however

conjunction
how·​ev·​er | \ hau̇-ˈe-vər How to pronounce however (audio) \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Even if this incarnation of the Warriors is done lifting championship trophies, however, the franchise’s legacy should never be forgotten. Sean Gregory/oakland, Time, "The Golden State Warriors Revolutionized the NBA. Now They Plan to Keep the Dynasty Dream Alive," 20 June 2019 The ballerina, however, did not become a full-time member of Abby’s prestigious elite competition team until the fifth season of Dance Moms. Mackenzie Dunn, Woman's Day, "Kalani Hilliker Has Moved On From ‘Dance Moms’," 20 June 2019 For now, however, more information on the committee and the project can be found on the town’s website. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "New firm selected to oversee design of second renovation attempt at Farmington High School," 20 June 2019 The state’s guidance, however, carries little teeth since zoning decisions are made at the local level, and communities are often torn between fire safety and meeting local housing needs. Kurtis Alexander, San Francisco Chronicle, "Can California avoid a third year of fire catastrophe? Here’s what’s been fixed — and what hasn’t," 20 June 2019 The mothers of the sick children seem unrepentant, however. Washington Post, "New suffering for the children of the ISIS caliphate as hunger and sickness spread," 20 June 2019 Recently, however, a new player has joined the national park to offer a wide range of boat tours and in-water excursions to the public. Bonnie Gross, sun-sentinel.com, "Boat tours explore underwater Biscayne National Park," 20 June 2019 Even smaller waves, created by dropping the ball from a lower height, however, can cause a boat to sink. Ben Finio, Scientific American, "Surviving the Stormy Seas--with Science," 20 June 2019 The cartoon series was rebooted back in 2002 on Cartoon Network, however the franchise has remained inactive since then, despite Sony’s efforts to get a new film into production over the past several years. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "Noah Centineo Opens Up About Playing He-Man: ‘It’s a Really Big Responsibility’," 19 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about however

Statistics for however

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for however

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce however (audio) \

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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a device or gadget

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

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!