Webster's Dictionary, 1913

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Whennes adverb Whence. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Whensoever adverb & conj. At what time soever; at whatever time; whenever. Mark xiv. 7.

Wher, Where pron. & conj. [ See Whether .] Whether. [ Sometimes written whe'r .] [ Obsolete] Piers Plowman.

Men must enquire (this is mine assent),
Wher she be wise or sober or dronkelewe.
Chaucer.

Where adverb [ Middle English wher , whar , Anglo-Saxon hw...r ; akin to Dutch waar , Old Saxon hw...r , Old High German hwār , wār , , German wo , Icelandic and Swedish hvar , Danish hvor , Goth. hwar , and English who ; confer Sanskrit karhi when. √182. See Who , and confer There .]


1. At or in what place; hence, in what situation, position, or circumstances; -- used interrogatively.

God called unto Adam, . . . Where art thou?
Gen. iii. 9.

» See the Note under What , pron ., 1.

2. At or in which place; at the place in which; hence, in the case or instance in which; -- used relatively.

She visited that place where first she was so happy.
Sir P. Sidney.

Where I thought the remnant of mine age
Should have been cherished by her childlike duty.
Shak.

Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
Shak.

But where he rode one mile, the dwarf ran four.
Sir W. Scott.

3. To what or which place; hence, to what goal, result, or issue; whither; -- used interrogatively and relatively; as, where are you going?

But where does this tend?
Goldsmith.

Lodged in sunny cleft,
Where the gold breezes come not.
Bryant.

» Where is often used pronominally with or without a preposition, in elliptical sentences for a place in which , the place in which , or what place .

The star . . . stood over where the young child was.
Matt. ii. 9.

The Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Matt. viii. 20.

Within about twenty paces of where we were.
Goldsmith.

Where did the minstrels come from?
Dickens.

» Where is much used in composition with preposition, and then is equivalent to a pronoun. Confer Whereat , Whereby , Wherefore , Wherein , etc.

Where away (Nautical) , in what direction; as, where away is the land?

Syn. -- See Whither .

Where conj. Whereas.

And flight and die is death destroying death;
Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
Shak.

Where noun Place; situation. [ Obsolete or Colloq.]

Finding the nymph asleep in secret where .
Spenser.

Where'er adverb Wherever; -- a contracted and poetical form. Cowper.

Whereabout, Whereabouts adverb


1. About where; near what or which place; -- used interrogatively and relatively; as, whereabouts did you meet him?

» In this sense, whereabouts is the common form.

2. Concerning which; about which. "The object whereabout they are conversant." Hooker.

Whereabout, Whereabouts noun The place where a person or thing is; as, they did not know his whereabouts . Shak.

A puzzling notice of thy whereabout .
Wordsworth.

Whereas adverb At which place; where. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

At last they came whereas that lady bode.
Spenser.

Whereas conj.


1. Considering that; it being the case that; since; -- used to introduce a preamble which is the basis of declarations, affirmations, commands, requests, or like, that follow.

2. When in fact; while on the contrary; the case being in truth that; although; -- implying opposition to something that precedes; or implying recognition of facts, sometimes followed by a different statement, and sometimes by inferences or something consequent.

Are not those found to be the greatest zealots who are most notoriously ignorant? whereas true zeal should always begin with true knowledge.
Sprat.

Whereat adverb


1. At which; upon which; whereupon; -- used relatively.

They vote; whereat his speech he thus renews.
Milton.

Whereat he was no less angry and ashamed than desirous to obey Zelmane.
Sir P. Sidney.

2. At what; -- used interrogatively; as, whereat are you offended?

Whereby adverb


1. By which; -- used relatively. "You take my life when you take the means whereby I life." Shak.

2. By what; how; -- used interrogatively.

Whereby shall I know this?
Luke i. 18.

Wherefore adverb & conj. [ Where + for .]


1. For which reason; so; -- used relatively.

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Matt. vii. 20.

2. For what reason; why; -- used interrogatively.

But wherefore that I tell my tale.
Chaucer.

Wherefore didst thou doubt?
Matt. xiv. 31.

