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[els] /ɛls/

other than the persons or things mentioned or implied:
What else could I have done?
in addition to the persons or things mentioned or implied:
Who else was there?
other or in addition (used in the possessive following an indefinite pronoun):
someone else’s money.
if not (usually preceded by or):
It’s a macaw, or else I don’t know birds.
in some other way; otherwise:
How else could I have acted?
at some other place or time:
Where else might I find this book?
or else, or suffer the consequences:
Do what I say, or else.
determiner (postpositive; used after an indefinite pronoun or an interrogative)
in addition; more: there is nobody else here
other; different: where else could he be?
or else


Old English elles “other, otherwise, different,” from Proto-Germanic *aljaz (cf. Gothic aljis “other,” Old High German eli-lenti, Old English el-lende, both meaning “in a foreign land;” see also Alsace), an adverbial genitive of the neuter of PIE root *al- “beyond” (cf. Greek allos “other,” Latin alius; see alias). Synonym of other, the nuances of usage are often arbitrary.

Productive of a number of handy compounds that somehow never got traction or have been suffered to fall from use: elsehow (1660s) “somehow or other;” elsewards (adv.), 1882, “somewhere else;” Old English elsewhat (pron.) ” something else, anything else;” elsewhen (adv.), early 15c., “at another time; elsewhence (c.1600); elsewho (1540s). Among the survivors are elsewhere, elsewise.

Related Terms

or else


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    [el-suh-nuh] /ˈɛl sə nə/ noun 1. Dutch name of .

  • Elsevier

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  • Elsewhere

    [els-hwair, -wair] /ˈɛlsˌʰwɛər, -ˌwɛər/ adverb 1. somewhere else; in or to some other place: You will have to look elsewhere for an answer. /ˌɛlsˈwɛə/ adverb 1. in or to another place; somewhere else n. c.1400, elswher, from Old English elles hwær (see else + where).

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