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or else - definition and synonyms

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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.

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  1. 1
    used for stating the second of two possibilities

    You could drive across France, or else fly to Geneva and hire a car.

    either...or else:

    Either he’s asleep, or else he’s just ignoring me.

  2. 2
    used for saying that there will be a bad result if someone does not do something or if something does not happen

    We must leave now or else we’ll miss our train.

    Always check the oil level, or else you risk damaging the engine.

  3. 3
    mainly spoken used for threatening someone

    Give me back those letters or else I’ll scream.

    or else (=used when you do not say what you are threatening to do):

    You’d better do as we tell you, or else!

  4. 4
    mainly spoken used for saying that something must be true, because the situation would be different if it were not true

    You know I really care about you, or else I wouldn’t be here.

    I’m sure they’re safe, or else we’d have heard something.

See also main entry: else


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

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a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

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