Definition of otherwise in English:

otherwise

adverb

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

    ‘the collection brings visitors who might not come to the college otherwise’
    ‘I'm not motivated by money, otherwise I would have quit’
    • ‘The beneficial effects of therapy serve to reduce the respondent's liability in respect of what would otherwise be continuing symptoms.’
    • ‘We need everyone to help out as much as they can because otherwise this all falls apart.’
    • ‘That's very important for people to understand because otherwise they'll think that college is out of reach.’
    • ‘The things that bring people here are still bigger than the things that might otherwise keep them apart.’
    • ‘I could not emphasise sufficiently that it would be totally wrong otherwise.’
    • ‘I might have gone to college or university otherwise, and my life path would have been different.’
    • ‘Work-study enables many students to attend college who otherwise couldn't.’
    • ‘Although his record otherwise would make him attractive, getting another college job might be a challenge in the current climate.’
    • ‘They invited her to come and live with them and go to college, an opportunity she might otherwise never have had.’
    or else, or, if not
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  • 2In other respects; apart from that.

    ‘an otherwise totally black cat with a single white whisker’
    • ‘But what it is doing is totally alienating otherwise law-abiding citizens and turning them into criminals.’
    • ‘Three majors was the difference in an otherwise close game.’
    • ‘And, in my view, he is very convincing, giving the greatest performance of his otherwise inflated career.’
    • ‘But maybe the reporter is one of those, and the event strikes him as an aberration during an otherwise civilised conflict?’
    • ‘And really, there has to be something more interesting with which to fill your otherwise empty weekend nights.’
    • ‘Yet in the present struggle, our enemies made three critical mistakes that have for the time being upset their otherwise brilliant plans.’
    • ‘They were, as one Army officer put it in March, ‘a glimmer of hope in an otherwise dark place.’’
    • ‘In my opinion, this ultimate irrationality undermined the movement, its impact and its otherwise noble causes.’
    • ‘He took a set off him and broke his serve that otherwise appears totally impregnable.’
    • ‘They would grace our otherwise cluttered shelves.’
    • ‘And at night the procession of lighted carriages dashing through the otherwise dark and quiet countryside was a sight to behold.’
    • ‘But I'm willing to overlook small hiccups in an otherwise amazing release.’
    • ‘‘I'm only human,’ he whines, thereby denigrating the rest of his otherwise noble species.’
    • ‘Different colours are frequently used to provide variation in an otherwise monochrome surface.’
    • ‘The laborer unsuccessfully pleaded with the company to reconsider, noting that he was the main breadwinner in his otherwise impoverished family.’
    • ‘It's a little bit of good news in what has been an otherwise bad seven days.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The ancient Egyptian civilization relied on the flooding of the Nile to create fertile land for farming in an otherwise desert landscape.’
    • ‘He seemed totally normal otherwise and expected me to be as well.’
    • ‘Our lanky cat, who is two years old and in all respects healthy otherwise, is very skinny.’
    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’
    ‘pretending that they are otherwise engaged’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And unlike you, I can keep confidences, even when I'm otherwise engaged.’
    • ‘I suspect most readers will be otherwise engaged tonight as well.’
    • ‘Unpleasant regulatory surprises have a way of sneaking in the back door when the voting public is 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I'm glad that my passions have been otherwise engaged, concerned with poetry and art, and with my own small affairs.’
    • ‘To pretend otherwise is an exit strategy from reality.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But the leap is made every second, and we cannot pretend otherwise.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Well, the grannies and, come to that, the great grannies that I know are 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.’
    • ‘As the proprietor was otherwise engaged, I returned to the shop later in the day.’
    • ‘The roll of honour of those otherwise engaged is long and growing by the day.’
    • ‘The recoveries in Asia, as we all really know - though we pretend otherwise - are very, very tenuous.’
    • ‘The mental health specialists at the university health service were apparently otherwise engaged.’
    differently, in any other way
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    1. 3.1 As an alternative.
      ‘pre-Renaissance mathematician Leonardo Pisano, otherwise known as Fibonacci’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Lurking in television studios, these arbiters of public taste, otherwise known as commissioning editors, are renewing their crusade to turn our brains to mush.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In their own version of pillow-fighting on a greasy pole, otherwise known as battle of the egos, they have been slugging it out.’
      • ‘Vending machines, otherwise known as ‘automatic retailing’ machines, have a long history.’
      • ‘Unfortunately, recurring musical patterns - otherwise known as loops - start to get annoying after a while, especially if they go on and on and on.’
      • ‘Shrove Tuesday otherwise known as Pancake Day prompted Saturday Breakfast to focus our regular How To? segment on making the perfect pancake.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘These power stations are naturally being promoted as green alternatives, otherwise known as biomass.’
      • ‘A small but growing number of businesses are hiring people to write blogs, otherwise known as Web logs, or frequently updated online journals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One of the important issues discussed in Grenada had to do with the Caribbean Single Market and Economy, otherwise known as the CSME.’
      • ‘After many experiments he finally married it successfully with the inert claylite, otherwise known as diatomaceous or infusorial earth.’
      • ‘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.’
      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.

    ‘if it were otherwise, we would be unable to acquire knowledge’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

otherwise

/ˈəT͟Hərˌwīz/