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wherefore

[hwair-fawr, -fohr, wair-]
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adverb
  1. Archaic. for what? why?
  2. for that cause or reason: Wherefore let us be grateful.
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noun
  1. the cause or reason: to study the whys and wherefores of a situation.
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Origin of wherefore

Middle English word dating back to 1150–1200; see origin at where, for
Can be confusedwhere wherefore

Synonym study

2. See therefore.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for wherefore

Historical Examples

  • Wherefore we must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

    An Explanation of Luther's Small Catechism

    Joseph Stump

  • If thou art not, wherefore are the outcasts of the world so dear to thee?

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Wherefore this caution against me, but (pardon me) for thine own undoing?

    Leila, Complete

    Edward Bulwer-Lytton

  • Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience' sake.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • Wherefore I returned them my humble thanks and offered my humble service.

    Albert Durer

    T. Sturge Moore


British Dictionary definitions for wherefore

wherefore

noun
  1. (usually plural) an explanation or reason (esp in the phrase the whys and wherefores)
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adverb
  1. archaic for what reason? why?
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sentence connector
  1. archaic, or formal for which reason: used as an introductory word in legal preambles
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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 wherefore

adv.

c.1200, hwarfore, from where + for. Cf. Dutch waarvoor, Old Norse hvar fyrir, Swedish varfor.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with wherefore

wherefore

see whys and wherefores.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.