however vs nevertheless what difference

what is difference between however and nevertheless



From Middle English however, how-ever, how-evere, equivalent to how +‎ ever. Compare also Middle English how-as-evere and howsoevere, how-so-evere (howsoever).


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /hɑʊˈɛvə/
  • (US) enPR: houĕvʹər, IPA(key): /haʊˈɛvɚ/
  • (NYC) IPA(key): /hɑwɛvə/
  • Rhymes: -ɛvə(r)
  • Hyphenation: how‧ev‧er


however (not comparable)

  1. Nevertheless; yet, still; in spite of (that).
    She wanted to go; however, she decided against it.
  2. (degree) To whatever degree or extent
  3. (manner) In whatever way or manner.
  4. An emphatic form of how.
    However were you able to do it?
  5. (obsolete) In any case, at any rate, at all events.
    • c. 1680, John Tillotson:
      Our chief end and highest interest is happiness : And this is happiness to be freed from all (if it may) [or] however from the greatest evils.


  • (nevertheless): nonetheless, notwithstanding, that said, still and all; see also Thesaurus:nevertheless
  • (to whatever degree): ad lib, howsoever, howso
  • (emphatic howin whatever manner): anyhow, howsoever, howso
  • (emphatic how): how + the dickens (see Thesaurus:the dickens)
  • (in any case): after all, anyway; see also Thesaurus:regardless




  1. In whatever way or manner.
    she offered to help however she could
  2. (proscribed) Although, though, but, yet.

Usage notes

  • Both conjunctive uses of “however” are identical to adverbial uses except in punctuation (when written) and in prosody (when spoken). Hence, the following proscribed sentence:
    is equivalent to the following accepted one:
    which can also be written in two sentences::
    they are functionally equivalent to:
    • He told me not to do it, but I did it.
  • In particular, when used as a conjunction in this sense, however always appears between the clauses it connects; it does not introduce a subordinate clause that can be moved to the start of an independent clause, but simply coordinates two independent clauses.


  • however in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • “however” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  • “however (degree)” in Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • “however (despite)” in Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • “however (way)” in Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • “however”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  • Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  • Random House Webster’s Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)


  • everwho, whoever


Alternative forms

  • ne’ertheless (trisyllabic; archaic or poetic)


From Middle English nevertheles, never-þe-les, nevere-þe-lesse, equivalent to never (not at all) +‎ the +‎ less; compare never the wiser.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈnɛvəðəlɛs/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈnɛvɚðəlɛs/


nevertheless (not comparable)

  1. (conjunctive) In spite of what preceded; yet.


  • (in spite of what preceded): even so, however, nonetheless, still, though, yet, notwithstanding; see also Thesaurus:nevertheless


Further reading

  • nevertheless in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • nevertheless in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.

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