either


either
ei•ther
[[t]ˈi ðər, ˈaɪ ðər[/t]] adj.
1) one or the other of two:
You may sit at either end of the table[/ex]
2) each of two; the one and the other:
There are trees on either side of the river[/ex]
3) fun one or the other:
Either will do[/ex]
4) fun (a coordinating conjunction that, when used with or, indicates a choice):
Either call or write[/ex]
5) as well; likewise (used after negative clauses):
If you don't go, I won't either[/ex]
Etymology: bef. 900; ME; OE ǣgther, contr. of ǣghwæther each of two, both; see ay, whether usage: When used as the subject, the pronoun either usually takes a singular verb even when followed by a prepositional phrase with a plural object: Either of the shrubs grows well in this soil. As an adjective either refers only to two of anything. As a pronoun either sometimes occurs in reference to more than two (either of the three children), but any is more common (any of the three children). As a conjunction, either often introduces a series of more than two: pizza topped with either onions, peppers, or mushrooms. ―Usage guides say that the verb used with subjects joined by the correlative conjunctions either … or (or neithernor) is singular or plural depending on the number of the noun or pronoun nearer the verb: Either the parents or the school determines the program. Either the school or the parents determine the program. Practice varies, however, and often the presence of one plural, no matter where, results in a plural verb. See also neither pron: In American English, either and neither are usu. pronounced as [[t]ˈi ðər[/t]] and [[t]ˈni ðər[/t]] with the vowel of see. The pronunciations [[t]ˈaɪ ðər[/t]] and [[t]ˈnaɪ ðər[/t]] with the vowel of bite, occur chiefly among the educated and in the network standard English of radio and television. Both (ē) and (ī) pronunciations existed in 17th-century Britain, but it was not until the 19th century that [[t]aɪ[/t]] came to predominate there. In American English, [[t]aɪ[/t]] therefore reflects a recent borrowing rather than a survival from the time of early settlement.

From formal English to slang. 2014.

Synonyms:
(of two) / (of several) / (of two), ,


Look at other dictionaries:

  • either — 1. pronunciation. The pronunciations iy dhǝ and ee dhǝ are about equally common. 2. parts of speech. Either functions in two ways: as an adjective or pronoun, and as an adverb or conjunction. In all these uses, it means essentially ‘one or other… …   Modern English usage

  • either — [ē′thər, ī′thər] adj. [ME < OE æghwæther < a (æ), always (see AY) + gehwæther, each of two (see WHETHER): akin to, and of same formation as, OHG eogihwedar] 1. one or the other (of two) [use either hand] 2. each (of two); the one and the… …   English World dictionary

  • Either — Ei ther ([=e] [th][ e]r or [imac] [th][ e]r; 277), a. & pron. [OE. either, aither, AS. [=ae]g[eth]er, [=ae]ghw[ae][eth]er (akin to OHG. [=e]ogiwedar, MHG. iegeweder); [=a] + ge + hw[ae][eth]er whether. See {Each}, and {Whether}, and cf. {Or},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Either — Ei ther, conj. Either precedes two, or more, co[ o]rdinate words or phrases, and is introductory to an alternative. It is correlative to or. [1913 Webster] Either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • either —  Either suggests a duality and is almost always better avoided when the context involves quantities of more than two, as in Decisions on Mansfield’s economy are now made in either Detroit, Pittsburgh, or New York. Often in such constructions,… …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Either/Or — Album par Elliott Smith Sortie 27 février 1997 Durée 37:00 Genre(s) Rock indépendant Producteur(s) Elliott Smith Tom Rothrock Rob Schnapf …   Wikipédia en Français

  • either...or ...or — either...or (...or) phrase used for showing two or more possibilities or choices You must answer either yes or no. You can contact us either by phone, by email, or by letter. When there’s a crisis, they either do nothing or do something totally… …   Useful english dictionary

  • either — O.E. ægðer, contraction of æghwæðer each of two, both, from a always (see AYE (Cf. aye) (2)) + ge collective prefix + hwæðer which of two, whether (see WHETHER (Cf. whether)). Cognate with Du. ieder, O.H.G. eogiwedar, G …   Etymology dictionary

  • Either — Either/or means one or the other. Its usage, versus the simple or structure, is often for emphatic purposes, sometimes intending to emphasize that only one option is possible, or to emphasize that there are only two options. Its use in a sentence …   Wikipedia

  • either — ► CONJUNCTION & ADVERB 1) used before the first of two (or occasionally more) alternatives specified (the other being introduced by ‘or’). 2) (adverb ) used to indicate a similarity or link with a statement just made: You don t like him, do you?… …   English terms dictionary

  • either-or — [ē′thərôr′] adj. designating a proposition, situation, etc. limited to only two alternatives …   English World dictionary