[hwen-ev-er, wen-, hwuh n-, wuh n-]


at whatever time; at any time when: Come whenever you like.
when? (used emphatically): Whenever did he say that?

Origin of whenever

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at when, ever
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for whenever

Contemporary Examples of whenever

Historical Examples of whenever

  • Whenever he was fresh and full of spirits, he had enough to overflow upon her and every one.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • Spare me not, therefore, my dear friend, whenever you think me in the least faulty.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Whenever we get under the skin, it is Shakespeare's femininity which startles us.

  • Once at least, whenever they were together, she brought Max into the conversation.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Whenever any of the company addressed him, it was with the deepest reverence.

    Biographical Stories

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for whenever



(subordinating) at every or any time that; whenI laugh whenever I see that

adverb Also: when ever

no matter whenit'll be here, whenever you decide to come for it
informal at an unknown or unspecified timeI'll take it if it comes today, tomorrow, or whenever
an intensive form of when, used in questionswhenever did he escape?
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

Word Origin and History for whenever

late 14c., from when + ever.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper