1

otherwise

pronoun oth·er·wise \ ˈə-t͟hər-ˌwīz \
Updated on: 12 Nov 2017

Definition of otherwise

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

Origin and Etymology of otherwise

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


2

otherwise

adverb

Definition of otherwise

1 : in a different way or manner
  • glossed over or otherwise handled
  • Playboy
  • 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 farce
  • Current 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 Fischer
  • almost thirty thousand women, Irish and otherwise
  • —J. M. Burns
  • his opinion as to the success or otherwise of it
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography

Examples of otherwise in a Sentence

  1. All of the books had been burned or otherwise destroyed.

  2. The women talked in the living room while the men were otherwise occupied.

  3. Art allows us to express things that we would not be able to express otherwise.

  4. Something must be wrong; otherwise, he would have called.

  5. The test helps identify problems that might otherwise go unnoticed.

  6. One of the boys has a freckle on his cheek. Otherwise, the twins are nearly identical.

  7. I didn't like the ending, but otherwise it was a very good book.

Recent Examples of otherwise from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of otherwise

otherwise Synonyms

Synonyms
differently, else, other (than)
Antonyms
likewise
Related Words
dissimilarly, diversely, variously
Near Antonyms
similarly

3

otherwise

adjective

Definition of otherwise

: different
  • if conditions were otherwise

Examples of otherwise in a Sentence

  1. If conditions were otherwise, I wouldn't be so worried.

Recent Examples of otherwise from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of otherwise



OTHERWISE Defined for English Language Learners

otherwise

adverb

Definition of otherwise for English Language Learners

  • : in a different way or manner

  • : if something did not happen, was not true, etc.

  • : in all ways except the one mentioned


otherwise

adjective

Definition of otherwise for English Language Learners

  • : not the same


OTHERWISE Defined for Kids

otherwise

adverb oth·er·wise \ ˈə-t͟hər-ˌwīz \

Definition of otherwise for Students

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


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