Definition of else in English:



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

    ‘anything else you need to know?’
    ‘I just brought basics—I wasn't sure what else you'd want’
    ‘they will offer low prices but little else’
    • ‘Well what else can we do when a lot of good farming land continues to be covered up by houses.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Nietzsche, whom I read more as a poet than as anything else, also had it in for the academy.’
    • ‘He was at his desk at seven o'clock every morning, no matter where he was or what else was going on.’
    • ‘They would like to speak to the owner of the car and anyone else who has suffered from similar crimes.’
    • ‘As for the main entrance, it is fit for a municipal swimming pool, and little else.’
    • ‘The effect, say health board chiefs, is that they have no money left for anything else.’
    • ‘As they converse politely, a waiter glides up and asks if they'd like anything else.’
    • ‘Well, what else do you expect for the start and end of the working week, plus the days in-between?’
    • ‘What else is he hoping for from a relationship other than the occasional letter?’
    • ‘The Church will have to regain its doctrinal health once again before anything else.’
    • ‘Surely the judge can order the confiscation of his money and anything else he possesses.’
    • ‘If abortion is legalised, what else is acceptable using the same sort of arguments?’
    • ‘It seems to me that there's really no point to anything else without that basic guarantee.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I suppose that extra half hour was as much from audience reaction time as anything else.’
    • ‘Is there anything else we can do to tell people that their cars must be moved?’
    • ‘At this time I had to go and sort out other stuff, so I didn't see if anything else went wrong.’
    • ‘Still, if it wasn't for the weather what else would the British have to talk about.’
    too, as well, besides, in addition, additionally, furthermore, further, moreover, into the bargain, over and above that, what's more, to boot, else, then, equally
    View synonyms
  • 2[with 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’
    • ‘He is in no different position from anyone else who obtains citizenship by false means.’
    • ‘If we're not genuinely trying to live out our faith, how are we different from anyone else?’
    • ‘I could always tell when he arrived because he walked faster up the aisle than anyone else.’
    • ‘The field was huge, and devoid of anyone else other than occasional walkers at the edges.’
    • ‘Well they had somewhere else to go last Thursday, and they went there in their millions.’
    • ‘That goes through your head but you never really picture yourself doing anything else.’
    • ‘It's ugly and ancient but it's a phone and I cannot afford anything else at the moment.’
    • ‘In a few more weeks, if I'm not feeling better I'll go back and see what else it could be.’
    • ‘We were planning to go somewhere else after this, it was just a convenient meeting point.’
    • ‘What a morale boost too, to find one hour of a lawyer's time equals one hour of anyone else's.’
    • ‘I have three years left on my contract and I don't see any reason to look for anything else.’
    • ‘I reserve the right to criticise the guy but fail to recognise anyone else's right to so do.’
    • ‘It does all the spadework created by the dealing of shares, and very little else.’
    • ‘Subsequently, we made the decision to move from the town and settle somewhere else.’
    • ‘The income ensured he always got the latest expensive trainers before anyone else.’
    • ‘Control of the media permits the rulers to get out their version and suppress anything else.’
    • ‘That is a difficult choice when we humans are made to care for our young and anything else causes guilt.’
    • ‘It is terrifying at first, but then it grows on you, this easy way of getting somewhere else.’
    • ‘He said she was the only person willing to care for him and he had no money to hire anyone else.’
    • ‘What else can he think to get him through hour after hour on the treadmill at the Murray Park gym every day?’
  • 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’
      • ‘Further, they contended, in the alternative, that the words were substantially true or else were fair comment on matters of fact.’
      • ‘Why is the second-rate part of a hero's corpus uncritically praised or else ignored to keep the hero's reputation unsullied.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Either that, or else it'll drive you batty in thirty seconds flat.’
      • ‘So, a second lasts either for no time at all or else for an infinite amount of time.’
      • ‘You should be offered a suitable alternative job if it can't be made safe, or else be suspended on full pay.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She was almost emaciated-looking and her clothing looked as if it were either second-hand, or else really old.’
      • ‘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.’
      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 was thankful that I had grabbed my backpack before I left for breakfast - or else we would be completely broke… not to mention unarmed.’
        • ‘A small argument spread thin: men and women cannot be that different, or else women would not be saved.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘‘Most work makes a difference in someone's life in some way, or else the job wouldn't exist,’ Grant says.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Everything they mentioned in the conversation had to have had some sort of impact on them or else they wouldn't have mentioned it.’
        • ‘It was a good thing she never mentioned about it, or else I would have been really hurt.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        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.’’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Due to China's one-child rule, they cannot keep this second child or else they will suffer severe financial and political penalties.’
        • ‘A man's got to have a beer once in a while or else he'd go nuts without warning.’
        • ‘‘You better let her in - or else you'll be in deep trouble,’ they threatened.’
        • ‘She couldn't stop, not for a second, or else they would get her.’
        • ‘‘Do not mention this secret spot to anybody, or else I will have to kill you,’ Parker snapped.’
        • ‘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.’
      3. 1.3Used as a warning or a threat.
        ‘she'd better shape up, 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.’
        • ‘Finally, his mother came up and demanded him to open his door or else, young man.’
        • ‘It was more of a warning laugh, a laugh that told you to stop or else.’
        • ‘She stood beside me with her hands on her hips and her eyes demanding that I tell her everything or else.’
        • ‘We'll let this disc go with a stern warning: Make sense next time, 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 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.’
        • ‘Couched in this extraordinary advice from Chen's subordinates was a warning not to step on their toes, or else.’
        • ‘This advice itself carries a delicate aroma of threat: Vote for the BJP 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.’


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