I. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Old English ǣghwæther both, each, from ā always + ge-, collective prefix + hwæther which of two, whether — more at aye, co- Date: before 12th century 1. being the one and the other of two ; each <
flowers blooming on either side of the walk
plays either instrument well
2. being the one or the other of two <
take either road
II. pronoun Date: before 12th century the one or the other <
take either of the two routes
III. conjunction Date: before 12th century — used as a function word before two or more coordinate words, phrases, or clauses joined usually by or to indicate that what immediately follows is the first of two or more alternatives <
can be used either as a guest room or as an office
IV. adverb Date: 15th century 1. likewise, moreover — used for emphasis after a negative <
not smart or handsome either
2. for that matter — used for emphasis after an alternative following a question or conditional clause especially where negation is implied <
who answers for the Irish parliament? or army either? — Robert Browning

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

(of two) / (of several) / (of two), ,

Look at other dictionaries:

  • either — 1. pronunciation. The pronunciations iy dhǝ and ee dhǝ are about equally common. 2. parts of speech. Either functions in two ways: as an adjective or pronoun, and as an adverb or conjunction. In all these uses, it means essentially ‘one or other… …   Modern English usage

  • either — [ē′thər, ī′thər] adj. [ME < OE æghwæther < a (æ), always (see AY) + gehwæther, each of two (see WHETHER): akin to, and of same formation as, OHG eogihwedar] 1. one or the other (of two) [use either hand] 2. each (of two); the one and the… …   English World dictionary

  • Either — Ei ther ([=e] [th][ e]r or [imac] [th][ e]r; 277), a. & pron. [OE. either, aither, AS. [=ae]g[eth]er, [=ae]ghw[ae][eth]er (akin to OHG. [=e]ogiwedar, MHG. iegeweder); [=a] + ge + hw[ae][eth]er whether. See {Each}, and {Whether}, and cf. {Or},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Either — Ei ther, conj. Either precedes two, or more, co[ o]rdinate words or phrases, and is introductory to an alternative. It is correlative to or. [1913 Webster] Either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • either —  Either suggests a duality and is almost always better avoided when the context involves quantities of more than two, as in Decisions on Mansfield’s economy are now made in either Detroit, Pittsburgh, or New York. Often in such constructions,… …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • either — O.E. ægðer, contraction of æghwæðer each of two, both, from a always (see AYE (Cf. aye) (2)) + ge collective prefix + hwæðer which of two, whether (see WHETHER (Cf. whether)). Cognate with Du. ieder, O.H.G. eogiwedar, G …   Etymology dictionary

  • Either — Either/or means one or the other. Its usage, versus the simple or structure, is often for emphatic purposes, sometimes intending to emphasize that only one option is possible, or to emphasize that there are only two options. Its use in a sentence …   Wikipedia

  • either — ► CONJUNCTION & ADVERB 1) used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives specified (the other being introduced by ‘or’). 2) (adverb ) used to indicate a similarity or link with a statement just made: You don t like him, do you?… …   English terms dictionary

  • either — ei|ther [ iðər ] function word, quantifier *** Either can be used in the following ways: in the expression either...or: Students could choose either French or Spanish. You can either come by bus or take a taxi. as a determiner (followed by a… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • either — /ee dheuhr, uy dheuhr/, adj. 1. one or the other of two: You may sit at either end of the table. 2. each of two; the one and the other: There are trees on either side of the river. pron. 3. one or the other: There are two roads into the town, and …   Universalium

  • either — ei|ther1 W1S1 [ˈaıðə US ˈi:ðər] conj either ... or a) used to begin a list of two or more possibilities ▪ You add either one or two cloves of garlic. ▪ She s the kind of person you either love or hate. see usage note ↑also b) used to say that if… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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