of·​ten | \ ˈȯ-fən, ˈȯf-tən \

Definition of often 

: many times : frequently are often puzzled and sometimes annoyed by the ways of other peoples— W. A. Parker

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Examples of often in a Sentence

They go out to dinner fairly often. How often do you call your mother? The condition often returns even after treatment with antibiotics. I often take a walk during my lunch break. He travels more often than I do. The disease is diagnosed most often in children. They seem to be getting into arguments more and more often. It's not often that I get to enjoy a day off. Water the plants often enough to keep the soil moist.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And while pastel dye jobs often fade quickly—Gaga’s blue hair has already transformed into a cool silver—only time will tell if Baldwin commits to the frequent upkeep a neon shade no doubt requires. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Hailey Baldwin Reveals a Dramatic New Dye Job in Los Angeles," 12 Jan. 2019 But despite its wide reach, depression—as with many other mental health conditions—is often culturally stigmatized. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Kate Middleton's Brother James Wrote a Powerful Essay About Mental Health," 12 Jan. 2019 Sensors will measure how long customers looked at an ad — and how often that ad led that kind of customer to buy that particular product. Paul Roberts, The Seattle Times, "Kroger hopes Redmond QFC pilot with Microsoft will make it ‘retailer of the future’," 7 Jan. 2019 The pair used to fight often, but eventually developed a simple solution for improving their communication. Jessica Leigh Mattern, Country Living, "Jeff Bridges and Susan Geston's 41-Year Marriage Will Restore Your Faith in Love," 4 Jan. 2019 Also the big unshuttered and often curtainless windows that allow a clear view of whatever—and whoever—is inside. Steve King, Condé Nast Traveler, "Why We Keep Going Back to Amsterdam," 24 Dec. 2018 In an institution like that, more new blood, more often, is probably a good thing. Ezra Klein, Vox, "Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the case for 18-year Supreme Court terms," 26 Dec. 2018 This change comes after several customers complained about how the brand's sizes are often vastly different from other stores. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Here's Why Clothing Sizes Are Inconsistent," 21 Dec. 2018 For prospective homebuyer, down payments are often a source of stress—and confusion. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Need money for a down payment on a house? There’s an app for that.," 17 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'often.' 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 often

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for often

Middle English, alteration of oft

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Statistics for often

Last Updated

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for often

The first known use of often was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for often



English Language Learners Definition of often

: many times : on many occasions


of·​ten | \ ˈȯ-fən \

Kids Definition of often

: many times : frequently I think of him often.

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More from Merriam-Webster on often

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with often

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for often

Spanish Central: Translation of often

Nglish: Translation of often for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of often for Arabic Speakers

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