What does as it were mean?

Definitions for as it were
as it were

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word as it were.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. as it were, so to speakadverb

    as if it were really so

    "she lives here, as it were"


  1. as it wereadverb

    Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see as,‎ it,‎ were.

  2. as it wereadverb

    Used to indicate that a word or statement is perhaps not exact though practically right; as if it were so.

    God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.

  3. as it wereadverb

    Used to draw attention to the use of a metaphor, sometimes to prevent confusion or to highlight wordplay.

    She gave all of the women seated at the restaurant food for thought, as it were.

  4. Etymology: From Middle English as it were, as hyt were, als it were, als hit were, from Old English *ealswā hit wǣre, attested only as swā hit wǣre and swylċe hit wǣre ("as it were ", literally " as it would be").


  1. as it were

    "As it were" is a phrase used to indicate that the following statement is figurative, metaphorical or not exactly true. It is an appeal to the listener or reader to understand the succeeding expression as an approximation or estimate rather than a literal fact.

British National Corpus

  1. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'as it were' in Written Corpus Frequency: #1595

Anagrams for as it were »

  1. sweatier

  2. weariest

How to pronounce as it were?

How to say as it were in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of as it were in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of as it were in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of as it were in a Sentence

  1. Clive Staples Lewis:

    What seem our worst prayers may really be, in God's eyes, our best. Those, I mean, which are least supported by devotional feeling. For these may come from a deeper level than feeling. God sometimes seems to speak to us most intimately when he catches us, as it were, off our guard.

  2. Wayne Rogers:

    It said that, in the eyes of the studio, if you behaved in an immoral fashion, they have the right to suspend you. Well, nobody defined an 'immoral fashion,' as it were - so it was at the whim of whoever ran the studio.

  3. Boris Johnson:

    Take out, excise, surgically remove the backstop, OK? thats the problem, thats the lobster pot, thats the trap that keeps us locked in the customs union and means we have this terrible Hobsons choice between, as it were, sacrificing Northern Ireland orremaining subject to the E.U. without having any say in the E.U.

  4. Andreas Park:

    I think this move pre-empts regulation, or a cap on fees as it were, I think this is also a nod toward brokers who are not very happy about having to pay high taker fees.

  5. Anthony Fauci:

    The antibody test says you were infected and if you're feeling well, you've very likely recovered, as we look forward, as we get to the point of at least considering opening up the country as it were, it's very important to appreciate and to understand how much that virus has penetrated society.

Translations for as it were

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"as it were." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Oct. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/as+it+were>.

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    a decorative musical accompaniment (often improvised) added above a basic melody
    • A. suffuse
    • B. descant
    • C. monish
    • D. abet

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