at what time or period? how long ago? how soon?: When are they to arrive?When did the Roman Empire exist?
under what circumstances? upon what occasion?: When is a letter of condolence in order?When did you ever see such a crowd?
at what time: to know when to be silent.
at the time or in the event that: when we were young;when the noise stops.
at any time; whenever: He is impatient when he is kept waiting.
upon or after which; and then: We had just fallen asleep when the bell rang.
while on the contrary; considering that; whereas: Why are you here when you should be in school?
what time: Till when is the store open?
which time: They left on Monday, since when we have heard nothing.
the time of anything: the when and the where of an act.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use when in a sentence
How/when were you originally approached to collaborate with Target?Peter Pilotto Makes Target Go Pop in Latest Collaboration | The Fashion Beast Team | February 7, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
He recognizes Thorin as the dwarf who cut off his hand way-back-when, and tries to claim his life.‘The Hobbit’: 19 Changes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Novel to Peter Jackson’s Movie | Anna Klassen | December 14, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
The congressman's public flogging doesn't fit the crime, and is emblematic of our kick-'em-when-they're-down culture.
It came to a crisisevery girl jumped!when the door opened and Mr. Sharp walked in.The Girls of Central High on the Stage | Gertrude W. Morrison
Mad are the passions, as a colt untamed!when Prudence mounts their backs to ride them mild.The Book of Humorous Verse | Various
They take their coats off anywhere and any-when, and somehow it strikes the visitor as the most symbolic thing about them.Letters from America | Rupert Brooke
"But all that seems such a pity-when they've tried," grieved Billy.Miss Billy's Decision | Eleanor H. Porter
"Some actor fellow once said w-when you w-went West you were c-camping out," chattered Carley.The Call of the Canyon | Zane Grey
British Dictionary definitions for when
at what time? over what period?: when is he due?
(used in indirect questions): ask him when he's due
say when to state when an action is to be stopped or begun, as when someone is pouring a drink
(subordinating) at a time at which; at the time at which; just as; after: I found it easily when I started to look seriously
although: he drives when he might walk
considering the fact that: how did you pass the exam when you'd not worked for it?
at which (time); over which (period): an age when men were men
(usually plural) a question as to the time of some occurrence
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with when
In addition to the idioms beginning with when
- when all's said and done
- when in Rome do as the Romans do
- when it comes to
- when least expected
- when one's back is turned
- when one's ship comes in
- when pigs fly
- when the cat's away, the mice will play
- when the chips are down
- when the dust has settled
- when the going gets tough, the tough get going
- when the shit hits the fan
- cross a bridge when one comes to it
- push comes to shove, when
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.