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Either Definition


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Other Either Definition

[adv] after a negative statement used as an intensive meaning something like `likewise' or `also'; "he isn't stupid, but he isn't exactly a genius either"; "I don't know either"; "if you don't order dessert I won't either"

Misc. Definitions

\Ei"ther\ (?; 277), a. & pron. [OE. either, aither, AS. ?g?er, ?ghw[ae]?er (akin to OHG. ?ogiwedar, MHG. iegeweder); [=a] + ge + hw[ae]?er whether. See {Each}, and {Whether}, and cf. {Or}, conj.]
1. One of two; the one or the other; -- properly used of two things, but sometimes of a larger number, for any one. Lepidus flatters both, Of both is flattered; but he neither loves, Nor either cares for him. --Shak. Scarce a palm of ground could be gotten by either of the three. --Bacon. There have been three talkers in Great British, either of whom would illustrate what I say about dogmatists. --Holmes.
2. Each of two; the one and the other; both; -- formerly, also, each of any number. His flowing hair In curls on either cheek played. --Milton. On either side . . . was there the tree of life. --Rev. xxii.
2. The extreme right and left of either army never engaged. --Jowett (Thucyd).
\Ei"ther\, conj. Either precedes two, or more, co["o]rdinate words or phrases, and is introductory to an alternative. It is correlative to or. Either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth. --1 Kings xviii. 2
7. Few writers hesitate to use either in what is called a triple alternative; such as, We must either stay where we are, proceed, or recede. --Latham. Note: Either was formerly sometimes used without any correlation, and where we should now use or. Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs?? --James iii. 12.

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