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Definition how

Etymology 1

From Middle English how, hou, hu, hwu, Old English , from Proto-Germanic *hwō, from the same root as hwæt (“who, what”). /hw/ > /h/ due to wh-cluster reduction in Old English; compare who, which underwent this change later, and thus is spelt wh (Middle English spelling of /hw/) but pronounced /h/ (it previously had a different vowel, hence avoided the spelling and sound change in Old English). Vowel change per Great Vowel Shift.

Akin to Scots hoo, foo (“how”), Saterland Frisian wo (“how”), West Frisian hoe (“how”), Low German ho, wo, wu (“how”), Dutch hoe (“how”), German wie (“how”), Swedish hur (“how”). See who and compare why.


how (not comparable)

  1. (interrogative) To what degree.
  2. (interrogative) In what manner.
  3. (interrogative) In what state.
  4. Used as a modifier to indicate surprise, delight, or other strong feelings in an exclamation.

how (plural hows)

  1. The means by which something is accomplished.


  1. In which way; in such way.
  2. That, the fact that, the way that.

Etymology 2

From Old Norse haugr.


how (plural hows)

  1. (dialectal) An artificial barrow or tumulus.
  2. (dialectal) A small hill in northern England. (Usage preserved mainly in place names.)

Etymology 3

From a Siouan language, compare Lakota háu. Alternatively from Wyandot haau.



  1. A greeting, used in representations of Native American speech.

Results 100 Words with the letters HOW

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10 letter words with the letters HOW 

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