1. giving or pertaining to basic instructions and directions to the layperson on the methods for doing or making something, especially as a hobby or for practical use: a how-to book on photography.
noun, plural how-tos.
  1. a set of step-by-step instructions for accomplishing a certain task or reaching a certain objective: a how-to for fixing a leaky faucet.
  2. the basic principles or approach for doing something: the how-to of investing in the stock market.

Origin of how-to

First recorded in 1925–30
Related formshow-to·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for how-to

Contemporary Examples of how-to

British Dictionary definitions for how-to


  1. (of a book or guide) giving basic instructions to the lay person on how to do or make something, esp as a hobby or for practical purposesa how-to book on carpentry
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