Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

a door must be either shut or open

proverb One must choose between two options that cannot both be true or both happen at the same time. (Just as a door cannot simultaneously be open and closed.) You're never going to feel rested if you keep staying up so late. A door must be either shut or open—you can't have it both ways. Well, do you love him or not? A door must be either shut or open.
See also: door, either, must, open, shut

either way

A phrase used in reference to two possible outcomes or actions. A: "What if I don't get the job?" B: "They haven't called you yet either way, so try not to worry too much."
See also: either, way

feast or famine

Describing a situation in which there is either an excess or a lack of quantity. Freelance projects always seem to be feast or famine, unfortunately—this line of work is very unpredictable.
See also: feast

if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one

proverb If you try to accomplish or pursue two different things at once, you will fail at both. You can't look for that file and dictate a message at the same time. Didn't your mother ever tell you that if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one? The government is trying to cut taxes while simultaneously expanding public amenities. But if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.
See also: catch, chase, either, if, not, one, two, will

me either

I also would not or do not. A: "I really don't care for strawberry ice cream." B: "Ugh, me either!" A: "I wouldn't be caught dead wearing a dress like that." B: "Me either."
See also: either

on either hand

On either or both sides. It was quite breathtaking walking at the very bottom of the Grand Canyon, with colossal, ancient cliff faces towering over you on either hand. He strolled into the room with a beautiful woman on either hand.
See also: either, hand, on
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*(either) feast or famine

Fig. either too much (of something) or not enough (of something). (*Typically: be ~; have ~.) This month is very dry, and last month it rained almost every day. Our weather is either feast or famine. Sometimes we are busy, and sometimes we have nothing to do. It's feast or famine.
See also: feast
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

feast or famine

Also, either feast or famine. Either too much or too little, too many or too few. For example, Free-lancers generally find it's feast or famine-too many assignments or too few, or Yesterday two hundred showed up at the fair, today two dozen-it's either feast or famine . This expression, which transfers an overabundance or shortage of food to numerous other undertakings, was first recorded in 1732 as feast or fast, the noun famine being substituted in the early 1900s.
See also: feast
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

feast or famine

If someone describes a situation as feast or famine, they mean that there is always either too much or too little of something. Money is a problem. `It's feast or famine with me,' she says. Note: People often vary this expression. This new series is a feast in what is otherwise a famine of intelligent television. After a long famine, a mini-feast: investors are once again providing banks with the capital they need.
See also: feast
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

feast or famine

either too much of something or too little.
See also: feast
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

on either/every ˈhand

(literary) on both/all sides; in every direction: We were surrounded on every hand by dancing couples.
See also: either, every, hand, on

ˈeither way


ˌone way or the ˈother

used to say that it does not matter which one of two possibilities happens, is chosen or is true: Was it his fault or not? Either way, an explanation is due.We could meet today or tomorrow — I don’t mind one way or the other.
See also: either, way
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

feast or famine

Either an overabundance or a shortage. This expression originated as either feast or fast, which is how it appeared in Thomas Fuller’s Gnomologia (1732) and still survived in 1912 (“Dock labour has been graphically described as ‘either a feast or a fast,’” London Daily Telegraph). In America, famine was substituted sometime during the twentieth century. The term is still frequently applied to alternating overabundance and shortages of work, as is often the case for freelancers, seasonal laborers, and the like.
See also: feast
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Now in its second year, Winter Day Out is one of around 5,000 events either organized or sponsored by the GEA planned for 2019.
These cats are lying at the of some stairs, and either Mindi or Molly stretched out so much that she's in danger sliding through the banisters.
Table 4 depicts respondents either received training for teaching methodologies or not they have different opinion about training transfer environment, where as they have same opinion about instructional development, personal development, personal needs, personal motivation and organizational development.
To the researchers' surprise, says Kim, the nanotubes dispersed most readily in the presence of either type of natural organic matter.
Entire series of both static poses and dynamic activities can be incorporated either exclusively or collectively with excellent results.
Something is either true of false regardless of who believes it.
In fact, there are many in the industry who will tell you that producing engines like this is either impossible or foolhardy.
An eligible entity with at least two members can elect to be classified as either an association ...
On Page 2-54, Table 2-2, Item 44g, the Not Fully Mission Capable If column should be changed to say: "Vehicle has a loose or missing retainer plate or bolt in positions 1 and 5 from either side.
made the following remarks, startling in their very frankness: "For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions.
If you're filing jointly, an AGI up to $150,000 will permit either or both working spouses to make full contributions.
A settlement reached February 10 in a wrongful termination lawsuit brought by Byears prohibits either side from talking.
The combination of fatty food and air pollution--mostly from cars--damages arteries more than either one alone.
[The fact remains, however, that] it is not possible [for either] the totality of the heavens or their parts [to have] either upward or downward movement, because if the heavens were to have this natural conflict, they would never be able to gain actuality, as a result of this idle power, as [such a] conflict does not benefit anything; in nature, there is nothing idle, and nor do we find anything idle in the divine worlds.
Most other trees either need full sun to regenerate, of if they can start from seed under a thick canopy, they need an opening very soon or they will not survive.