1

however

conjunction how·ev·er \ hau̇-ˈe-vər \
Updated on: 12 May 2018

Definition of however

1 : in whatever manner or way that
  • will help however I can
2 archaic : although

Examples of however in a Sentence

  1. Do it however you like.

  2. I will help however I can.

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.

First Known Use of however

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

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2

however

adverb

Definition of however

1 a : 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

Examples of however in a Sentence

  1. I'm all out of eggs; however, I can still make us a nice breakfast.

Recent Examples of however from the Web

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.

First Known Use of however

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

however Synonyms

Related Words

after all, anyhow, regardless;

Phrases

all the same (or just the same), at the same time;


HOWEVER Defined for English Language Learners

however

Definition of however for English Language Learners

  • : in whatever manner or way


however

Definition of however for English Language Learners

  • —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 Defined for Kids

however

adverb how·ev·er \ hau̇-ˈe-vər \

Definition of however for Students

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.


Seen and Heard

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