The Meaning of Hence: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of hence? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word hence, including its definition, etymology, usage, examples, and more!

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What does the word hence mean?

According to Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, the word hence (pronunciation of hence: ​hɛns) is an adverb with a few different meanings. First, the word hence can mean away, or from this phace. It can also mean therefore. People often use the word hence before stating a logical conclusion. This type of adverb is called a locative adverb, which is equivalent to a locational preposition, directional preposition or prepositional phrase. This is the combination of a location and an adjective. 

Many different languages also contain words meaning hence. You may notice that many of these words look and sound similar to each other. These are called cognates. Cognates are words and phrases that look and sound similar between languages while also meaning something similar. These are often formed when two words have the same language of origin or root. This list of translation for the word hence is provided by Word Sense

  •  Pashto: ځکه‎ (źëka), نو‎ (no)
  •  French: ainsi‎, donc‎, d’où‎
  •  Dutch: derhalve‎, dus‎, bijgevolg‎
  •  Italian: perciò‎, dunque‎, quindi‎
  •  Malay: kerana itu‎, oleh sebab itu‎, justeru itu‎
  •  Norwegian: herav‎, av‎ dette‎ følger‎, derfor‎, derav‎
  •  Mandarin: 所以‎ (suǒyǐ), 因此‎ (yīncǐ), 於是‎, 于是‎ (yúshì)
  •  Spanish: por lo tanto, por eso
  •  Romanian: așadar‎
  •  German: daher‎, deshalb‎, deswegen‎
  •  Maori: nō konei‎
  •  Occitan: atal‎, doncas‎
  •  Hebrew: לכן‎ (lakhén)
  •  Polish: więc‎, skutkiem tego, w związku z tym
  •  Esperanto: tial‎, do‎
  •  Icelandic: þess vegna‎
  •  Finnish: joten‎, siksi‎
  •  Portuguese: portanto‎
  •  Japanese: それ故に‎ (それゆえに, sore-yue-ni))
  •  Czech: tudíž‎
  •  Macedonian: значи‎ (znáči), затоа‎ (zátoa), според тоа‎ (spóred tóa)
  •  Greek: εξού‎
  •  Russian: сле́довательно‎, поэ́тому‎, потому́‎, зна́чит‎
  •  Korean: 따라서‎
  •  Swedish: därför‎, följaktligen‎, således‎
  •  Danish: derfor‎

How can the word hence be used in a sentence?

The word hence can be used in numerous different sentences. This word is appropriate to use in both casual and formal English, though it is more common to see this word used in formal or professional settings. People will not usually use hence in a short text message or on social media, but may opt to use it in a business email, formal letter, or other means of communication. Try using the word hence in a sentence today! It may become a new favorite word.  There are a few examples of hence in the following dialogs:

The poor daughter was witness to the long battle between her father and the intruder, and hence called the police. 

Such evangelists led a hard life in the Christian church, and hence the young people decided to be the voices of reason and start their own, free of inaccuracies and Satan.

The chef was frustrated by the management of the inn, and hence decided to open up his own restaurant a quarter mile away. Meanwhile, the inn hired a new replacement chef who hates their choice of tableware.

The young girl was unhappy with the names her parents suggested, hence she made her own lists of various animal names for her new puppy.

The target dates of the original plan had long gone by due to the length of time spent planning, hence the planner prayed for a miracle to find the means of release. 

After a lot of class discussion, McConnell realized that her research topic on the different types of buildings in the 1960s would require a lot of learning, and hence decided on a new topic to get her due recognition. 

Erica was accepted to Princeton University, and hence withdrew her application from the local college.

What is the origin of the word hence?

According to Etymonline, the word hence has been used as an adverb since the late 13th century as the Middle English hennes, with the adverbial genitive suffix -s. This comes from the Old English heonan meaning away, from the West Germanic root hin which is also the source of the Old Saxon hinan, Swedish hän, Dutch heen, Old High German hinnan and Old High German hinana, Old Irish cen, and German hinnen. This is of Proto-Indo-European roots; specifically, the roots ki and ko. Hence’s modern spelling has been used since the mid-15th century and is phonetic to retrain the breathy s. Hence was originally used to mean away, but began to be used to mean from this moment on in the late 14th century, and meaning therefore since the 1580s. Wyclif uses hennys & þennys to mean from here and there in 1382. It is considered an archaism or archaicism  to use hence to mean away from in American English, but at times the use of an archaic expression is necessary. 

What are synonyms for the word hence?

Many different words can be used in place of the word hence. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as a given word or phrase. Learning synonyms is a great way to avoid repeating yourself and expand your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word hence is provided by Thesaurus

  •  for that reason
  •  in the future
  •  in that event
  •  therefore
  •  henceforth
  •  wherefore
  •  on that account
  •  thereupon
  •  away
  •  since
  •  as a deduction
  •  consequently
  •  in consequence
  •  then
  •  accordingly
  •  ergo
  •  whence
  •  forward
  •  forasmuch as
  •  it follows that
  •  for this reason
  •  onward
  •  thence
  •  from now on
  •  on account of
  •  therefrom
  •  inasmuch as
  •  to that end
  •  out
  •  for
  •  henceforward
  •  thus
  •  on the grounds
  •  hereinafter
  •  from here
  •  and so
  •  so

Overall, the word hence (adv.) is most often used to mean therefore. It can also be used to mean away from a place, though this use is thought to be archaic. 

Sources:

  1. hence: meaning, origin, translation | Word Sense 
  2. hence | Origin and meaning of hence | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. HENCE Synonyms: 22 Synonyms & Antonyms for HENCE | Thesaurus 
  4. Hence | Definition of Hence | Merriam-Webster