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

It's been available all day at $1,100 and often bumps down to $1,000. Gordon Mah Ung, PCWorld, "Why you should or shouldn't buy a GeForce RTX laptop," 6 Mar. 2019 The pair also have a pitbull, who Mandy often shows off on social media. Megan Stein, Country Living, "'Deadliest Catch' Star Mandy Hansen Reveals She 'Lost' Her Baby in Heartbreaking Post," 2 Mar. 2019 Because chlamydia testing is recommended annually for young women, and chlamydia is often asymptomatic and not detected in men, most cases that get reported are among women. SELF, "Here's Why Sexually Transmitted Infection Rates Are So High, According to STI Experts," 8 Jan. 2019 The process isn't always fun for the models themselves, who often have to dye their brows back right after the show. Jenna Rosenstein, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and Kaia Gerber Just Walked The Prada Runway Without Eyebrows," 22 Feb. 2019 Joan, like other nurses in the program, often has up to 30 families at a time in her care. Tracy Saelinger, Woman's Day, "This Nurse Helps New Moms When They're Most Vulnerable," 8 Jan. 2019 But people do have dysfunctional families very often. Ashley Edwards Walker, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Estrangement — And Should You Consider It?," 21 Dec. 2018 What does their relationship mean to you, particularly in today’s climate, where solidarity is often lacking? Candice Frederick, Harper's BAZAAR, "Justina Machado Is One of the Most Dynamic Actresses on TV," 8 Feb. 2019 The seemingly wholesome holiday often features delicious brunch spreads, thoughtful gifts, and sentimental cards, but the event actually has surprisingly somber roots. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "When Is Mother's Day? Here's Everything You Need to Know About the Holiday," 7 Feb. 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

12 Mar 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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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