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1. Otherwise; or as a consequence. We need to book our tickets soon, or else start looking into renting a car. Eat your vegetables, or else you're not getting any dessert!
2. Or suffer some unspecified consequence. (Used as a threat.) Be there at noon with $5,000 in cash, or else!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
or suffer the consequences. (An inspecific threat of bad consequences.) Do what I tell you, or else. Don't be late for work, or else!
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
1. Otherwise, in different circumstances, as in Present your case now, or else you won't have a chance. [c. 1300]
2. Regardless of any extenuating circumstances, no matter what, as in Be there on time or else! [Second half of 1800s]
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.
1 used to introduce the second of two possibilities: I can’t get through to Sally. She’s out, or else she’s decided not to answer the telephone.
2 (informal) used to threaten or warn somebody: You’d better clean up this mess, or else!
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
1. Used to indicate an alternative: We need to eat the leftovers or else buy more food.
2. Used to indicate negative consequences that will result if an action is not followed: We need to pay the bill, or else the electricity will be shut off.
3. Used after a command or demand to make a threat: Be there on time, or else!
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.