Did you know?

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

often - 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     often pronunciation in British English
  1. 1
    on many occasions, or in many situations

    The home is often the most likely place to have an accident.

    fairly/quite often:

    I’ve found that it’s quite often impossible to park in town.

    very often:

    Very often it turns out that the student hasn’t understood the question.

    often enough (=on enough occasions to achieve a particular result):

    I’ve already told you not to argue often enough.

  2. 2
    used for talking about how many times something happens in a particular period of time

    I’ve been swimming twice as often as I did last year.

    how often?:

    How often do you eat meat?

    fairly/quite often:

    I go to the gym quite often.

quiz invitation


a combination of a hotdog and a hamburger in a specially designed bread bun

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a volume of articles, essays, etc., contributed by many authors in honor of a colleague, usually published on the occasion of their retirement, an important anniversary and the like

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