how Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “how” in the English Dictionary

"how" in British English

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howadverb

uk   us   /haʊ/
A2 in what way, or by what ​methods: How do we get to the ​town from here? How did you ​hear about the ​concert? How does this ​machinework? How do you ​plan to ​spendyourholiday? Roz doesn't ​know how toride a ​bicycle. It all ​depends on how you ​look at it. I don't ​care about ​fashion, I ​dress how I ​please. I was ​horrified to ​hear about how (= the way) she had been ​treated. How can/could he be so ​stupid? I don't ​know how anyone couldthink that way.A2 used to ​ask about someone's ​physical or ​emotionalstate: How is ​yourmother? How are you ​feeling this ​morning?A1 used in ​questions that ​ask what an ​experience or ​event was like: How was ​yourflight? How did you find the ​lecture? (= did you ​think it was good)? How did you like the ​concert (= did you ​enjoy it)? She didn't say how far it is (= what the ​distance is) to her ​house. How long are you going to be (= what ​amount of ​time are you going to ​spend) in the ​bathroom? Do you ​know how many (= what ​number of)people are coming? How much does this ​cost (= what is ​itsprice)? How old is his ​daughter (= what ​age is she)? "Can you ​lift this ​case?" "It ​depends on how ​heavy it is." Do you ​remember how (= the ​fact that) we used to ​see every new ​film as ​soon as it came out?B1 used for ​emphasis: I can't ​tell you how ​pleased I am (= I am very ​pleased) that you came. How (= it is very)nice to ​see you! "She ​paid for everything." "How (= that was very)generous."how strange, stupid, weird, etc. is that? C2 informal used to ​emphasize that something is ​strange, ​stupid, etc.how are you? A1 used to ​ask someone if they are well and ​happy: "Hi, Lucy, how are you?" "Fine, ​thanks, how are you?"how are things? (also how's everything?, also how's it going?) informal used as ​greetingshow do you mean? used when you ​want someone to ​explain what they have just said: "I ​think we need to ​reconsiderourposition." "How do you ​mean?"how's that? used when ​asking if something you have done for someone is ​satisfactory: Let me put a ​cushion behind ​your back. How's that?and how! informal used to show that you ​feel the same way as someone: "I'll be so ​glad when this ​project is ​finished." "And how!"

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

"how" in American English

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howadverb [not gradable]

 us   /hɑʊ/
in what way or ​state, to what ​amount or ​degree, or for what ​reason: How do we get to the ​interstatehighway from here? How did you ​hear about the ​concert? How is ​yourmother? How did you like the ​movie? How much does this ​cost? How ​old is his ​daughter? She didn’t say how ​far it is to her ​house. How ​long are you going to be at the ​gym? How is sometimes used for ​emphasis: How ​nice to ​see you!How are you? How are you? is used as a ​greeting: "Hi, how are you?" "Fine, ​thanks, how are you?"How are things? (also How’s everything?, How’s it going?) How are things?,How’s everything?, and How’s it going? are ​informalgreetings: Hi Deb! How's it going?How do you do? How do you do? is a ​formalgreeting: "I’m Jack Stewart." "How do you do, I’m Angela ​Black."

howconjunction

 us   /hɑʊ/
the way or ​condition in which: Do you ​know how this ​machineworks? [+ to infinitive] Roz doesn’t ​know how to ​ride a ​bicycle. I was ​horrified to ​hear about how she had been ​treated.
(Definition of how from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“how” in American English

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