1 /haU/ adverb
a) used to ask about what way or what method you should use to do something, find out about something, go somewhere etc: How do you spell foyer? | How should I dress for this job interview? | How on earth do you manage to afford so many holidays? | I want to know how you say `good luck' in Japanese.
b) used to ask about the amount, size, degree etc of something: How big is the state of Louisiana compared to England? | How many kids do they have now? | How long did you live in Manchester for? | how much? (=used to ask the price of something): How much is that sweater, the blue one?
c) used to ask about someone's health or about their feelings: How's your ankle this morning? Has the swelling gone down?
d) used to ask about someone's opinion of something or about their experience of something: How did your exams go? | How was the play?
e) used to ask about the way something looks, behaves, or is expressed: How does that speech of Macbeth's end, the one about `a tale told by an idiot'? | How does that song go, anyway?
2 EMPHASIZE used before an adjective or adverb to emphasize the quality you are mentioning: He was impressed at how well she could read. | “John's been in an accident.” “Oh, how awful!” | It depends on how busy they are whether they'll be able to go or not.
3 how are you? used when you meet someone, to ask if they are well: “Hi Francie, how are you?” “Fine, thanks, how are you?”
4 how's it going?/how are you doing?
a) used when you meet someone, to ask if they are well, happy etc: “Hey, how's it going?” “OK.”
b) used to ask if someone is happy with what they are doing: So how's it going at work these days? Still enjoying it?
5 how about...?
a) used to make a suggestion about what to do: No, I'm busy on Monday. How about Tuesday at seven? | how about doing sth: How about putting the sofa closer to the window? | how's about informal especially AmE: How's about going to the beach this afternoon?
b) used to introduce a new idea, fact etc that has not yet been discussed: “Mary and Ken are still away.” “And how about Billy?”
6 how about you? used to ask someone what they want or what their opinion is, after you have said what you want or what your opinion is: I can't stand opera, how about you?
7 how do you mean? used to ask someone to explain something they have just said: “What's your family situation?” “How do you mean?” “Are you married?”
8 how's that? used to ask someone whether something is satisfactory: How's that? Can you see now?
9 how come? used to ask why something has happened or been said, especially when you are surprised by it: How come Dave's home? Isn't he feeling well?
10 how do you do? a polite expression used when you meet someone for the first time
11 how are things? used when you meet someone, to ask if they are well, happy etc: “Hello Peter, how are things?” “Oh, not too bad.”
12 how do you know? used to ask how someone found out about something or why they are sure about something: “Better bring an umbrella. It's going to rain later.” “How do you know?”
13 how can you/how could you...? used when you are very surprised by or disapprove strongly of something: William! How could you say such a thing!
14 how about that!/how do you like that! used to ask what someone thinks of something that you think is surprising, rude, very good etc: He lost 15 pounds in a month! How about that!
15 how so? used to ask someone to explain an opinion they have given: “Rick's parents are a little strange, I think.” “How so?”
16 and how! AmE old-fashioned an expression meaning `yes, very much,' used to strongly emphasize your reply to a question: “Was Matt drunk?” “And how!”
2 conjunction
1 used at the beginning of a clause (2) in which you explain the method of doing something: He has to understand that this is how we do things in this household, even if his mother does them differently. | how to do sth: The class teaches students how to plan a budget.
2 used at the beginning of a clause (2) in which you introduce a fact or statement: We were both traveling across Europe, and that's how we first met. | Okay, do you remember how we discussed yesterday the Roman rule of Britain?
3 spoken in whatever way: In your own house you can act how you want.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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