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often

Syllabification: of·ten
Pronunciation: /ˈôf(t)ən
 
, ˈäf(t)ən
 
/

Definition of often in English:

adverb (oftener, oftenest)

1Frequently; many times: he often goes for long walks by himself how often do you have your hair cut?
More example sentences
  • That line returns to me often, usually at moments such as that on the boat last week.
  • Those who traverse the earth's wild land often end up full of wonder and respect for it.
  • We are told often how close to genius his work is, how unhappy he is, and how remorseful.
1.1In many instances: vocabulary often reflects social standing
More example sentences
  • We often report to Social Services if one of our clients is ill or in some difficulty.
  • It is true that the issues are not technical as economic and social issues often are.
  • It is often used to refer to a sort of social meeting in which it is pleasant to be together.

Origin

Middle English: extended form of oft, probably influenced by selden 'seldom'. Early examples appear to be northern English; the word became general in the 16th century.

Usage

When pronouncing often, some speakers sound the t, saying /ˈôftən/; for others, it is silent, as in soften, fasten, listen . Either pronunciation is acceptable, although /ˈôfən/ is more common.

Phrases

as often as not

1
Quite frequently or commonly: I had two homes really, because as often as not I was down at her house
More example sentences
  • And as often as not, these things really happened.
  • Many of them vote for Republican legislation as often as not.
  • Moreover, they cross over onto each other's turf as often as not.

more often than not

2
Usually: food is scarce and more often than not they go hungry
More example sentences
  • I have to say, he was usually the instigator, and, more often than not, the victor.
  • He's quick, strong and skillful and, given the chance, he's likely to hit the target more often than not.
  • The features were all made in part for propaganda purposes but failed more often than not to carry out those objectives.

Words that rhyme with often

soften

Definition of often in:

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