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

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

Now, however, Warner has seemed to change its mind. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Oh No! "Friends" Might Be Leaving Netflix for a New Streaming Service!," 12 Feb. 2019 Most interesting, however, was judge Simon Cowell's reaction to Susan's stunning performance. Heather Finn, Good Housekeeping, "Simon Cowell Admits to His "Disgusting" Past After Susan Boyle's 'AGT' Performance," 12 Feb. 2019 One candidate, however, is less political, and more spiritual: Marianne Williamson, author, activist, self-help guru, and Friend Of Oprah—a tier of status, not a person—has announced her candidacy for President, as a Democrat. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "Who Is Marianne Williamson, 2020 Presidential Candidate and Also Oprah's Spiritual Advisor?," 8 Feb. 2019 Perhaps the clipping that stood out most, however, is the one of a younger Queen Elizabeth. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "Summer Thornton Is Designing a Hotel and the Mood Board Looks Bananas," 1 Feb. 2019 The good news, however, is that this means that Avrame kits are now available in all 50 states. Megan Barber, Curbed, "Affordable A-frame house can be built by just two people," 11 Jan. 2019 What makes this book so fascinating, however, is just how little this scholar of self-deception seems to know himself. Emily Bobrow, WSJ, "‘Dark Water’ Review: Unfathomable Depths," 28 Dec. 2018 For many Tumblr users and onlookers, however, the simplest solution seems to be a return to the spirit that built Tumblr culture: When all else fails, make memes. Aja Romano, Vox, "Tumblr’s adult content ban is already harming the site’s vibrant community.," 5 Dec. 2018 Heidi, however, is the walking embodiment of a down-to-earth mountain jockess. Candice Rainey, Condé Nast Traveler, "What It's Like to Ski With an Olympian," 4 Dec. 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.

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 \

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

excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!