1. In addition; also: I could smell the ocean, some pine trees, and something else besides.
2. Moreover; furthermore: I'm too tired to go for a walk. Besides, it's raining.
3. Otherwise; else: has been to Mexico but nowhere besides.
1. In addition to: She was given a scholarship besides the award.
2. Except for; other than: No one besides the owner could control the angry dog.
Usage Note: Some critics argue that beside and besides should be kept distinct when they are used as prepositions. According to that argument, beside is used only to mean "at the side of," as in There was no one in the seat beside me. For the meanings "in addition to" and "except for" besides should be used: Besides replacing the back stairs, she fixed the broken banister. No one besides Smitty would say a thing like that. But this distinction is often ignored, even by widely respected writers. While it is true that besides can never mean "at the side of," beside regularly appears in print in place of besides. Using beside in this way can be ambiguous, however; the sentence There was no one beside him at the table could mean that he had the table to himself or that the seats next to him were not occupied. See Usage Note at together.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.