Definition of either in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈēT͟Hər/

conjunction& adverb

1Used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives that are being specified (the other being introduced by “or”): either I’ll accompany you to your room, or I’ll wait here available in either black or white
More example sentences
  • Nine out of 29 households participated in the scheme either regularly or occasionally.
  • It was introduced from North America either by accident or design from Victorian times.
  • Her paintings are in either bright colours or black and white.
2 [adverb, with negative] Used to indicate a similarity or link with a statement just made: you don’t like him, do you? I don’t, either it won’t do any harm, but won’t really help, either
More example sentences
  • You don't need to be a genius to work out the similarities either.
  • I don't believe that the Reserve Bank believes that there is a strong link either.
  • Needless to say I won't be writing to them for permission to use these links either.
2.1For that matter; moreover (used to add information): I was too tired to go. And I couldn’t have paid my way, either
More example sentences
  • There is no such thing as a Great Novel, divorced from its readers, or an absolute stinker of a novel either, for that matter.
  • It wasn't something that Joan could easily ignore either; no matter how hard she tried.
  • Well, it does not matter any more either, apparently - we just go with those polls.

determiner& pronoun

1One or the other of two people or things: [as determiner]: there were no children of either marriage [as pronoun]: they have a mortgage that will be repaid if either of them dies
More example sentences
  • A win would secure top spot for either of us, a loss could have seen either team drop out.
  • Equal rights to custody means that a child born outside of marriage can live with either parent.
  • These two groups have changed the world, but not in the way that either intended.
1.1 [determiner] Each of two: the road was straight with fields of grass on either side
More example sentences
  • Just before the farm is reached you will see waymarked paths and stiles leading through fields on either side of the farm road.
  • One of my favourite memories is my father planting loads of young Christmas trees in the woods that ran either side of the field.
  • The rice fields on either side of the road lay motionless in the dim light.


In good English writing style, it is important that either and or are correctly placed so that the structures following each word balance and mirror each other. Thus, it is correct to say either I’ll accompany you, or I’ll wait here. The two expressed choices are parallel, as each includes the subject and its verb phrase: I’ll accompany you; I’ll wait here. It would be incorrect to say either I’ll accompany you or John because the first choice includes the subject and its verb phrase, but the second choice is just an object: I’ll accompany you; John. A corrected version could be I’ll accompany either you or John (now the choices are parallel, as each is just the object: you; John). See also neither (usage).


either way

Whichever of two given alternatives is the case: I’m not sure whether he is trying to be clever or controversial, but either way, such writing smacks of racism
More example sentences
  • Give your all to one or the other, either way you'll be a great performer!
  • Whether or not the plutocrats will be swayed remains to be seen, but either way BMW has given it its best.
  • Suing for libel is much easier in the UK than in the USA, but either way you would not want it to happen.


Old English ǣgther, contracted form of ǣg(e)hwæther, of Germanic origin; ultimately related to aye1 and whether.

Words that rhyme with either


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ei·ther

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