of·​ten | \ ˈȯ-fən How to pronounce often (audio) , ˈȯf-tən How to pronounce often (audio) \

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

That dynamic is why the therapist-client relationship is often about race, but there’s also more to it. Gloria Oladipo, Teen Vogue, "Why I Need a Woman of Color Therapist," 17 May 2019 But the default security often isn’t enough in today’s hyper-connected world. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "Microsoft issues a rare Windows XP patch to combat a virulent WannaCry-like exploit in older OS versions," 14 May 2019 Being at the center of the birth of America is often a bloody and violent and heartbreaking matter. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Caitriona Balfe & Sam Heughan Are Officially Producing on Outlander Season 5," 16 Apr. 2019 The mostly Buddhist country’s animist community, usually found in rural areas, also is often hostile. Grant Peck, The Seattle Times, "Evangelical group says 3 US volunteers detained in Laos," 13 Apr. 2019 But as is often the case, Camden’s struggles have revealed its strengths—and never have those been more apparent than on a humid afternoon at 10th and Elm on the city’s north side. Kate Morgan, Woman's Day, "A New Jersey Softball Team Is Lifting Its City's Spirits," 21 Mar. 2019 That’s why many upper-income investors in high-tax areas often buy primarily bonds issued within their home state, or single-state bond funds. Tom Herman, WSJ, "The Smart Ways to Be a Tax-Savvy Investor," 10 Feb. 2019 Kendall Jenner doesn't often shy away from fashion and beauty risks. De Elizabeth, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Is Thinking About Chopping Off Her Hair," 4 May 2019 The exhibition provides a look into the creative, often bizarre workings of each artist’s brains. Vogue, "Rick Owens and Estonian Rapper Tommy Cash Stage a Wonderfully Weird Exhibition," 3 May 2019

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

21 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 How to pronounce often (audio) \

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

Comments on often

What made you want to look up often? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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