American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- pro. The one or the other: Which movie do you want to see? Either will be fine.
- conj. Used before the first of two or more coordinates or clauses linked by or: Either we go now or we remain here forever.
- adj. Any one of two; one or the other: Wear either coat.
- adj. One and the other; each: rings on either hand.
- adv. Likewise; also. Used as an intensive following negative statements: If you don't order a dessert, I won't either.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Being one or the other of two, taken indifferently or as the case requires: referring to two units or particulars of a class: as, it can be done in either way; take either apple; the boat will land on either side.
- Being one and the other of two; being both of two, or each of two taken together but viewed separately: as, they took seats on either side.
- [In this use, each or both, according to construction, is nearly if not quite always to be preferred. Properly, either refers indefinitely to one or the other of two (and often in actual use, though less accurately, to some one of any number); each, definitely to every one of two or any larger number considered individually: a distinctness of signification which ought to be maintained, since interchange of the words (less practised by careful writers now than formerly) offers no advantage, but may create ambiguity. Both, two together, one and the other taken jointly, should be preferred when this is the specific sense; but both and each may often be interchanged. Thus, the camp may be pitched on either side of the stream (on one or the other side indifferently); there were two camps, one on each side; the camp was pitched on both sides (one camp, divided); there are fine buildings on both sides of the street, or on each side, but not on either side.]
- One or the other; one of two, taken indifferently.
- Each of two; the one and the other.
- In one case; according to one choice or supposition (in a series of two or more): a disjunctive conjunction, preceding one of a series of two or more alternative clauses, and correlative with or before the following clause or clauses. Sometimes, as in poetry, or is used before the first clause also.
- In any case; at all: used adverbially, for emphasis, after a sentence expressing a negation of one or two alternatives, or of all alternatives: corresponding to too similarly used after affirmative sentences: as, he tried it, and didn't succeed; then I tried it, but I didn't succeed, either. That's mine; no, it isn't, either.
- pro. obsolete Both, each of two (people or things).
- pro. One or other of two people or things.
- adv. conjunctive, after a negative as well
- conj. Introduces the first of two options, the second of which is introduced by "or".
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. One of two; the one or the other; -- properly used of two things, but sometimes of a larger number, for
- adj. Each of two; the one and the other; both; -- formerly, also, each of any number.
- conj. Either precedes two, or more, coördinate words or phrases, and is introductory to an alternative. It is correlative to
- adv. after a negative statement used as an intensive meaning something like `likewise' or `also'
- Old English ǣġhwæþer, from Proto-Germanic, ultimately corresponding to ay + whether. Akin to Old Saxon eogihwethar, iahwethar; Old Dutch *iogewether, *iowether, *iother (Dutch ieder); Old High German eogihwedar, iegihweder, ieweder (German jeder). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English, from Old English ǣther, ǣghwæther; see kwo- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In either case the owner will really pay annually only upon the land value, not upon the growth; the only difference being that under the proposed system he would not be asked to, while under the present system _either there will be no growth to tax, or, if there is, he cannot afford to pay and the land will revert_.”
“Only cards in the highest or lowest rows are available, until a card from any other row is released, by the removal of cards either above or below it, the principle being that no card can be used that is not free _either_ from the top or the bottom.”
“-- "He is either the most distressed man, or the best actor, I ever saw in my life," replied the comedian: "and, as _either one or the other, he has a brotherly claim upon me_.”
“a thousand years since_: neither am I moved with certain courtly decencies, which I esteem it flattery to praise in presence; no, it is flattery to _praise in absence: that is_, when _either_ the virtue is absent, _or -- the occasion_ is absent, and so the praise is _not natural_, but _forced_, either in truth, _or -- in time_.”
“If the Dems gain ground but don’t take either house, can *either* party really claim victory?”
“The Leafs, with assistant GM Claude Loiselle in charge of the negotiation, probably want a salary that starts in the $2.5 million to $3 million range, with the term either three years - one short of Schenn's unrestricted season - or five years, which means the club would effectively be buying one year of that UFA status.”
“On the others (dies or rendered inapable), "what if" however, Mr. Medvedev met an unexpected and unfortunatedemise during his term either from natural causes or possibly as the recent horrific case with Ms. Bhutto brought reality home to all, not from natural causes.”
“Standard format for a synopsis dictates that the title either all in caps or bolded is centered at the top of the first page of the synopsis, with “Synopsis” on the line below it.”
“I didn't get the title either, and I swear I have Goodnight Moon memorized from reading it aloud over and over and over to my kids.”
“His ancestors had probably kept little shops, or managed little farms in County Tipperary, yet he hated democracy, though he never used the word either for praise or blame, with more than feudal hatred.”
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