synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of otherwise in English

English Online Dictionary. What means otherwise‎? What does otherwise mean?


Alternative forms

  • otherwize


From Middle English otherwise, othre wise, from Old English on ōþre wīsan (literally in (an) other/different manner), equivalent to other +‎ -wise.

Compare West Frisian yn oarwei (otherwise), Icelandic öðruvísi (otherwise; else).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈʌð.əˌwaɪz/


otherwise (not comparable)

  1. (manner) Differently, in another way.
    • 2011, Phil McNulty, Euro 2012: Montenegro 2-2 England
      Fabio Capello insisted Rooney was in the right frame of mind to play in stormy Podgorica despite his father's arrest on Thursday in a probe into alleged betting irregularities, but his flash of temper - when he kicked out at Miodrag Dzudovic - suggested otherwise.
  2. (conjunctive)  In different circumstances; or else.
    • They burned the old gun that used to stand in the dark corner up in the garret, close to the stuffed fox that always grinned so fiercely. Perhaps the reason why he seemed in such a ghastly rage was that he did not come by his death fairly. Otherwise his pelt would not have been so perfect. And why else was he put away up there out of sight?—and so magnificent a brush as he had too.
  3. (conjunctive) In all other respects.
    • 2013, Phil McNulty, BBC Sport, 1 September:
      Robin van Persie squandered United's best chance late on but otherwise it was a relatively comfortable afternoon for Liverpool's new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who has yet to concede a Premier League goal since his £9m summer move from Sunderland.

Usage notes

  • "Otherwise" is often used to refer to the negative of something. The something may be a noun phrase, a verb phrase, an adjective phrase, an adverb phrase, a clause, or even something larger.


  • (differently): elsewise, contrarily, contrastingly
  • (in different circumstances): if not, else (see or else)
  • (in all other respects): apart from that


  • likewise



otherwise (not comparable)

  1. Other than supposed; different.
    He said he didn’t do it, but the evidence was otherwise.


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