otherwise

pronoun
oth·​er·​wise | \ ˈə-t͟hər-ˌwīz How to pronounce otherwise (audio) \

Definition of otherwise

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: something or anything else : something to the contrary was ordered to testify and could not do otherwise

otherwise

adverb

Definition of otherwise (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : in a different way or manner glossed over or otherwise handledPlayboy All shows begin at 8:00 unless otherwise noted.
2 : in different circumstances might otherwise have left The test helps identify problems that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.
3 : in other respects an otherwise flimsy farceCurrent Biography I didn't like the ending, but otherwise it was a very good book. The patient had a foot problem, but she was otherwise healthy.
4 : if not do what I tell you, otherwise you'll be sorry Tickets can be bought in advance at a discount; otherwise they can be purchased at the door for full price.
5 : not paired with an adjective, adverb, noun, or verb to indicate its contrary or to suggest an indefinite alternative people whose deeds, admirable or otherwise— John Fischeralmost thirty thousand women, Irish and otherwise— J. M. Burnshis opinion as to the success or otherwise of itAustralian Dictionary of Biography

otherwise

adjective

Definition of otherwise (Entry 3 of 3)

: different if conditions were otherwise

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Synonyms & Antonyms for otherwise

Synonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Adverb

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Examples of otherwise in a Sentence

Adverb 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. Adjective If conditions were otherwise, I wouldn't be so worried.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb What would otherwise be an impenetrable leviathan is thereby made porous. Michael J. Lewis, WSJ, 21 July 2021 But otherwise, Ukraine and Poland are right to band together, anticipating geoeconomic abandonment by an administration that would prefer to swear them to silence. Jimmy Quinn, National Review, 20 July 2021 Indeed, if circumstances had been otherwise, the 24-year-old might not be going to Tokyo. David Woods, The Indianapolis Star, 20 July 2021 Josh Hader struggled in the week leading up to the All-Star break but has otherwise been exceptional. Steve Megargee, Star Tribune, 19 July 2021 Whereas the evidence suggests the majority of young males with post-vaccination myocarditis were otherwise healthy. David Zweig, Wired, 16 July 2021 Haitian authorities have otherwise not been very forthcoming with information about who might have been behind the killing, suggesting that media reports implicating current officials had struck a nerve in the government. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 16 July 2021 Haitian authorities have otherwise not been very forthcoming with information about who might have been behind the killing, suggesting that media reports implicating current officials had struck a nerve in the government. Fox News, 16 July 2021 At the Eldredge Public Library, a local program for summer readers featuring live animals attracted over a hundred children and parents, dozens of whom might otherwise have been at the beach. BostonGlobe.com, 15 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Tokyo organizers have said some Olympic and government officials and sponsors would be allowed at the otherwise spectator-free venues. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, 20 July 2021 The islands act like a comb that gather debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2021 The islands act like a comb that gather debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Caleb Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Apr. 2021 The islands act like a comb, gathering debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Caleb Jones, Star Tribune, 30 Apr. 2021 The islands act like a comb that gather debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2021 The islands act like a comb that gather debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Caleb Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Apr. 2021 The islands act like a comb that gather debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, 23 Apr. 2021 The islands act like a comb that gather debris on its otherwise pristine beaches. Caleb Jones, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Apr. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of otherwise

Pronoun

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for otherwise

Pronoun, Adverb, and Adjective

Middle English, from Old English (on) ōthre wīsan in another manner

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Time Traveler for otherwise

Time Traveler

The first known use of otherwise was in the 13th century

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Statistics for otherwise

Cite this Entry

“Otherwise.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/otherwise. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for otherwise

otherwise

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of otherwise

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: in a different way or manner
: if something did not happen, was not true, etc.
: in all ways except the one mentioned

otherwise

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of otherwise (Entry 2 of 2)

: not the same

otherwise

adverb
oth·​er·​wise | \ ˈə-t͟hər-ˌwīz How to pronounce otherwise (audio) \

Kids Definition of otherwise

1 : in another way He never treated her otherwise than with respect.
2 : in different circumstances Thanks for driving; otherwise I couldn't go.
3 : in other ways Trucks aren't allowed, but it is an otherwise busy street.
4 : if not : or else "I always have to sing to myself for a while; otherwise I can't sleep …"— Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking

More from Merriam-Webster on otherwise

Nglish: Translation of otherwise for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of otherwise for Arabic Speakers

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