otherwise

pronoun
oth·er·wise | \ˈə-t͟hər-ˌwīz \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for otherwise

Synonyms: Adverb

differently, else, other (than)

Antonyms: Adverb

likewise

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

This makes the otherwise invisible nerve agents glow so they can be seen by the naked eye. Allison Barrie, Fox News, "Innovative project harnesses Legos and smartphones in the fight against invisible, deadly weapons," 13 July 2018 Proponents of a larger event point to the addition of teams that otherwise would have failed to qualify in a smaller field. Steven Goff, chicagotribune.com, "FIFA president: World Cup could expand to 48 teams in 2022, ahead of schedule," 13 July 2018 But, there is one dark cloud in this otherwise bright landscape – all of the CTOs of the companies were men. Neil Senturia, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Ad Astra accelerator gives female-led San Diego startups a boost," 2 July 2018 But Congress has not authorized any funding — from the $700 billion in the omnibus spending bill or otherwise — for this new military branch. Salvador Rizzo, Washington Post, "Anatomy of a Trump rally: 76 percent of claims are false, misleading or lacking evidence," 10 July 2018 In this op-ed, Charli Cooksey explains how to have uncomfortable conversations about issues—political or otherwise. Charli Cooksey, Teen Vogue, "How to Have Uncomfortable Conversations," 10 July 2018 When the mix changes, humans can feel a range of health effects, subtle and otherwise. New York Times, "8 Saved, 5 to Go in Thai Cave Rescue," 9 July 2018 But what McMenamin has sparked, haphazardly or otherwise, with the Olympic Club and several other Pacific Northwest properties, is the reinvigoration of blue-collar towns that had been all but abandoned by the global economy. Mike Seely, latimes.com, "A Washington state town had become listless. Then a bar came to town and everything began to change," 9 July 2018 This gave further license to removal schemes, forced and otherwise. Martha S. Jones, Time, "How the 14th Amendment's Promise of Birthright Citizenship Redefined America," 9 July 2018

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.

See More

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

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

Adverb

see otherwise entry 1

Adjective

see otherwise entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about otherwise

Statistics for otherwise

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for otherwise

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on otherwise

What made you want to look up otherwise? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!