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See also: eiþer

Contents

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English either, from Old English ǣġhwæþer, from Proto-Germanic, ultimately corresponding to ay (always, ever) + whether. Akin to Old Saxon eogihwethar, iahwethar (Low German jeed); Old Dutch *iogewether, *iowether, *iother (Dutch ieder); Old High German eogihwedar, iegihweder, ieweder (German jeder).

PronunciationEdit

  • enPR: īth′ə(r), ēth′ə(r), IPA(key): /ˈaɪð.ə(ɹ)/, /ˈiːð.ə(ɹ)/
  • Rhymes: -aɪðə(ɹ), -iːðə(ɹ)
    • (file)
      ,
      (file)
  • In the UK, /aɪ/ is used more in Southern England, and /iː/ is more usual in Northern England. In North America, /iː/ is the most common, but /aɪ/ is predominant in some regions. Note that even if one pronunciation is more common in a region, the pronunciation used varies by individual speaker and sometimes by situation.

DeterminerEdit

either

  1. One of two.
    You can have it in either colour.
  2. Each of two; both. [from 9th c.]
    There is a locomotive at either end of the train, one pulling and the other pushing.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      His flowing hair / In curls on either cheek played.
    • 1936, Djuna Barnes, Nightwood, Faber & Faber 2007, page 31:
      Her hands, long and beautiful, lay on either side of her face.

Usage notesEdit

  • When there are more than two alternatives, in the sense of "one of many", any is used instead.

SynonymsEdit

TranslationsEdit

PronounEdit

either

  1. One or other of two people or things.
    He made me two offers, but I did not accept either.
    • 2013, Daniel Taylor, Danny Welbeck leads England's rout of Moldova but hit by Ukraine ban, The Guardian, 6 September:
      Hodgson may now have to bring in James Milner on the left and, on that basis, a certain amount of gloss was taken off a night on which Welbeck scored twice but barely celebrated either before leaving the pitch angrily complaining to the Slovakian referee.
  2. (obsolete) Both, each of two or more.

AdverbEdit

either (not comparable)

  1. (conjunctive, after a negative) As well.
    I don't like him, and I don't like her either.
    • 1959, Georgette Heyer, chapter 1, in The Unknown Ajax:
      But Richmond [] appeared to lose himself in his own reflections. Some pickled crab, which he had not touched, had been removed with a damson pie; and his sister saw [] that he had eaten no more than a spoonful of that either.

Usage notesEdit

After a positive statement, "too" is commonly used: "I like him, and I like her too".

either is sometimes used, especially in North American English, where neither would be more traditionally accurate: "I'm not hungry." "Me either."

TranslationsEdit

ConjunctionEdit

either

  1. Introduces the first of two (or occasionally more) options or possibilities, the second (or last) of which is introduced by "or".
    Either you eat your dinner or you go to your room.
    You can have either potatoes or rice with that, but not both.
    You'll be either early, late, or on time.
    • 2006 December 5,, “Mason drops lawsuit vs. Jews for Jesus”, in USA Today:
      You can't be a table and a chair. You're either a Jew or a gentile.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, “Prologue”, in The Ivory Gate:
      Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language [] his clerks [] understood him very well. If he had written a love letter, or a farce, or a ballade, or a story, no one, either clerks, or friends, or compositors, would have understood anything but a word here and a word there.

TranslationsEdit

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

AnagramsEdit


Middle EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old English ǣġþer, a contraction of ǣġhwæþer.

PronunciationEdit

DeterminerEdit

either

  1. Both of two.
  2. Each of two.
  3. Either of two.

DescendantsEdit

PronounEdit

either

  1. Both of two members of a group.
  2. Each of two members of a group.
  3. Either of two members of a group.

DescendantsEdit

AdjectiveEdit

either

  1. Both, all, or any of a set.
  2. Each of a group.

ReferencesEdit