Definition of how adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//haʊ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//haʊ//
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  1. 1  in what way or manner How does it work? He did not know how he ought to behave. I'll show you how to load the software. ‘Her behaviour was very odd.’ ‘How so? It's funny how (= that) people always remember him. Do you remember how (= that) the kids always loved going there? How ever did you get here so quickly? compare however
  2. 2  used to ask about somebody’s health How are you? How are you feeling now?
  3. 3  used to ask whether something is successful or enjoyable How was your trip? How did they play?
  4. 4  used before an adjective or adverb to ask about the amount, degree, etc. of something, or about somebody’s age How often do you go swimming? I didn't know how much to bring. How much are those earrings (= What do they cost)? How many people were there? How old is she?
  5. 5  used to express surprise, pleasure, etc. How kind of you to help! How he wished he had been there!
  6. 6  in any way in which synonym however I'll dress how I like in my own house!
  7. Word OriginOld English , of West Germanic origin; related to Dutch hoe, also to who and what.Idioms
    1. 1  used when asking for information about somebody/something I'm not going. How about you?
    2. 2  used to make a suggestion How about a break? How about going for a meal? (especially North American English) How about we go for a meal?
    (informal) used to show that you strongly disapprove of somebody’s behaviour or are very surprised by it Ben! How could you? After all they've done for us! Ugh! How can you eat that stuff?
    how come (…)? (informal)
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     used to say you do not understand how something can happen and would like an explanation ‘I think you owe me some money.’ ‘How come?’ If she spent five years in Paris, how come her French is so bad?
     (becoming old-fashioned) used as a formal greeting when you meet somebody for the first time. The usual reply is also How do you do?
      how’s that? (informal)
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    1. 1used to ask the reason for something ‘I left work early today.’ ‘How's that (= Why)?’
    2. 2used when asking somebody’s opinion of something I'll tuck your sheets in for you. How's that? Comfortable? Two o'clock on the dot! How's that for punctuality!
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: how