Definition of both in English:

both

predeterminer, determiner, & pronoun

  • Used for emphasis to refer to two people or things, regarded and identified together.

    [as predeterminer] ‘both his parents indulged him’
    [as determiner] ‘she held on with both hands’
    ‘cars parked on both sides of the road’
    [as pronoun] ‘a picture of both of us together’
    ‘he looked at them both’
    • ‘Take advice from both of them about what you want, but give him his place as the boss.’
    • ‘She spent all that time asking me which one to chose and she decides to get both of them?’
    • ‘There were real craftsmen on both sides but in the proper care of land ours had the edge.’
    • ‘In the next few weeks both sides will finally decide whether to patch things up or move on.’
    • ‘While he chanted and threw the water at both of us in equal turn, it focused my mind.’
    • ‘It is up to both religions to work together to see that the future is not threatened.’
    • ‘Players of both sides agreed it was one of the best wickets they have ever played on.’
    • ‘In a way, this has turned out best for both of us and that is indeed the closure I needed.’
    • ‘Melt the butter in a frying pan and cook the veal over a high heat on both sides until golden brown.’
    • ‘The only way both of these principles can be true is if we ditch many of our notions of time and space.’
    • ‘He tried to justify it all by saying he was trying to do the right thing and wanted to keep both of us happy.’
    • ‘It seems that Tanya still has both of the tapes I made for her and still plays them in the car.’
    • ‘You have to seek the best in both sides, and trust that they want peace as much as you do.’
    • ‘We have a routine that we stick to in order that the children feel wanted and loved by both of us.’
    • ‘The roads were built so that two of these wagons could pass on both sides of the roads.’
    • ‘He said it was often in both sides and the stomach by the time they a patient was diagnosed.’
    • ‘Most of the major cloud names have one or both of the above mentioned names in them.’
    • ‘Over a few beers I could see what it meant to both of them as their careers began to draw in.’
    • ‘He had made up his mind to find her at a time when she was alone and try to put the past behind the both of them.’
    • ‘The game started at a frantic pace with both sides going in search of a vital opening goal.’

adverb

  • Used before the first of two alternatives to emphasize that the statement being made applies to each (the other alternative being introduced by ‘and’)

    ‘the film has won favour with both young and old’
    ‘studies of zebra finches, both in the wild and in captivity’
    • ‘This is a beautifully written and much needed book, both as a text and as a reference.’
    • ‘A unique prehistoric tomb in Ireland has been revealed to align to both the midsummer Sun and the midwinter Moon.’
    • ‘Though I’d never heard Eau Claire called the City of Bridges, I was both surprised and delighted by this discovery’
    • ‘If we're not willing to do that, we're eventually going to lose both at home and in our struggles abroad.’
    • ‘These days enable both parents and children to get a feel of what a school might be like.’
    • ‘What needs to be emphasised is that it refers to both self poisoning and self injury.’
    • ‘Capturing from tapes recorded with both drop frame and non-drop frame timecode may produce unexpected results.’
    • ‘Hybrid organizations attract both support and criticism.’
    • ‘There are lots of low-cost, no-cost ways to market your Web site both on and offline.’
    • ‘Thus, real estate owners can benefit from both the gain deferral under section 1031 for real estate exchanges and the enhanced cost recovery deductions of the cost segregation study.’
    • ‘It underlines the positive potential of digital distribution, both as a new business model and as a new social and cultural phenomenon.’
    • ‘Both daytime and nighttime blood pressure are vital prognostic indicators, and therefore blood pressure should be recorded during the whole day, according to the results of a new study’
    • ‘They say surveys show that both people and horses have been injured in other cities where horse-drawn carriages are in use.’
    • ‘The scientists described the ancient hominoids as small-brained, tree-climbing, meat-eating midgets that were both apelike and human in appearance.’
    • ‘Clubs paid agents directly, conflicts of interest were rife with agents acting for both club and player in the same transfer, and the players themselves were "largely unaware" of the amounts of money their own agents were being paid by the clubs.’
    • ‘Yet, posting blog-style during breaking news, for instance, can be valuable both to the media outlet and the user.’
    • ‘I met Friedman in January in his elegant high-rise San Francisco condo, with an absorbing view of both the Pacific Ocean and the San Francisco Bay.’
    • ‘The story is full both of the pain of such suffering and of pride in the martyrs for their faith.’
    • ‘It was my sense of both the inappropriateness of my explosion and the truth of my anger that allowed me to walk away from that encounter with my faith still intact.’
    • ‘Herrera admits that sometimes people cannot help but mix both the Spanish they hear at home and the English they hear at school.’

Usage

When both is used in constructions with and, the structures following ‘both’ and ‘and’ should be symmetrical. Thus, studies of zebra finches, both in the wild and in captivity is better than, for example, studies of zebra finches, both in the wild and captivity. In the second example, the symmetry of ‘in the wild’ and ‘in captivity’ has been lost. Other examples: her article is detrimental both to understanding and to peace (nother article is detrimental to both understanding and to peace)

Phrases

  • have it both ways

    • Benefit from two incompatible ways of thinking or behaving.

      ‘countries cannot have it both ways: the cost of a cleaner environment may sometimes be fewer jobs’
      • ‘You can't have it both ways; you cannot expect others to obey the law while ignoring it yourselves.’
      • ‘We can't have it both ways: you can't have the lowest income taxes in Europe, the best hospitals and schools and cheap petrol too.’
      • ‘He was trying to have it both ways, being an administration player one day and an outside critic the next.’
      • ‘They were clever and funny, and succeeded in having it both ways - appealing to cheesecake instincts while parodying them at the same time.’
      • ‘You can't have it both ways: You can't be equal when you do right, but coddled when you do wrong.’
      • ‘Either driving while disqualified is serious or it isn't, he says: the Government can't have it both ways.’
      • ‘You can't have it both ways - either being forced to borrow to live is a disincentive or it isn't.’
      • ‘The public can't have it both ways - they either want firm police action and protection or they don't.’
      • ‘His men cannot have it both ways; they can't continue to dominate England and continue to fail in Europe.’
      • ‘He either opts for his home club or the other but he can't have it both ways.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old Norse báthir.

Pronunciation:

both

/bəʊθ/