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

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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

Fosse/Verdon, however, digs deeper into their troubled dynamic. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Fosse/Verdon Proves It's Time to Cancel the Fragile Male Ego," 10 Apr. 2019 Only Windows 10 Professional machines can be remotely controlled, however—not Windows 10 Home machines. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Who needs Windows 10 Pro: 5 reasons to upgrade," 5 Mar. 2019 North Korea, however, considers the U.S. a present security threat that requires it to arm itself with nuclear weapons and maintain a close partnership with China, its longtime patron. Niharika Mandhana, WSJ, "At Trump-Kim Summit, Host Vietnam Blazes Trail for North Korea," 23 Feb. 2019 What Hart didn’t do, however, was just say as much when people called him on it — thereby making the whole situation worse. Aja Romano, Vox, "Why the Kevin Hart Oscars backlash is different from other recent public shamings," 5 Jan. 2019 For this to actually work, however, items can't be piled on top of each other. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Bikes, bowling balls, and the delicate balancing act that is modern recycling," 31 Dec. 2018 Over that same period, however, the average list price—the sticker price before rebates and discounts are considered—rose more than 50%. Charley Grant, WSJ, "Squeeze Looks More Likely for Drug Middlemen," 25 Mar. 2019 In this writer’s opinion, however, the outfits were good, but the bags were even better. Vogue, "The 5 Spring Bag Trends to Know, From the Coolest Women Around the World," 10 Mar. 2019 In the commercial, however, The Mountain battles The Bud Knight—and knocks him off of his horse. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones Just Recreated That Scene with The Mountain for a Super Bowl Ad," 4 Feb. 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.

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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 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.

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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

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likely to have or produce good results

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