Wherefore noun the reason why. [ Colloq.]

Whereform adverb [ Where + from .] From which; from which or what place. Tennyson.

Wherein adverb


1. In which; in which place, thing, time, respect, or the like; -- used relatively.

Her clothes wherein she was clad.
Chaucer.

There are times wherein a man ought to be cautious as well as innocent.
Swift.

2. In what; -- used interrogatively.

Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him!
Mal. ii. 17.

Whereinto adverb


1. Into which; -- used relatively.

Where is that palace whereinto foul things
Sometimes intrude not?
Shak.

The brook, whereinto he loved to look.
Emerson.

2. Into what; -- used interrogatively.

Whereness noun The quality or state of having a place; ubiety; situation; position. [ R.]

A point hath no dimensions, but only a whereness , and is next to nothing.
Grew.

Whereof adverb


1. Of which; of whom; formerly, also, with which; - - used relatively.

I do not find the certain numbers whereof their armies did consist.
Sir J. Davies.

Let it work like Borgias' wine,
Whereof his sire, the pope, was poisoned.
Marlowe.

Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one.
Shak.

2. Of what; -- used interrogatively.

Whereof was the house built?
Johnson.

Whereon adverb


1. On which; -- used relatively; as, the earth whereon we live.

O fair foundation laid whereon to build.
Milton.

2. On what; -- used interrogatively; as, whereon do we stand?

Whereout adverb Out of which. [ R.]

The cleft whereout the lightning breaketh.
Holland.

Whereso adverb Wheresoever. [ Obsolete]

Wheresoe'er adverb Wheresoever. [ Poetic] " Wheresoe'er they rove." Milton.

Wheresoever adverb In what place soever; in whatever place; wherever.

Wherethrough adverb Through which. [ R.] " Wherethrough that I may know." Chaucer.

Windows . . . wherethrough the sun
Delights to peep, to gaze therein on thee.
Shak.

Whereto adverb


1. To which; -- used relatively. " Whereto we have already attained." Phil. iii. 16.

Whereto all bonds do tie me day by day.
Shak.

2. To what; to what end; -- used interrogatively.

Whereunto adverb Same as Whereto .

Whereupon adverb Upon which; in consequence of which; after which.

The townsmen mutinied and sent to Essex; whereupon he came thither.
Clarendon.

Wherever adverb At or in whatever place; wheresoever.

He can not but love virtue wherever it is.
Atterbury.

Wherewith adverb


1. With which; -- used relatively.

The love wherewith thou hast loved me.
John xvii. 26.

2. With what; -- used interrogatively.

Wherewith shall I save Israel?
Judg. vi. 15.

Wherewith noun The necessary means or instrument.

So shall I have wherewith to answer him.
Ps. cxix. 42.

The wherewith to meet excessive loss by radiation.
H. Spencer.

Wherewithal adverb & noun Wherewith. " Wherewithal shall we be clothed?" Matt. vi. 31.

Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way?
Ps. cxix. 9.

[ The builders of Babel], still with vain design,
New Babels, had they wherewithal , would build.
Milton.

Wherret transitive verb [ From Whir .]


1. To hurry; to trouble; to tease. [ Obsolete] Bickerstaff.

2. To box (one) on the ear; to strike or box (the ear); as, to wherret a child. [ Obsolete]

Wherret noun A box on the ear. [ Obsolete] Beau. & Fl.

Wherry noun ; plural Wherries . [ Confer Icelandic hverfr shifty, crank, hverfa to turn, English whirl , wharf .] (Nautical) (a) A passenger barge or lighter plying on rivers; also, a kind of light, half-decked vessel used in fishing. [ Eng.] (b) A long, narrow, light boat, sharp at both ends, for fast rowing or sailing; esp., a racing boat rowed by one person with sculls.

Wherry noun [ Confer W. chwerw bitter.] A liquor made from the pulp of crab apples after the verjuice is expressed; -- sometimes called crab wherry . [ Prov. Eng.] Halliwell.

Wherso adverb Wheresoever. [ Obsolete] Chaucer.

