or how

[hou]Scot. and North England
  1. hollow.
  2. deep.

Origin of howe

1325–75; Middle English (north and Scots), alteration of holl; see hollow


noun, adjective Scot. and North England.
  1. howe. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for hower

Historical Examples of hower

British Dictionary definitions for hower


  1. Scot and Northern English dialect a depression in the earth's surface, such as a basin or valley

Word Origin for howe

C16: from hole


  1. Elias. 1819–67, US inventor of the sewing machine (1846)
  2. Gordon, known as Gordie . born 1928, US ice-hockey player, who scored1071 goals in a professional career lasting 32 years.
  3. Howe of Aberavon, Baron, title of (Richard Edward) Geoffrey Howe . born 1926, British Conservative politician; Chancellor of the Exchequer (1979–83); foreign secretary (1983–89); deputy prime minister (1989–90)
  4. Richard, 4th Viscount Howe. 1726–99, British admiral: served (1776–78) in the War of American Independence and commanded the Channel fleet against France, winning the Battle of the Glorious First of June (1794)
  5. his brother, William, 5th Viscount Howe. 1729–1814, British general; commander in chief (1776–78) of British forces in the War of American Independence


  1. in what way? in what manner? by what means?: how did it happen? Also used in indirect questions: tell me how he did it
  2. to what extent?how tall is he?
  3. how good? how well? what…like?how did she sing?; how was the holiday?
  4. how about? used to suggest somethinghow about asking her?; how about a cup of tea?
  5. how are you? what is your state of health?
  6. how come? informal what is the reason (that)?how come you told him?
  7. how's that for…?
    1. is this satisfactory as regards…?how's that for size?
    2. an exclamation used to draw attention to a quality, deed, etchow is that for endurance?
  8. how's that?
    1. what is your opinion?
    2. cricket(an appeal to the umpire) is the batsman out?Also written: howzat (haʊˈzæt)
  9. how now? or how so? archaic what is the meaning of this?
  10. Also: as how not standard thathe told me as how the shop was closed
  11. in whatever waydo it how you wish
  12. used in exclamations to emphasize extenthow happy I was!
  13. and how! (intensifier) very much so!
  14. here's how! (as a toast) good health!
  1. the way a thing is donethe how of it

Word Origin for how

Old English hu; related to Old Frisian hū, Old High German hweo


sentence substitute
  1. a greeting supposed to be or have been used by American Indians and often used humorously

Word Origin for how

C19: of Siouan origin; related to Dakota háo
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 hower



Old English hu, from West Germanic *hwo- (cf. Old Saxon hwo, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch hu. Dutch hoe, German wie, Gothic hvaiwa "how"), from common PIE interrogative pronomial stem *kwo- (see who). How come? for "why?" is recorded from 1848. And how! emphatic, first recorded 1865. The formulation was common in book and article titles by then, e.g. The National Debt, and How to Pay It), but Pennsylvania writer Bayard Taylor, in whom it is first recorded, seems to regard it as a German or German-American expression.



Native American greeting, Siouxan (cf. Dakota hao, Omaha hau); first recorded 1817 in English, but noted early 17c. by French missionary Jean de Brebeuf among Hurons as an expression of approval (1636).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with hower


In addition to the idioms beginning with how

  • how about
  • how about that?
  • how are you?
  • how come?
  • how does that grab you?
  • how do you do?
  • how goes it
  • howling success
  • how so?
  • how the land lies
  • how the wind blows

also see:

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