under other circumstances: Otherwise they may get broken.
in another manner; differently: Under the circumstances, I can't believe otherwise.
in other respects: an otherwise happy life.


or else; if not: Button up your overcoat, otherwise you'll catch cold.


other or different; of another nature or kind: We hoped his behavior would be otherwise.
in other or different circumstances: An otherwise pleasure had become a grinding chore.

Origin of otherwise

before 900; Middle English; Old English (on) ōthre wīsan (in) another manner. See other, -wise
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for otherwise

differently, variously, contrarily, diversely

Examples from the Web for otherwise

Contemporary Examples of otherwise

Historical Examples of otherwise

British Dictionary definitions for otherwise


sentence connector

or else; if not, thengo home — otherwise your mother will worry


differentlyI wouldn't have thought otherwise
in other respectsan otherwise hopeless situation


(predicative) of an unexpected nature; differentthe facts are otherwise


something different in outcomesuccess or otherwise

Word Origin for otherwise

C14: from Old English on ōthre wīsan in other manner


The expression otherwise than means in any other way than and should not be followed by an adjective: no-one taught by this method can be other than (not otherwise than) successful; you are not allowed to use the building otherwise than as a private dwelling
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 otherwise

contracted from Old English phrase on oðre wisan "in the other manner" (see other + wise (n.)), which in Middle English became oþre wise, and mid-14c. oþerwise. As an adjective from c.1400.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper