how·​ev·​er | \ hau̇-ˈe-vər How to pronounce however (audio) \

Definition of however

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : in whatever manner or way that will help however I can
2 archaic : although



Definition of however (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : in whatever manner or way shall serve you, sir, truly, however else— William Shakespeare
b : to whatever degree or extent couldn't convince him, however hard she tried has done this for however many thousands of years— Emma Hawkridge
2 : in spite of that : on the other hand still seems possible, however, that conditions will improve would like to go; however, I think I'd better not
3 : how in the world however did you manage to do it

Beginning a Sentence With However

However is one in a long list of words that students have been admonished to avoid placing at the beginning of a sentence (others include and, but, for, so, yet, and many more). Can you use however to start a sentence? Yes. Some usage guides will recommend against placing it there when the intended meaning is “nonetheless” but will allow it for other senses of however, but a considerable number of prominent (and not so prominent) writers utilize just this sense of however in the initial position. You should make your own judgment about such use and let your ear guide you regarding its appropriateness.

Examples of however in a Sentence

Conjunction Do it however you like. I will help however I can. Adverb I'm all out of eggs; however, I can still make us a nice breakfast.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The cushion built by federal relief and prior profitable operations should, however, help hospitals weather these turbulences. Brian Blase, STAT, 14 May 2022 In recent weeks, however, the coronavirus picture has changed rapidly. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, 14 May 2022 The bid was rejected, however, and the prospect of unlocking the material seemed finished., 14 May 2022 Private sector engagement is however key to further promote transition to resilient urban areas. Daniela De Lorenzo, Forbes, 14 May 2022 Mateo arrived to spring training this offseason with a goal, however. Andy Kostka, Baltimore Sun, 14 May 2022 Pittsburgh, however, has struggled at times to maintain momentum after building a multiple-goal advantage. Will Graves, Hartford Courant, 14 May 2022 Despite a recent uptick in the state's new cases, however, the number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 fell back to its lowest level in more than a week. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, 14 May 2022 Those people, however, were feeling the pain, particularly from Luna. Tory Newmyer, Steven Zeitchik, Anchorage Daily News, 13 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'however.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of however


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for however

Time Traveler

The first known use of however was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near however

Howe truss



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Cite this Entry

“However.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for however


how·​ev·​er | \ hau̇-ˈe-vər How to pronounce however (audio) \

Kids Definition of however

1 : to whatever degree or extent Finish the job however long it takes.
2 : in whatever way However you want to do it is fine.
3 : in spite of that The car was old. It did, however, get us home.

More from Merriam-Webster on however

Nglish: Translation of however for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of however for Arabic Speakers


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