Definition of else in US English:



  • 1with indefinite pronoun or adverb In addition; besides.

    ‘anything else you need to know?’
    ‘they will offer low prices but little else’
    ‘I just brought basics—I wasn't sure what else you'd want’
    • ‘Is there anything else we can do to tell people that their cars must be moved?’
    • ‘It seems to me that there's really no point to anything else without that basic guarantee.’
    • ‘If abortion is legalised, what else is acceptable using the same sort of arguments?’
    • ‘Surely the judge can order the confiscation of his money and anything else he possesses.’
    • ‘Nietzsche, whom I read more as a poet than as anything else, also had it in for the academy.’
    • ‘What else is he hoping for from a relationship other than the occasional letter?’
    • ‘Well what else can we do when a lot of good farming land continues to be covered up by houses.’
    • ‘He was at his desk at seven o'clock every morning, no matter where he was or what else was going on.’
    • ‘Still, if it wasn't for the weather what else would the British have to talk about.’
    • ‘Still, when he got out of the car he said if I needed anything else just to phone.’
    • ‘Although that probably has more to do with the way I interpret film than anything else.’
    • ‘As for the main entrance, it is fit for a municipal swimming pool, and little else.’
    • ‘They would like to speak to the owner of the car and anyone else who has suffered from similar crimes.’
    • ‘The Church will have to regain its doctrinal health once again before anything else.’
    • ‘Does anyone know what else we can expect between now and the beginning of April?’
    • ‘Never disliked him, but I felt he was as much the product of hype as anything else.’
    • ‘Well, what else do you expect for the start and end of the working week, plus the days in-between?’
    • ‘The effect, say health board chiefs, is that they have no money left for anything else.’
    • ‘I suppose that extra half hour was as much from audience reaction time as anything else.’
    • ‘At this time I had to go and sort out other stuff, so I didn't see if anything else went wrong.’
    • ‘As they converse politely, a waiter glides up and asks if they'd like anything else.’
    too, as well, besides, in addition, additionally, furthermore, further, moreover, into the bargain, on top, on top of that, over and above that, what's more, to boot, else, then, equally
    View synonyms
  • 2with indefinite pronoun or adverb Different; instead.

    ‘isn't there anyone else you could ask?’
    ‘they took songs owned by someone else and used them without permission’
    ‘they moved on to somewhere else’
    ‘it's fate, destiny, or whatever else you like to call it’
    • ‘What else can he think to get him through hour after hour on the treadmill at the Murray Park gym every day?’
    • ‘I have three years left on my contract and I don't see any reason to look for anything else.’
    • ‘That goes through your head but you never really picture yourself doing anything else.’
    • ‘The field was huge, and devoid of anyone else other than occasional walkers at the edges.’
    • ‘What a morale boost too, to find one hour of a lawyer's time equals one hour of anyone else's.’
    • ‘It does all the spadework created by the dealing of shares, and very little else.’
    • ‘He said she was the only person willing to care for him and he had no money to hire anyone else.’
    • ‘That is a difficult choice when we humans are made to care for our young and anything else causes guilt.’
    • ‘If we're not genuinely trying to live out our faith, how are we different from anyone else?’
    • ‘Well they had somewhere else to go last Thursday, and they went there in their millions.’
    • ‘Control of the media permits the rulers to get out their version and suppress anything else.’
    • ‘It's ugly and ancient but it's a phone and I cannot afford anything else at the moment.’
    • ‘It is terrifying at first, but then it grows on you, this easy way of getting somewhere else.’
    • ‘In a few more weeks, if I'm not feeling better I'll go back and see what else it could be.’
    • ‘Subsequently, we made the decision to move from the town and settle somewhere else.’
    • ‘I reserve the right to criticise the guy but fail to recognise anyone else's right to so do.’
    • ‘I could always tell when he arrived because he walked faster up the aisle than anyone else.’
    • ‘We were planning to go somewhere else after this, it was just a convenient meeting point.’
    • ‘The income ensured he always got the latest expensive trainers before anyone else.’
    • ‘He is in no different position from anyone else who obtains citizenship by false means.’
  • 3

    short for or else


  • or else

    • 1Used to introduce the second of two alternatives.

