However means "even so" or, "on the other hand," and you use it to introduce a complication or contradiction. You might tell your friend, "I love your cooking. However, I already have plans for dinner tonight."

The adverb however has a few different meanings. It often shows contrast. You might be training to become a lawyer, however your secret dream is to dance. However also means "in whatever way." You might say to your father, "However you have to do it, convince Mom to buy me that car!" It also means "to whatever degree." However certain you are in your gut that Mr. Plum is the murderer, you need to wait for evidence before accusing him.

Primary Meanings of however

in whatever way or manner
despite anything to the contrary (usually following a concession)
Full Definitions of however

adv in whatever way or manner

“Victory, however it was brought about, was sweet”
however he did it, it was very clever”

adv to whatever degree or extent

“The results, however general, are important”
“they have begun, however reluctantly, to acknowledge the legitimacy of some of the opposition's concerns”

adv despite anything to the contrary (usually following a concession)

“although I'm a little afraid, however I'd like to try it”
all the same, even so, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, still, withal, yet

adv by contrast; on the other hand

“the second, however, took hours”

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.