What does either mean?

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

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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  

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. Marine Lt. Gen. Stuart Scheller:

    I was ready to put my head through a wall – it was like, ‘ Are you kidding ? The biggest threat is COVID ? ’ There are things rotting us from the bottom. Either you just don't know or you are playing a political game, but it doesn't matter because you are not benefiting the junior service member if that is your diagnosis of the problem.

  2. Donald Trump:

    China has great influence over North Korea. And China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won't. And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don't it won't be good for anyone, if China is not going to solve North Korea, we will. That is all I am telling you.

  3. Shelby Smith:

    Either buckle under the pressure or I can pick myself up and make a new normal.

  4. Chester Good:

    I’m not saying that physicians shouldn’t be using drugs off-label, it happens all the time, but we need to be more circumspect when we do so. Indications should either be supported by some evidence or recommended in guidelines.

  5. John Updike:

    Government is either organized benevolence or organized madness; its peculiar magnitude permits no shading.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for either

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for either »


Find a translation for the either definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these either definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "either." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 5 Dec. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/either>.

    Are we missing a good definition for either? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    mark as different
    • A. doom
    • B. aggravate
    • C. carry
    • D. distinguish

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for either: