Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “otherwise”

See all translations

otherwise

conjunction uk   /ˈʌð.ə.waɪz/ us    /-ɚ-/
B1 used after an order or suggestion to show what the result will be if you do not follow that order or suggestion: I'd better write it down, otherwise I'll forget it. Phone home, otherwise your parents will start to worry.
More examples

otherwise

adverb uk   /ˈʌð.ə.waɪz/ us    /-ɚ-/

otherwise adverb (DIFFERENTLY)

differently, or in another way: The police believe he is the thief, but all the evidence suggests otherwise (= that he is not). Under the Bill of Rights, a person is presumed innocent until proved otherwise (= guilty). Protestors were executed, jailed or otherwise persecuted. Marion Morrison, otherwise known as the film star John Wayne, was born in 1907. formal I can't meet you on Tuesday - I'm otherwise engaged/occupied (= doing something else).
More examples

otherwise adverb (NOT INCLUDING)

B2 except for what has just been referred to: The bike needs a new saddle, but otherwise it's in good condition. The poor sound quality ruined an otherwise splendid film.

otherwise

adjective [after verb] uk   /ˈʌð.ə.waɪz/ us    /-ɚ-/ formal
used to show that something is completely different from what you think it is or from what was previously stated: He might have told you he was a qualified electrician, but the truth is quite otherwise.
(Definition of otherwise from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of otherwise?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “otherwise” in other dictionaries

SMART Thesaurus: Either, or, neither, nor

“otherwise”: synonyms and related words:

You can also find related words, phrases, and synonyms in the topics:

Word of the Day

glacial

made or left by a glacier

Word of the Day

Let’s celebrate! (words and phrases for parties)

by Kate Woodford,
December 17, 2014
​​​ With Christmas and New Year almost upon us, we thought it a good time to look at the language of parties and celebrations. First, let’s start with the word ‘party’ itself. To have or throw a party or, less commonly, to give a party is to arrange a party: We’re having a

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More