however

conjunction
how·​ev·​er | \hau̇-ˈe-vər \

Definition of however 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in whatever manner or way that will help however I can

2 archaic : although

however

adverb

Definition of however (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : in whatever manner or way shall serve you, sir, truly, however else— William Shakespeare

b : to whatever degree or extent couldn't convince him, however hard she tried has done this for however many thousands of years— Emma Hawkridge

2 : in spite of that : on the other hand still seems possible, however, that conditions will improve would like to go; however, I think I'd better not

3 : how in the world however did you manage to do it

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Beginning a Sentence With However

However is one in a long list of words that students have been admonished to avoid placing at the beginning of a sentence (others include and, but, for, so, yet, and many more). Can you use however to start a sentence? Yes. Some usage guides will recommend against placing it there when the intended meaning is “nonetheless” but will allow it for other senses of however, but a considerable number of prominent (and not so prominent) writers utilize just this sense of however in the initial position. You should make your own judgment about such use and let your ear guide you regarding its appropriateness.

Examples of however in a Sentence

Conjunction

Do it however you like. I will help however I can.

Adverb

I'm all out of eggs; however, I can still make us a nice breakfast.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

What’s striking, however, is that essentially no progress has been made on sorting out the details. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "The $21 trillion Pentagon accounting error that can’t pay for Medicare-for-all, explained," 3 Dec. 2018 Others with knowledge of the matter, however, said China hadn’t made firm commitments to act before negotiations were complete. Vivian Salama, WSJ, "Trump Names Lighthizer to Run U.S.-China Negotiations," 3 Dec. 2018 For a more affordable option, however, try this one from Mango. Avery Matera, Teen Vogue, "Bella Hadid's "Winter Jacket" Does Not Look Very Warm, And Yet, I Need It," 15 Nov. 2018 The percentage of donations that have gone to each party, however, is consistent with that derived from a similar data pull from data analysis company, Enigma, which focused solely on employees. Rani Molla, Recode, "Tech employees are much more liberal than their employers — at least as far as the candidates they support," 31 Oct. 2018 The second half of Blandino's caption, however, is what's making people's ears really perk up. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Too Faced Is Launching Its Pretty Rich Makeup Collection This November," 29 Oct. 2018 Overseas returns, however, added $191 million for a world-wide tally of $253 million. Erich Schwartzel, WSJ, "Less-Than-‘Fantastic’ Start for Harry Potter Spinoff," 18 Nov. 2018 That fear, however, hasn’t seemed to put a dent in sales. Rani Molla, Recode, "Voice tech like Alexa and Siri hasn’t found its true calling yet: Inside the voice assistant ‘revolution’," 12 Nov. 2018 This time however, the A-lister in question definitely can’t be blamed. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes and Suri Cruise Were Accidentally Used to Advertise a Café in London," 30 Oct. 2018

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

Conjunction

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Statistics for however

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for however

The first known use of however was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for however

however

conjunction

English Language Learners Definition of however

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in whatever manner or way

however

adverb

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

—used when you are saying something that is different from or contrasts with a previous statement

: to whatever degree or extent : no matter how

—used as a more forceful way of saying how

however

adverb
how·​ev·​er | \hau̇-ˈe-vər \

Kids Definition of however

1 : to whatever degree or extent Finish the job however long it takes.

2 : in whatever way However you want to do it is fine.

3 : in spite of that The car was old. It did, however, get us home.

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More from Merriam-Webster on however

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with however

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for however

Spanish Central: Translation of however

Nglish: Translation of however for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of however for Arabic Speakers

Comments on however

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