Meaning of if not in English:

if not


  • Perhaps even (used to introduce a more extreme term than one first mentioned)

    ‘hundreds if not thousands of germs’
    • ‘It looks like there has been a fair bit of work done and no doubt it cost a few hundred quid, if not over a thousand.’
    • ‘The vast number of papers which had all been piled up seemed to have hundreds if not thousands of pages.’
    • ‘From the US it must seem that much European comment is unsympathetic if not carping.’
    • ‘I thought that this had already happened, and will last many months if not years.’
    • ‘There's as much, if not more, traffic flowing past our house than during the week.’
    • ‘Might it be that some kinds of love that came naturally if not easily to Turgenev are no longer available to us?’
    • ‘Especially as three of the four dismissals have been dubious if not outrageous.’
    • ‘He is one of the most improved players in the squad, if not the most improved.’
    • ‘Blunter language would have concluded that most, if not all, were a long way out of their depth.’
    • ‘In past years, you had to wait days if not weeks to get a piece of clothing that commemorated a great success.’