how Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “how” in the English Dictionary

"how" in British English

See all translations


uk   /haʊ/  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 ​greetings
how 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!"

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

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

"how" in American English

See all translations

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."


 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)
What is the pronunciation of how?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“how” in American English

There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
There, their and they’re – which one should you use?
by ,
April 27, 2016
by Liz Walter If you are a learner of English and you are confused about the words there, their and they’re, let me reassure you: many, many people with English as their first language share your problem! You only have to take a look at the ‘comments’ sections on the website of, for example, a popular

Read More 

Word of the Day


an extremely large, round mass of rock and metal, such as Earth, or of gas, such as Jupiter, that moves in a circular path around the sun or another star

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More