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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Part of Ukraine’s defensive lines run through the Mykolaiv region, and Ukrainian troops often come to the city on rotation or for a break from the front lines. Michael Schwirtz, BostonGlobe.com, 8 Aug. 2022 Slipknot’s association with Robinson has bolstered the irksome-if-justifiable Korn comparisons that often come their way. Matthias Clamer, SPIN, 7 Aug. 2022 The best ideas often come during a shower or a walk, and science explains why. Julie Jargon, WSJ, 6 Aug. 2022 In 2020, Hamsmith swallowed a small, flat battery, called a button cell or coin battery, which are often found in household items like cameras, calculators, flashing apparel and even greeting cards. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, 5 Aug. 2022 Go for the larger or bulk sizes, because these most often come with a pump. Chloe Valentine Toscano, Allure, 4 Aug. 2022 There's green and stubby salt marsh samphire, similar to the plant often found as a kitchen ingredient. Barry Neild, CNN, 4 Aug. 2022 But for me, also, to have a [South Asian] character is something that doesn’t come along that often still. Dominic Whisson, Los Angeles Times, 3 Aug. 2022 The miners often come from impoverished communities, looking to make more than a living wage. New York Times, 2 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for often

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Often.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/often. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for often


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

Kids Definition of often

: many times : frequently I think of him often.

More from Merriam-Webster on often

Nglish: Translation of often for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of often for Arabic Speakers


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