I looked up the word 'hence' in a dictionary to find out the meaning of it, but I still don't know which definition among those listed is the most suitable one for this excerpt from an article.

American men without jobs spend only half as much time on housework and caring for others as do women in the same situation, and much more time watching television. Hence the unravelling of working-class families.

What does 'hence' mean in the last sentence?

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    Can you please edit your question to include some of those definitions you found so that we can see what exactly confuses you? Thanks! – Lucky Jun 6 '15 at 15:09
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    It will also be easier to give you a good answer if you give us more context, or a preceding sentence. – Aaron Brown Jun 6 '15 at 15:29

It almost translates as "which explains..." e.g. "My hands get cold easily, hence my always carrying gloves."

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The basic meaning of the old word hence is "from here" referring to movement from one place to another.

In analogy it can express the cause of something. "From here (place)" extends its meaning to "from this cause given here in the sentence before". Now it means "therefore".

In The Free Dictionary, hence, you see that dictionaries give the meaning often in an wrong order of arrangement so that you don't get an understanding of a word. The primary meaning is "from here". All other uses are simple semantic developments of the basic meaning. The Free Dictionary has the meanings arranged according to frequency of uses and the primary meaning is number 3a. So it is no wonder that you don't look through as to "hence".

There are three such old words: hence, thence, whence

hence means from here

thence from there

whence from where

The formation can best be made understood with English, German and Latin

hence - here von ex (here from out).

This is no historical explanation. It only wants to give an idea of how these words are formed.

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Hence means 'a direct result of(something)'. It is used to specify that something is the consequence of something else that has been stated earlier.

Hence may also mean 'from this point of time'. Henceforth is also used for this purpose.

The meaning of hence in the sentence provided depends on the context.

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  • "Hence" at the beginning of a sentence means "as a result" rather than "from this point in time". – 200_success Jul 5 '15 at 7:30

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