and Noun

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near how

Cite this Entry

“How.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/how. Accessed 12 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

how

1 of 2 adverb
1
: in what manner or way
study how plants grow
how was it done
2
: for what reason : why
how could you say that
3
: to what degree or extent
how far is Denver
4
: in what state or condition
how are you

how

2 of 2 conjunction
: in what manner or condition
remember how they fought
asked how they were

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