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[hwair-bahy, wair-] /ʰwɛərˈbaɪ, wɛər-/
conjunction, adverb
by what or by which; under the terms of which.
Obsolete. by what? how?
Origin of whereby
First recorded in 1150-1200, whereby is from the Middle English word wherby. See where, by1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for whereby
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I merely wish to thank him for the love he showed thee during my absence, whereby thou didst mourn for me the less.

    The Scarlet Stigma James Edgar Smith
  • whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises.

    The Faithful Promiser John Ross Macduff
  • And there lye his braynes shed apon the yerthe, whereby you may well knowe yt he was nere deade.

    The Pilgrimage of Pure Devotion Desiderius Erasmus
  • whereby he incurred the just wrath of the hard-worked nurse.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • These presidents issued an important decree with respect to the law of divorce, whereby a Talmudical law was set aside.

British Dictionary definitions for whereby


by or because of which: the means whereby he took his life
(archaic) how? by what means?: whereby does he recognize me?
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for whereby

c.1200, from where + by.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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