Definition of otherwise in English:

otherwise

adverb

  • 1In circumstances different from those present or considered; or else.

    ‘the collection is a good draw that brings visitors who might not come otherwise’
    ‘I'm not motivated by money, otherwise I would have quit’
    • ‘However, some families are calling a halt to the festive excesses and donating money otherwise spent on cards or presents to a good cause.’
    • ‘The hotels have to make money as well, otherwise the jobs will be lost.’
    • ‘These have increased as the US downturn deepened, with subsidiaries in Ireland sending more money back than otherwise would have been the case.’
    • ‘Although his record otherwise would make him attractive, getting another college job might be a challenge in the current climate.’
    • ‘Work-study enables many students to attend college who otherwise couldn't.’
    • ‘In some sceptical quarters of England's northeast this building was symbolic of a waste of money that could otherwise have been spent on hospitals.’
    • ‘The things that bring people here are still bigger than the things that might otherwise keep them apart.’
    • ‘He warned the affiliated colleges to follow rules and regulations otherwise their recognition would be nullified.’
    • ‘By producing enough maize for instance, the economy would be saving money it would otherwise use to import food to meet the shortfall.’
    • ‘The teacher said parents of any child who wants to enter the kindergarten must have a college education, otherwise, they would not be enrolled.’
    • ‘We need everyone to help out as much as they can because otherwise this all falls apart.’
    • ‘They invited her to come and live with them and go to college, an opportunity she might otherwise never have had.’
    • ‘The beneficial effects of therapy serve to reduce the respondent's liability in respect of what would otherwise be continuing symptoms.’
    • ‘I might have gone to college or university otherwise, and my life path would have been different.’
    • ‘We were taught to respect him, otherwise you are in trouble.’
    • ‘I could not emphasise sufficiently that it would be totally wrong otherwise.’
    • ‘We amateurs wouldn't have the time or money to record, otherwise.’
    • ‘But you know and I know he's going to give it the old college try, otherwise where is our movie?’
    • ‘A spokesperson said that the policy would have little adverse financial effect, as it would save money otherwise spent on recruiting new staff.’
    • ‘Does it take up too much money, money that would otherwise be there for food and clothing, other things?’
    • ‘That's very important for people to understand because otherwise they'll think that college is out of reach.’
    • ‘And it's not enough for residents of the Golden Triangle to have money, they must be seen to have money - otherwise, what's the point?’
    • ‘I would prefer instead to create my own small business with the money that would otherwise go into the pockets of corrupt officials.’
    • ‘I have to get this out before I start working otherwise I'll totally forget.’
    • ‘We are appealing to the promoter to refund us our money now, otherwise we will be taking the matter further.’
    • ‘We take the written work and copy it without the author's consent, so that we are literally taking from him the money he might otherwise have been paid for it.’
    • ‘She said that mayors needed to sign agreements for restoration projects fast, otherwise the money would be returned to the national budget.’
    • ‘For example, they suggest exploiting valuations to hoodwink banks into lending you more money than they otherwise would.’
    • ‘According to the new regulation, I need to visit the police office to hand in the money; otherwise the fine will be 30,000 RMB.’
    or else, or, if not
    View synonyms
  • 2In other respects; apart from that.

    ‘an otherwise totally black cat with a single white whisker’
    • ‘They would grace our otherwise cluttered shelves.’
    • ‘Different colours are frequently used to provide variation in an otherwise monochrome surface.’
    • ‘And at night the procession of lighted carriages dashing through the otherwise dark and quiet countryside was a sight to behold.’
    • ‘But maybe the reporter is one of those, and the event strikes him as an aberration during an otherwise civilised conflict?’
    • ‘In my opinion, this ultimate irrationality undermined the movement, its impact and its otherwise noble causes.’
    • ‘Our lanky cat, who is two years old and in all respects healthy otherwise, is very skinny.’
    • ‘They were, as one Army officer put it in March, ‘a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark place.’’
    • ‘But I'm willing to overlook small hiccups in an otherwise amazing release.’
    • ‘The ancient Egyptian civilization relied on the flooding of the Nile to create fertile land for farming in an otherwise desert landscape.’
    • ‘Three majors was the difference in an otherwise close game.’
    • ‘But what it is doing is totally alienating otherwise law-abiding citizens and turning them into criminals.’
    • ‘And really, there has to be something more interesting with which to fill your otherwise empty weekend nights.’
    • ‘It's a little bit of good news in what has been an otherwise bad seven days.’
    • ‘He took a set off him and broke his serve that otherwise appears totally impregnable.’
    • ‘And, in my view, he is very convincing, giving the greatest performance of his otherwise inflated career.’
    • ‘‘I'm only human,’ he whines, thereby denigrating the rest of his otherwise noble species.’
    • ‘The laborer unsuccessfully pleaded with the company to reconsider, noting that he was the main breadwinner in his otherwise impoverished family.’
    • ‘He seemed totally normal otherwise and expected me to be as well.’
    • ‘Yet in the present struggle, our enemies made three critical mistakes that have for the time being upset their otherwise brilliant plans.’
    • ‘This may be related to variable proportions of mantle-derived material in an otherwise similar source, or it may reflect melting of different source rocks.’
    in other respects, in other ways, apart from that
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  • 3In a different way.

