Definition of otherwise
- was ordered to testify and could not do otherwise
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
All of the books had been burned or otherwise destroyed.
The women talked in the living room while the men were otherwise occupied.
Art allows us to express things that we would not be able to express otherwise.
Something must be wrong; otherwise, he would have called.
The test helps identify problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.
One of the boys has a freckle on his cheek. Otherwise, the twins are nearly identical.
I didn't like the ending, but otherwise it was a very good book.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'otherwise.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
If conditions were otherwise, I wouldn't be so worried.
: in a different way or manner
: if something did not happen, was not true, etc.
: in all ways except the one mentioned
: not the same
What made you want to look up otherwise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
investment of mental or emotional energy
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