Whet transitive verb [ imperfect & past participle Whetted ; present participle & verbal noun Whetting .] [ Anglo-Saxon hwettan ; akin to Dutch wetten , German wetzen , Old High German wezzen , Icelandic hvetja , Swedish vättja , and Anglo-Saxon hwæt vigorous, brave, Old Saxon hwat , Old High German waz , was , sharp, Icelandic hvatr , bold, active, Swedish hvass sharp, Danish hvas , Goth. hwassaba sharply, and probably to Sanskrit cud to impel, urge on.]


1. To rub or on with some substance, as a piece of stone, for the purpose of sharpening; to sharpen by attrition; as, to whet a knife.

The mower whets his scythe.
Milton.

Here roams the wolf, the eagle whets his beak.
Byron.

2. To make sharp, keen, or eager; to excite; to stimulate; as, to whet the appetite or the courage.

Since Cassius first did whet me against Cæsar,
I have not slept.
Shak.

To whet on , To whet forward , to urge on or forward; to instigate. Shak.

Whet noun


1. The act of whetting.

2. That which whets or sharpens; esp., an appetizer. "Sips, drams, and whets ." Spectator.

Whet slate (Min.) , a variety of slate used for sharpening cutting instruments; novaculite; -- called also whetstone slate , and oilstone .

Whether pron. [ Middle English whether , Anglo-Saxon hwæ...er ; akin to Old Saxon hwe...ar , OFries. hweder , Old High German hwedar , wedar , German weder , conj., neither, Icelandic hvārr whether, Goth. hwa...ar , Lithuanian katras , Latin uter , Greek ..., ..., Sanskrit katara , from the interrogatively pronoun, in Anglo-Saxon hwā who. ............. See Who , and confer Either , Neither , Or , conj .] Which (of two); which one (of two); -- used interrogatively and relatively. [ Archaic]

Now choose yourself whether that you liketh.
Chaucer.

One day in doubt I cast for to compare
Whether in beauties' glory did exceed.
Spenser.

Whether of them twain did the will of his father?
Matt. xxi. 31.

Whether conj. In case; if; -- used to introduce the first or two or more alternative clauses, the other or others being connected by or , or by or whether . When the second of two alternatives is the simple negative of the first it is sometimes only indicated by the particle not or no after the correlative, and sometimes it is omitted entirely as being distinctly implied in the whether of the first.

And now who knows
But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours?
Shak.

You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Shak.

For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord; whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
Rom. xiv. 8.

But whether thus these things, or whether not;
Whether the sun, predominant in heaven,
Rise on the earth, or earth rise on the sun, . . .
Solicit not thy thoughts with matters hid.
Milton.

Whether or no , in either case; in any case; as, I will go whether or no . -- Whether that , whether. Shak.

Whethering noun The retention of the afterbirth in cows. Gardner.

Whetile noun [ Confer Whitile .] (Zoology) The green woodpecker, or yaffle. See Yaffle . [ Prov. Eng.]

Whetstone noun [ Anglo-Saxon hwetstān .] A piece of stone, natural or artificial, used for whetting, or sharpening, edge tools.

The dullness of the fools is the whetstone of the wits.
Shak.

Diligence is to the understanding as the whetstone to the razor.
South.

» Some whetstones are used dry, others are moistened with water, or lubricated with oil.

To give the whetstone , to give a premium for extravagance in falsehood. [ Obsolete]

Whetter noun


1. One who, or that which, whets, sharpens, or stimulates.

2. A tippler; one who drinks whets. [ Obsolete] Steele.

Whettlebones noun plural The vertebræ of the back. [ Prov. Eng.] Dunglison.

Whew (hwū) noun & interj. A sound like a half-formed whistle, expressing astonishment, scorn, or dislike.

Whew duck , the European widgeon. [ Prov. Eng.]

Whew intransitive verb To whistle with a shrill pipe, like a plover. [ Prov. Eng. & Scot.]

Whewellite noun [ So named after Prof. Whewell of Cambridge, England.] (Min.) Calcium oxalate, occurring in colorless or white monoclinic crystals.