Meaning of ELSE in English


I. ˈels, -lts adverb

Etymology: Middle English elles, from Old English; akin to Old High German elles otherwise, Old Norse elli gai otherwise, Gothic aljis other, Latin alius other, alter other of two, Greek allos other, Armenian ail other, Old English eall all — more at all


a. : in a different manner

how else could he act under the circumstances

: in a different place

here and nowhere else

: at a different time

Friday isn't convenient for me so when else can we meet

b. : in an additional manner

how else can buildings be heated

: in an additional place

where else is gold found

: at an additional time

Friday is convenient for one of the two weekly lessons but when else can we get together


a. : if the facts are different : if the facts were different : if not : otherwise — often preceded by or

do what I tell you, or else you will be sorry

and used absolutely without a following clause to express a threat of unspecified but presumably dire consequences

do what I tell you or else

b. : whether it is not so

house, land, money are things obtainable … by clever headwork; ask my father else — Robert Browning

c. : apart from that : with the exception of that

a tower of refuge built for the else forlorn — William Wordsworth

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English elles, from elles, adverb

: other:

a. : being different in identity

nothing else but the best will do

such decisions are to be made by the commanding officer and no one else

b. : being in addition

what else did he say

did you meet anyone else

— now usually used with a preceding pronoun; followed by the possessive ending 's when the combination of the pronoun and else is in the possessive case dependent on an immediately following noun

somebody else's house

I don't know who else's hat it could be

and usually also when not dependent on an immediately following noun

it couldn't be anybody else's

I don't know who else's it could be

I don't know whose else it could be

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.