Meaning of “either” in the English Dictionary

"either" in British English

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uk /ˈaɪ.ðər/ /ˈiː.ðər/ us /ˈiː.ðɚ/ /ˈaɪ.ðɚ/

B1 used in negative sentences instead of "also" or "too":

I don't eat meat and my husband doesn't either.
"I've never been to the States." "I haven't either."
They do really good food at that restaurant and it's not very expensive either.

More examples

  • I've never been here before either, so it's all strange to me too.
  • We certainly don't lead a life of luxury but we're not poor either.
  • "And the dress that you bought me doesn't fit either!" she shouted as she walked off.
  • Actually I'm pleased you don't want to go, because I don't either.
  • I'm not allowed another piece of cake, so you're not either!

eitherdeterminer, pronoun, conjunction

uk /ˈaɪ.ðər/ /ˈiː.ðər/ us /ˈiː.ðɚ/ /ˈaɪ.ðɚ/

B1 used when referring to a choice between two possibilities:

Either candidate would be ideal for the job.
"Do you prefer pork or beef?" "I don't like either."
"Would you like the metal or plastic one?" "Either will do."
You can get there by train or bus - either way/in either case it'll take an hour.
We can either eat now or after the show - it's up to you.
Either you leave now or I call the police!

More examples

  • You can move the cursor either by using the mouse or by using the arrow keys on the keyboard.
  • She either loves you or hates you - it's all or nothing with her.
  • We got caught in pouring rain without either raincoats or umbrellas.
  • He's either a hero or a villain, depending on your point of view.
  • It's either Spanish or Portuguese that she speaks, but I've forgotten which.


uk /ˈaɪ.ðər/ /ˈiː.ðər/ us /ˈiː.ðɚ/ /ˈaɪ.ðɚ/

B2 both:

Unfortunately I was sitting at the table with smokers on either side of me.

More examples

  • We have students living on either side of us.
  • I had children on either side of me.
  • Company directors were seated on either side of me so I was on best behaviour.
  • I was lucky because I had friends sitting on either side of me on the plane.
  • We have family living on either side of us.

(Definition of “either” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"either" in American English

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eitheradverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈi·ðər, ˈɑɪ-/

either adverb [ not gradable ] (ALSO)

used in negatives instead of also or too:

The restaurant has good food, and it’s not expensive either.

eitheradjective, pronoun, conjunction

us /ˈi·ðər, ˈɑɪ-/

either adjective, pronoun, conjunction (CHOICE)

one or the other of two:

Either person would be fine for the job.
You can go by train or bus – either way it’ll take an hour.
I left it either at home or in the car.

You can also use either to mean both:

Friends sat on either side of me on the plane.

(Definition of “either” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)