      ‘she felt tempted either to shout at him or else to let his tantrums slide by’
      • ‘Why is the second-rate part of a hero's corpus uncritically praised or else ignored to keep the hero's reputation unsullied.’
      • ‘Either that, or else it'll drive you batty in thirty seconds flat.’
      • ‘You should be offered a suitable alternative job if it can't be made safe, or else be suspended on full pay.’
      • ‘She was almost emaciated-looking and her clothing looked as if it were either second-hand, or else really old.’
      • ‘Either the flush would come giving Harold the win, doubling his stack, and solidly ensconcing him in second place, or else he would be out of the tournament.’
      • ‘Further, they contended, in the alternative, that the words were substantially true or else were fair comment on matters of fact.’
      • ‘If you want an affordable copy, your best bet is either to trawl the second hand bins and hope you get lucky, or else wait until the hoopla about Wanda has died down.’
      • ‘So this makes it very difficult to combat, either through eradication or interdiction or else finding alternative livelihoods for Afghan farmers.’
      • ‘For on our paraphrase, if the second surface is flatter than the first, then either the second surface is flat while the first is not, or else the second is more nearly flat than the first, neither surface being flat.’
      • ‘So, a second lasts either for no time at all or else for an infinite amount of time.’
      1. 1.1In circumstances different from those mentioned; if it were not the case.
        ‘they can't want it, or else they'd request it’
        • ‘I had heard tales of the need to immediately spend $15,000 to build your game once you were done developing it, or else no one would give it a second glance.’
        • ‘And I try to play them slightly different every night, or else I would collapse in the second verse of ‘You Know So Well’ of boredom.’
        • ‘A small argument spread thin: men and women cannot be that different, or else women would not be saved.’
        • ‘‘Most work makes a difference in someone's life in some way, or else the job wouldn't exist,’ Grant says.’
        • ‘It was a good thing she never mentioned about it, or else I would have been really hurt.’
        • ‘He had been lucky that the branch missed his eyes, or else a very different scenario would be happening right now, Trip thought as Lee continued to fuss over him.’
        • ‘Lucky for him, indeed, that they were specially tinted to look dark from the outside, but in fact made no difference to his vision, or else he'd have trouble seeing where he was going.’
        • ‘Everything they mentioned in the conversation had to have had some sort of impact on them or else they wouldn't have mentioned it.’
        • ‘I was thankful that I had grabbed my backpack before I left for breakfast - or else we would be completely broke… not to mention unarmed.’
        or else, or, if not
        View synonyms
      2. 1.2Used to warn what will happen if something is not carried out.
        ‘you go along with this or else you're going to jail’
        • ‘They continued to shout at us ‘get back to your country, or else we will be back.’’
        • ‘He and I had the same class and to make my escape fast, I needed to bring him along or else I would seem even more suspicious.’
        • ‘‘You better let her in - or else you'll be in deep trouble,’ they threatened.’
        • ‘‘Do not mention this secret spot to anybody, or else I will have to kill you,’ Parker snapped.’
        • ‘He demands that the UN back their decisions on Iraq with the threat of force, or else the US will overrule the UN charter and attack anyway.’
        • ‘I couldn't afford to be back a second late or else, Margaret would suspect where I was.’
        • ‘You all had better hurry up or else the food'll be cold.’
        • ‘Due to China's one-child rule, they cannot keep this second child or else they will suffer severe financial and political penalties.’
        • ‘She couldn't stop, not for a second, or else they would get her.’
        • ‘A man's got to have a beer once in a while or else he'd go nuts without warning.’
      3. 1.3Used as a warning or a threat.
        ‘she'd better shape up, or else’
        • ‘She stood beside me with her hands on her hips and her eyes demanding that I tell her everything or else.’
        • ‘It may want to go further and attempt to punish the alleged offender as a warning to other civil servants to stay in line or else.’
        • ‘Finally, his mother came up and demanded him to open his door or else, young man.’
        • ‘We'll let this disc go with a stern warning: Make sense next time, or else.’
        • ‘By catering to his every wish you have not disabused him of the notion that he is entitled to demand whatever he wants from you… or else.’
        • ‘Couched in this extraordinary advice from Chen's subordinates was a warning not to step on their toes, or else.’
        • ‘If the referee has made a blatant mistake, then the panel should have the power to criticise the referee openly and demand that their standards improve or else.’
        • ‘It was more of a warning laugh, a laugh that told you to stop or else.’
        • ‘TCI is at the forefront of a new breed of restless shareholders in Europe that are demanding that management create shareholder value, or else.’
        • ‘This advice itself carries a delicate aroma of threat: Vote for the BJP or else!’


Old English elles, of Germanic origin; related to Middle Dutch els and Swedish eljest.