What does either mean?

Definitions for either
ˈi ðər, ˈaɪ ðər; ˈi ðər; ˈni ðər; ˈaɪ ðər; ˈnaɪ ðər; aɪei·ther

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. eitheradverb

    after a negative statement used as an intensive meaning something like `likewise' or `also'

    "he isn't stupid, but he isn't exactly a genius either"; "I don't know either"; "if you don't order dessert I won't either"


  1. eitheradverb

    as well

    I don't like him and I don't like her either.

  2. eitherpronoun

    Both, each of two (people or things).

  3. eitherpronoun

    One or other of two people or things.

  4. eitherconjunction

    Introduces the first of two options, the second of which is introduced by "or".

    Either you eat your dinner or you go to your room.

  5. Etymology: æghwæþer, from West, ultimately corresponding to ay + whether

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Eitheradverb

    A distributive adverb, answered by or; either the one or.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    We never heard of any ship that had been seen to arrive upon any shore of Europe; no nor of either the East or West Indies. Francis Bacon, New Atlantis.

    What perils shall we find,
    If either place, or time, or other course,
    Cause us to alter th’ order now assign’d? Samuel Daniel, C. War.

    Either your brethren have miserably deceived us, or power confers virtue. Jonathan Swift, to Pope.

  2. Eitherpron.

    Etymology: ægðer, Saxon; auther, Scottish.

    Lepidus flatters both,
    Of both is flatter’d; but he neither loves,
    Nor either cares for him. William Shakespeare, Anthony and Cleopatra.

    So like in arms these champions were,
    As they had been a very pair;
    So that a man would almost swear,
    That either had been either. Michael Drayton, Nymp.

    Goring made a fast friendship with Digby, either of them believing he could deceive the other. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

    I do not ask whether bodies do so exist, that the motion of one body cannot really be without the motion of another: to determine this either way, is to beg the question for or against a vacuum. John Locke.

    In the process of natural beings, there seem some to be creatures placed, as it were, in the confines of several provinces, and participating something of either. Matthew Hale.

    Sev’n times the sun has either tropick view’d,
    The Winter banish’d, and the Spring renew’d. John Dryden, Virg.


  1. either

    Either/Or is an influential book by philosopher Søren Kierkegaard.


  1. either

    The term "either" typically refers to having a choice between two possibilities or options. It denotes a situation in which one can choose one option or the other, but not both.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Either

    one of two; the one or the other; -- properly used of two things, but sometimes of a larger number, for any one

  2. Either

    each of two; the one and the other; both; -- formerly, also, each of any number

  3. Either

    precedes two, or more, coordinate words or phrases, and is introductory to an alternative. It is correlative to or

  4. Etymology: [OE. either, aither, AS. ger, ghwer (akin to OHG. ogiwedar, MHG. iegeweder); + ge + hwer whether. See Each, and Whether, and cf. Or, conj.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Either

    ē′thėr, or ī′thėr, adj. or pron. the one or the other: one of two: each of two.—conj. correlative to or: (B.) or. [A.S. ǽgðer, a contr. of ǽghthwæðer=á, aye, the pfx. ge-, and hwæther, the mod. whether. See also Each.]

Editors Contribution

  1. either

    A choice.

    Either of them were happy to go to football training.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 11, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. Either

    Either vs. Neither -- In this Grammar.com article you will learn the differences between the words Either and Neither.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'either' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #427

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'either' in Written Corpus Frequency: #463

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'either' in Adverbs Frequency: #59

How to pronounce either?

How to say either in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of either in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of either in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of either in a Sentence

  1. Rafal Chwedoruk:

    Kopacz is saving what she still can from the government, and from Civic Platform as a party ahead of the elections, civic Platform at the moment is at a crossroads: either the chaos will be contained, or, in a short while, politicians will gradually begin to jump ship.

  2. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov:

    The talk is about people who arrived in Russia with a purpose of either to work in Russia or to visit relatives, they had not declared their (true) purpose of visit as transit to Norway.

  3. Mark Meadows:

    The president has a powerful bully pulpit and a powerful tweet, i would not want to take him on in either of those concerns.

  4. Leader McCarthy:

    Catching up, wasn't even campaign( related) either. I have lots of friends. I talk to lots of people.

  5. The British official:

    The main thing we need to get out of the European Council on Thursday evening is an agreement that we should work on either developing the four-year proposal... or on other solutions.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for either

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    used of men; markedly masculine in appearance or manner
    • A. arbitrary
    • B. proprietary
    • C. defiant
    • D. butch

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