1

otherwise

play
pronoun oth·er·wise \ˈə-thər-ˌwīz\

Definition of otherwise

  1. :  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


First Known Use: 15th century


2

otherwise

adverb oth·er·wise

Definition of otherwise

  1. 1 :  in a different way or manner glossed over or otherwise handled — Playboy All shows begin at 8:00 unless otherwise noted.

  2. 2 :  in different circumstances might otherwise have left The test helps identify problems that might have otherwise gone unnoticed.

  3. 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. 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. 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.

Origin and Etymology of otherwise

see 1otherwise


First Known Use: 13th century


3

otherwise

adjective oth·er·wise

Definition of otherwise

  1. :  different if conditions were otherwise

Examples of otherwise in a sentence

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

Origin and Etymology of otherwise

see 1otherwise


First Known Use: 14th century



OTHERWISE Defined for English Language Learners


2

otherwise

adverb oth·er·wise

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


3

otherwise

adjective oth·er·wise

Definition of otherwise for English Language Learners

  • : not the same


OTHERWISE Defined for Kids

otherwise

play
adverb oth·er·wise \ˈə-thər-ˌwīz\

Definition of otherwise for Students

  1. 1 :  in another way He never treated her otherwise than with respect.

  2. 2 :  in different circumstances Thanks for driving; otherwise I couldn't go.

  3. 3 :  in other ways Trucks aren't allowed, but it is an otherwise busy street.

  4. 4 :  if not :  or else “I always have to sing to myself for a while; otherwise I can't sleep …” — Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking



Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!