Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

both

[bohth]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. one and the other; two together: He met both sisters. Both performances were canceled.
Show More
pronoun
  1. the one as well as the other: Both of us were going to the party.
Show More
conjunction
  1. alike; equally: He is both ready and willing.
Show More

Origin of both

1125–75; Middle English bothe, bathe, influenced by Scandinavian (compare Old Norse bāthir both; cognate with German, Dutch beide, Gothic ba tho skipa both (the) ships, Old High German bêde < *bai thai); replacing Middle English bo, ba, Old English bā; cognate with Gothic bai; akin to Latin ambō, Greek ámphō, Lithuanian abù, Sanskrit ubháu
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for both

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Yes—I'm hungry for both, and some of those funny little cakes.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Later he involved himself in explanations that were both obscure and conflicting.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • They were both silent for a few moments; and Eudora's countenance was troubled.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • She helped Geta to escape: they have both taken refuge in the Temple of Theseus.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Both your ma and Pishy has got more out of it than you have.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for both

both

determiner
    1. the two; two considered togetherboth dogs were dirty
    2. (as pronoun)both are to blame
Show More
conjunction
  1. (coordinating) used preceding words, phrases, or clauses joined by and, used to emphasize that not just one, but also the other of the joined elements is includedboth Ellen and Keith enjoyed the play; both new and exciting
Show More

Word Origin

C12: from Old Norse bāthir; related to Old High German bēde, Latin ambō, Greek amphō
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for both

adj., pron.

there are several theories, all similar, and deriving the word from the tendency to say "both the." One is that it is Old English begen (masc.) "both" (from Proto-Germanic *ba, from PIE *bho "both") + extended base. Another traces it to the Proto-Germanic formula represented in Old English by ba þa "both these," from ba (feminine nominative and accusative of begen) + þa, nominative and accusative plural of se "that." A third traces it to Old Norse baðir "both," from *bai thaiz "both the," from Proto-Germanic *thaiz, third person plural pronoun. Cf. similar formation in Old Frisian bethe, Dutch beide, Old High German beide, German beide, Gothic bajoþs.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with both

both

In addition to the idioms beginning with both

also see:

Show More
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.