from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adv. In what manner or way; by what means: How does this machine work?
- adv. In what state or condition: How is she today?
- adv. To what extent, amount, or degree: How bad was it?
- adv. For what reason or purpose; why: How is it that he left early?
- adv. With what meaning: How should I take that remark?
- adv. By what name: How is she called?
- adv. By what measure; in what units: How do you sell this corn?
- adv. What. Usually used in requesting that something be said again: How's that again?
- adv. Used as an intensive: How we laughed!
- conj. The manner or way in which: forgot how it was done.
- conj. That.
- conj. In whatever way or manner; however: Cook it how you please.
- n. A manner or method of doing something: "The how of research is generated by the why of the world” ( Frederick Turner).
- idiom and how Informal Most certainly; you bet: She's a good dancer, and how!
- idiom how about What is your thought, feeling, or desire regarding: How about a cup of tea? How about that storm last night?
- idiom how about that Informal Used rhetorically to express surprise or wonder at or approval for something.
- idiom how come Informal How is it that; why: How come you're so late?
- idiom how so How is it so: You say the answer is wrong. How so?
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- interj. a greeting, used in representations of Native American speech
- n. An artificial barrow or tumulus.
- n. A small hill in northern England. (Usage preserved mainly in place names.)
- adv. To what degree.
- adv. In what manner.
- adv. Used as a modifier to indicate surprise, delight, or other strong feelings.
- adj. In what state.
- n. The means by which something is accomplished.
- conj. In which way; in such way.
- conj. That, the fact that, the way that.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adv. In what manner or way; by what means or process.
- adv. To what degree or extent, number or amount; in what proportion; by what measure or quality.
- adv. For what reason; from what cause.
- adv. In what state, condition, or plight.
- adv. By what name, designation, or title.
- adv. At what price; how dear.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- A. interrogative. In what way? in what manner?
- By what means?—as, how did he do it? how did you come?
- To what degree or extent? in what proportion or amount? by what measure or quantity?—qualifying an adverb or adjective of degree or quantity: as, how large was it? how far did you go? how many tickets did you get?
- In this use often exclamatory in form and affirmative in meaning.
- Such sentences also take in modern speech the affirmative form: as, how much better you are looking! how little you have changed! how stupid he is!
- In what state, condition, or plight?
- So colloquially, in reference to one's health or affairs: as, how do you do? how have you been? how's your family? he asked how you all were; how is business?
- At what price?—as, how do you sell your potatoes? how is wheat going now?
- For what reason ? why?
- To what effect? what? — with regard to a thing said or asked about, as when one asks an opinion or a repetition of a thing said and not understood: equivalent to the simple what?—as, how say you, gentlemen of the jury? How used alone, instead of what, is chiefly colloquial.
- With this use of how is connected its interjectional use, marking surprise, or being a mere greeting or call.
- In this use often with now: as, how now! what are you doing?
- B. relative. In what way; in what manner; the way or manner in which …: introducing a relative clause and performing the office of a conjunctional adverb.
- By what means; the means by which.
- To what degree or extent; in what proportion or amount; by what measure or quantity: qualifying an adverb or adjective: as, I do not know how large it is; I asked him how far he had traveled.
- In what state, condition, or plight.
- At what price: as, he inquired how the stocks were selling.
- For what reason; why.
- That: with reference to the manner, and also to the result: in objective clauses, after say, tell, relate, report, etc.
- Especially in combination: How that, that.
- As how, that.
- n. The manner of doing or becoming; way.
- n. A low hill: obsolete or dialectal, but retained in some place-names: as, Silver How, near Grasmere; Fox How.
- Hollow; deep or low.
- n. Any hollow place.
- n. The hold of a ship.
- n. A glen; a dell; also, a plain.
- To care.
- n. Care; anxiety.
- n. A Scotch form of houve.
- A syllable of salutation among various tribes of American Indians.
Middle English howe, from Old English hū; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From a Siouan language, compare Lakota háu. (Wiktionary)
From Old Norse haugr. (Wiktionary)
Middle English how, hou, hu, hwu, Old English hū, from Proto-Germanic *hwō, from the same root as hwæt ("who, what"). Akin to Old Saxon huo (Low German wo), hū, Dutch hoe, compare German wie ("how"). See who and compare why. (Wiktionary)