    ‘he means mischief—it's no good pretending otherwise’
    ‘all the staff were otherwise engaged’
    • ‘Well, the grannies and, come to that, the great grannies that I know are otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘I suspect most readers will be otherwise engaged tonight as well.’
    • ‘To allow a quick get-away he locked the corpse in a nearby privy so that the servants would think that the king was otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘She said that she wanted to try it with me, meaning to try a committed relationship, and that she didn't want to pretend otherwise or to play any games.’
    • ‘I would never make it in an opinion columnist's job, as I'm starting to type whilst still undecided and I'm not going to pretend otherwise.’
    • ‘It would be difficult to swallow that all those officials in any one club would be otherwise engaged on the same evening.’
    • ‘To pretend it was otherwise would be less than candid.’
    • ‘The mental health specialists at the university health service were apparently otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘And unlike you, I can keep confidences, even when I'm otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘Hardy souls not otherwise engaged may be able to get a fish in one of several sides who are short of anglers.’
    • ‘I kind of feel that I shouldn't date at all because it's not fair to the other guys because my feelings are otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘The roll of honour of those otherwise engaged is long and growing by the day.’
    • ‘To pretend otherwise is an exit strategy from reality.’
    • ‘Nothing gets to me more than being made to wait for attention from someone who is being paid to attend to me but is otherwise engaged in a trivial personal conversation or task.’
    • ‘As the proprietor was otherwise engaged, I returned to the shop later in the day.’
    • ‘Unpleasant regulatory surprises have a way of sneaking in the back door when the voting public is otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘I'm sure he must be able to find a day job to keep him otherwise engaged - he can't need the ten quid that much.’
    • ‘The recoveries in Asia, as we all really know - though we pretend otherwise - are very, very tenuous.’
    • ‘I'm glad that my passions have been otherwise engaged, concerned with poetry and art, and with my own small affairs.’
    • ‘But the leap is made every second, and we cannot pretend otherwise.’
    differently, in any other way
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1 As an alternative.
      ‘the Cosa Nostra, otherwise known as the Brotherhood’
      • ‘The often premature fish death is met with a mixture of concern, wonder and further investigation, otherwise known as a valuable learning experience that will now be denied.’
      • ‘In that world where hope springs eternal, otherwise known as the pub, today should have been the most triumphant day in the nation's glorious sporting history.’
      • ‘After many experiments he finally married it successfully with the inert claylite, otherwise known as diatomaceous or infusorial earth.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, recurring musical patterns - otherwise known as loops - start to get annoying after a while, especially if they go on and on and on.’
      • ‘The first thing to do is to measure the distance between your ischial bones, otherwise known as your sit bones, which make up part of the pelvic girdle.’
      • ‘It was - and is - a compelling testament to the power of citizenship, otherwise known as strength in numbers.’
      • ‘It means ‘artificial nutrition and hydration’ - otherwise known as feeding through a tube, or hydrating through a drip in the arm.’
      • ‘He'd bought an old double-ended fishboat called the Zowie, and they were going beachcombing, otherwise known as log salvaging.’
      • ‘The Effective Tax Rate, otherwise known as What People Actually Pay, wasn't really much different from what it is now.’
      • ‘But, for Brown, the key area of company growth now lies in disaster recovery facilities - otherwise known as business continuity.’
      • ‘Vending machines, otherwise known as ‘automatic retailing’ machines, have a long history.’
      • ‘These power stations are naturally being promoted as green alternatives, otherwise known as biomass.’
      • ‘Shrove Tuesday otherwise known as Pancake Day prompted Saturday Breakfast to focus our regular How To? segment on making the perfect pancake.’
      • ‘One of the important issues discussed in Grenada had to do with the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, otherwise known as the CSME.’
      • ‘In their own version of pillow-fighting on a greasy pole, otherwise known as battle of the egos, they have been slugging it out.’
      • ‘Lurking in television studios, these arbiters of public taste, otherwise known as commissioning editors, are renewing their crusade to turn our brains to mush.’
      • ‘Fascinated by what they had seen, the pair researched the sighting and believe it was the humming bird hawk-moth, otherwise known as Marcogloass stellatarum.’
      • ‘Possibly what the radio of the future will be like: downloadable programmes that can be listened to at your leisure, otherwise known as podcasting.’
      • ‘The imminent arrival of January's annual pain in the wallet, otherwise known as the electricity bill, is an example of the mundane logistics of life that are preoccupying me.’
      • ‘A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals.’
      on the other hand, as an alternative, or, as another option, as a substitute, as a replacement
      View synonyms

adjective

  • predicative In a different state or situation.

    ‘I would that it were otherwise’

Phrases

  • or (or and) otherwise

    • Indicating the opposite of or a contrast to something stated.

      ‘we don't want a president, elected or otherwise’
      • ‘I haven't seen either show yet, so I will not comment on their respective merits or otherwise.’
      • ‘I am yet to meet a man, in a partnership or otherwise, who doesn't exert total domination of this device.’
      • ‘Heck, it's not that easy to reduce this show to a string of phrases, pithy or otherwise.’
      • ‘Possession or otherwise of an ID card would make not the slightest difference.’
      • ‘He added that no other copies of the book, perfect or otherwise, were known to exist anywhere else in the world.’
      • ‘We can't, here and now, establish the truth or otherwise of the Oedipus complex.’
      • ‘I don't think the surprise or otherwise of the ending is particularly relevant, in that sense.’
      • ‘At least for those who do sell - willingly or otherwise - there will be no dealing costs.’
      • ‘But increasingly it seems that there is no plan of any kind, cunning or otherwise.’
      • ‘Success or otherwise will be down to their accumulated wisdom and experience and we have to help them find that.’

Origin

Old English on ōthre wisan (see other, wise).

Pronunciation

otherwise

/ˈʌðəwʌɪz/