how

See also: How

English

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Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Etymology 1

From Middle English how, hou, hu, hwu, Old English , from Proto-Germanic *hwō, from the same root as hwæt (who, what). /hw/ > /h/ due to wh-cluster reduction in Old English; compare who, which underwent this change later, and thus is spelt wh (Middle English spelling of /hw/) but pronounced /h/ (it previously had a different vowel, hence avoided the spelling and sound change in Old English). Vowel change per Great Vowel Shift.

Akin to Scots hoo, foo (how), Saterland Frisian wo (how), West Frisian hoe (how), Low German ho, wo, wu (how), Dutch hoe (how), German wie (how), Swedish hur (how). See who and compare why.

Adverb

how (not comparable)

  1. (interrogative) To what degree.
    How often do you practice?
  2. (interrogative) In what manner.
    How do you solve this puzzle?   How else can we get this finished?
    • (deprecated use of |lang= parameter)
      2013 August 3, “Boundary problems”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Economics is a messy discipline: too fluid to be a science, too rigorous to be an art. Perhaps it is fitting that economists’ most-used metric, gross domestic product (GDP), is a tangle too. [] But as a foundation for analysis it is highly subjective: it rests on difficult decisions about what counts as a territory, what counts as output and how to value it. Indeed, economists are still tweaking it.
  3. (interrogative) In what state.
    How are you?
    How was your vacation?
  4. Used as a modifier to indicate surprise, delight, or other strong feelings in an exclamation.
    How very interesting!   How wonderful it was to receive your invitation.
Usage notes
  • See usage notes on else (adverb).
  • How good is it? means "To what extent is it good?", whereas How is it good? means "In what manner is it good?". Likewise, I know how good it is means "I know the extent to which it is good", whereas I know how it is good means "I know the manner in which it is good".
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Noun

how (plural hows)

  1. The means by which something is accomplished.
    I am not interested in the why, but in the how.
    • 1924, Joseph Rickaby, Studies on God and His Creatures, page 102:
      It is an a posteriori argument, evincing the fact, but not the how.
    • (deprecated use of |lang= parameter)
      2008 March 21, The New York Times, “Movie Guide and Film Series”, in New York Times[1]:
      A wham-bam caper flick, efficiently directed by Roger Donaldson, that fancifully revisits the mysterious whos and speculative hows of a 1971 London bank heist.

Conjunction

how

  1. In which way; in such way.
    I remember how to solve this puzzle.
  2. That, the fact that, the way that.
Translations

Etymology 2

From Old Norse haugr.

Noun

how (plural hows)

  1. (dialectal) An artificial barrow or tumulus.
  2. (dialectal) A small hill in northern England. (Usage preserved mainly in place names.)

Etymology 3

From a Siouan language, compare Lakota háu. Alternatively from Wyandot haau.

Alternative forms

Interjection

how

  1. A greeting, used in representations of Native American speech.

References

Anagrams


Abau

Pronunciation

Noun

how

  1. taro

Alabama

Etymology

(deprecated use of |lang= parameter) (This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronunciation

(deprecated use of |lang= parameter)
Phonetik.svg This entry needs pronunciation information. If you are familiar with the IPA then please add some!

Adverb

how

  1. yes

Synonyms


Lower Sorbian

Pronunciation

Adverb

how

  1. here