however

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English how +‎ ever.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

however ‎(not comparable)

  1. Nevertheless; yet, still; in spite of (that).
    He told me not to do it. I, however, did it anyway. / (sometimes proscribed:) However, I did it anyway.
    She wanted to go; however, she decided against it.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Prologue:
      Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language, he expressed the important words by an initial, a medial, or a final consonant, and made scratches for all the words between; his clerks, however, understood him very well.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 2, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      That the young Mr. Churchills liked—but they did not like him coming round of an evening and drinking weak whisky-and-water while he held forth on railway debentures and corporation loans. Mr. Barrett, however, by fawning and flattery, seemed to be able to make not only Mrs. Churchill but everyone else do what he desired.
    • 2013 June 29, “A punch in the gut”, The Economist, volume 407, number 8842, page 72-3: 
      Mostly, the microbiome is beneficial. It helps with digestion and enables people to extract a lot more calories from their food than would otherwise be possible. Research over the past few years, however, has implicated it in diseases from atherosclerosis to asthma to autism.
  2. (degree or manner) To whatever degree or extent; in whatever way or manner.
    However clear you think you've been, many questions will remain.
    Let me know when you've had your interview, however it goes.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, “The tao of tech”, The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 48: 
      But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention. Partly, this is a result of how online advertising has traditionally worked: advertisers pay for clicks, and a click is a click, however it's obtained.
  3. How.
    However were you able to do it?
  4. (obsolete) In any case, at any rate, at all events.
    • c. 1680, John Tillotson:
      Our chief end and highest interest is happiness : And this is happiness to be freed from all (if it may) [or] however from the greatest evils.

Usage notes[edit]

Synonyms[edit]

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Translations[edit]

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Conjunction[edit]

however

  1. In whatever way or manner.
    she offered to help however she could
  2. (proscribed) Although, though, but, yet.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Both conjunctive uses of "however" are identical to adverbial uses except in punctuation (when written) and in prosody (when spoken). Hence, the following proscribed sentence:
    • He told me not to do it, however I did it.
    is equivalent to the following accepted one:
    • He told me not to do it; however, I did it.
    as well as functionally equivalent to:
    • He told me not to do it, but I did it.
  • In particular, when used as a conjunction in this sense, however always appears between the clauses it connects; it does not introduce a subordinate clause that can be moved to the start of an independent clause, but simply coordinates two independent clauses.

Statistics[edit]

References[edit]

  • however in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • however” in Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing Group, 2006.
  • however” in Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition (2007)
  • "however (degree)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • "however (despite)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • "however (way)" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • however” in the Compact Oxford English Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)

Anagrams[edit]