Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. One and the other; relating to or being two in conjunction: Both guests have arrived. Both the books are torn. Both her fingers are broken.
  • pro. The one and the other: Both were candidates. We are both candidates. Both of us are candidates.
  • conj. Used with and to indicate that each of two things in a coordinated phrase or clause is included: both men and women; an attorney well regarded for both intelligence and honesty.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • Each of the two; one and the other.
  • Each of more than two.
  • conj. including both (used with and)

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. The one and the other; the two; the pair, without exception of either.
  • conj. As well; not only; equally.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The one and the other; the two; the pair or the couple, in reference to two persons or things specially mentioned, and denoting that neither of them is to be excluded, either absolutely or (as with either) as an alternative, from the statement.
  • [The genitive both's (ME. bothes, bothers, earlier bother, bathre) is now disused; in the earlier period it was joined usually with the genitive plural of the personal pronoun. Subsequently the simple both, equivalent to of both, was used.
  • Including the two (terms or notions mentioned): an adverb preceding two coördinate terms (words or phrases) joined by and, and standing thus in an apparent conjunctional correlation, both … and, equivalent to not only … but also. Both is thus used sometimes before three or more coördinate terms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. (used with count nouns) two considered together; the two

Etymologies

Middle English bothe, probably from Old Norse bādhar.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English boþe, from Old Norse báðir (Wiktionary)

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