Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

either - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb, determiner, pronoun     either pronunciation in American English
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 singular countable noun): a long room with a door at either end
as a pronoun: Olive oil and corn oil are both fine, so you could use either. (followed by “of”): Does either of you speak Chinese?
as an adverb (in negative sentences): Jerry wasn’t there either.
When either is the subject of a sentence, it is usually used with a singular verb: Is either of them at home? But in spoken English a plural verb is sometimes used: Are either of them at home?
  1. 1
    one or the other of two people or things, especially when it does not matter which

    Check or credit card – you can use either.

    Applications are welcomed from people of either sex and any age.

    either of:

    It was a long time before either of them spoke.

  2. 2
    used in negative statements referring to both of two people or things

    Jackie could play the piano and sing, whereas I couldn’t do either.

    Most of the troublemakers were not fans of either team.

    either of:

    I didn’t like either of the candidates.

    1. a.
      used for adding that a negative statement is also true of another person or thing

      It’s a problem I can’t solve, and I don’t think anyone else can either.

      We tried another method, but that didn’t work either.

    2. b.
      used for adding a negative statement that emphasizes how good, bad, impressive, etc. something is

      He did a superb job, and he didn’t have any help either.

    See also also
  • Facebook
  • Twitter


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play