1 of 2


how·​ev·​er hau̇-ˈe-vər How to pronounce however (audio)
: in whatever manner or way that
will help however I can
archaic : although


2 of 2


: in whatever manner or way
shall serve you, sir, truly, however elseWilliam Shakespeare
: to whatever degree or extent
couldn't convince him, however hard she tried
has done this for however many thousands of yearsEmma Hawkridge
: 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
: how in the world
however did you manage to do it

Did you know?

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
The series also marks another collaboration for Rudolph and Lyonne under their Animal Pictures producing banner; however, it was announced last fall that the two would amicably part ways as producing partners after previously teaming up for Poker Face, Loot and Russian Doll. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Feb. 2024 Regardless of where this new boom leads, however, Winter views Kahan as the de facto leader of this movement, and predicts his influence to continue growing. Jason Lipshutz, Billboard, 21 Feb. 2024 While probiotics may not be necessary for everyone, choosing the best probiotic for your specific needs depends on a variety of factors including gastrointestinal issues, the severity of your symptoms, and more (however people with certain underlying conditions should avoid taking probiotics). Shushy Rita Setrakian Ms, Verywell Health, 21 Feb. 2024 Winkle’s first job in the drug trade, however, didn’t involve marijuana. Peter Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 21 Feb. 2024 There is, however, a twist with Jake that has to do with the State Farm business model: Beyond ad viewers, Jake has a second audience that provides Miles with a mission. Avery Stone, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Feb. 2024 And: 'If the AfD is the answer, then how stupid was the question?' Dr Conspiracy As the party’s support grows, however, so does the backlash against it. Sebastian Shukla, CNN, 9 Feb. 2024 Over the last few years, however, the weather has only gotten more and more extreme. Summer Lin, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 That could start to change, however, as people get to try releases like the new Jacob’s Pardon Batch 3, although the extremely high proof of this whiskey might be a challenge for some. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 28 Jan. 2024 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near however

Cite this Entry

“However.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 conjunction
how·​ev·​er hau̇-ˈev-ər How to pronounce however (audio)
: in whatever way or manner
do it however you like


2 of 2 adverb
: in whatever manner or way
I'll get there however I can
: to whatever degree or extent
no prank, however innocent, was done
: in spite of that : on the other hand : but
I'd like to go; however, I'd better not

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