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Alternative forms[edit]

  • (British, dialectal) summat (and variants listed there)


some +‎ what



somewhat (not comparable)

  1. (degree) To a limited extent or degree.
    The crowd was somewhat larger than expected, perhaps due to the good weather.
    The decision to shave or not is a somewhat personal one.
    • 1897 December (indicated as 1898), Winston Churchill, chapter II, in The Celebrity: An Episode, New York, N.Y.: The Macmillan Company; London: Macmillan & Co., Ltd., OCLC 222716698:
      I had occasion […] to make a somewhat long business trip to Chicago, and on my return […] I found Farrar awaiting me in the railway station. He smiled his wonted fraction by way of greeting, […], and finally leading me to his buggy, turned and drove out of town. I was completely mystified at such an unusual proceeding.
  2. (UK, meiosis) Very.
    • 1942 September and October, “Notes and News: Lynton & Barnstaple Stock”, in Railway Magazine, page 309:
      Two of the coaches are still on the site of the line; one, a first class observation coach carrying the S.R. number 6991, is at Snapper Halt, where it still stands, in fair condition but somewhat weatherbeaten [...].


See also[edit]



  1. (archaic) Something.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Qveene. [], London: [] [John Wolfe] for VVilliam Ponsonbie, OCLC 960102938, book III, canto xii:
      Proceeding to the midst he stil did stand, / As if in minde he somewhat had to say […].
    • a. 1716, Robert Trail, sermon on the Lord's Prayer
      But this text and theme I am upon, relates to somewhat far higher and greater, than all the beholdings of his glory that ever any saint on earth received.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling:
      Mr Jones had somewhat about him, which, though I think writers are not thoroughly agreed in its name, doth certainly inhabit some human breasts []
    • 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
      Not seldom in this life, when, on the right side, fortune's favourites sail close by us, we, though all adroop before, catch somewhat of the rushing breeze, and joyfully feel our bagging sails fill out.



somewhat (countable and uncountable, plural somewhats)

  1. More or less; a certain quantity or degree; a part, more or less; something.
    • 1682, Nehemiah Grew, Anatomy of Plants
      its taste, which is plainly acid, and somewhat rough
    • 1700, [John] Dryden, “Preface”, in Fables Ancient and Modern; [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 228732415:
      Somewhat of his good sense will suffer, in this transfusion, and much of the beauty of his thoughts will be lost.
    • 1749, Henry Fielding, The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling, volume (please specify |volume=I to VI), London: A[ndrew] Millar [], OCLC 928184292:
      To these ladies a man often recommends himself while he is commending another woman; and, while he is expressing ardour and generous sentiments for his mistress, they are considering what a charming lover this man would make to them, who can feel all this tenderness for an inferior degree of merit. Of this, strange as it may seem, I have seen many instances besides Mrs Fitzpatrick, to whom all this really happened, and who now began to feel a somewhat for Mr Jones, the symptoms of which she much sooner understood than poor Sophia had formerly done.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Night 558:
      Then they set somewhat of food before me, whereof I ate my fill, and gave me somewhat of clothes wherewith I clad myself anew and covered my nakedness; after which they took me up into the ship, []
  2. A person or thing of importance; a somebody.
    • c. 1810-1820, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Notes on Troilus and Cressida
      Pity that the researchful notary has not either told us in what century, and of what history, he was a writer, or been simply content to depose, that Lollius, if a writer of that name existed at all, was a somewhat somewhere.
    • a. 1892, Alfred Tennyson, St. Simeon Stylites
      Here come those that worship me? Ha! ha! / They think that I am somewhat.