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

The Department of Health and Human Services noted in a statement later on Friday, however, that the number could change. Phil Mccausland /, NBC News, "Government says around 2,551 migrant children still need reunification with parents," 14 July 2018 This doesn’t quite track, however — Hemsworth and Cyrus still follow one another, and all of Hemsworth’s photos with Cyrus still remain. refinery29.com, "Why Did Miley Cyrus Delete Her Instagram Posts? Fans Have A Few Theories," 14 July 2018 Most significantly, however, is the government ranking. Natasha Bach, Fortune, "Under President Trump, the U.S.'s 'Soft Power' Is Waning," 13 July 2018 Twitter has gone to great lengths to appease the right, and any purge, however justified, would result in waves of negative coverage from Fox News and the Drudge Report. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Is Twitter Good Now?," 13 July 2018 At the moment, however, only 16 of the Texas Legislature’s 181 members have STEM backgrounds, according to 314 Action. David Yaffe-bellany, star-telegram, "As Trump backlash continues, STEM professionals in Texas run for office," 12 July 2018 With a willingness to make noise however terrifying and attune one’s ear to the beauty of it. Sadia Hassan, Longreads, "Silence is a Lonely Country: A Prayer in Twelve Parts," 13 July 2018 There is, however, no federal oversight of adoptions, either in state or between states, and there is minimal transparency on how the process works. Washington Post, "Abuse, neglect and a system that failed: The tragic lives of the Hart children," 12 July 2018 Lately, however, the bullpen has been pushed to its limits. Nick Piecoro, azcentral, "Diamondbacks taxing bullpen but still getting results," 11 July 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

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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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Comments on however

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