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

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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 Her grandmother Dorothy made fry bread often over her gas stove, sometimes cutting them into triangles so the pieces could be dipped in stews. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, The Arizona Republic, 10 June 2021 Sectarian tensions flared throughout the BJP’s rise to power, and the flames were often fanned by the party itself. Jonah Blank, The Atlantic, 10 June 2021 Crowe’s brother, Donnie, would often accompany him to games as well (and will be there with him Friday, at Owensboro). Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 10 June 2021 Twitch is popular among gamers who stream video of themselves playing, often with music in the background. Anne Steele, WSJ, 9 June 2021 This bit of folk wisdom may reassure those who too often find the world incomprehensible. James Deutsch, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 June 2021 The person initiating the breakup often wants to relieve their own guilt by insisting that this is really the best course for their partner. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 9 June 2021 Every so often, Saldaya had a contraction and stopped to howl in the hallway. Rebecca Grant, Marie Claire, 9 June 2021 Carry-on is a high-tech treat for any dad who travels often for business. Robin Raven, Forbes, 9 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for often

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for often

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Often.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/often. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on often

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for often

Nglish: Translation of often for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of often for Arabic Speakers


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