[hwair-with-awl, -with-, wair-]


that with which to do something; means or supplies for the purpose or need, especially money: the wherewithal to pay my rent.


by means of which; out of which.
Archaic. wherewith.


Origin of wherewithal

First recorded in 1525–35; where + withal
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for wherewithal

financing, wealth, means, funds, money, finances, resources, assets

Examples from the Web for wherewithal

Contemporary Examples of wherewithal

Historical Examples of wherewithal

  • You are poor and have not the wherewithal with which to nourish your mother.

  • Those who had wherewithal to give in money or kind, had given.

    The Law-Breakers

    Ridgwell Cullum

  • She had nothing left for the evening, not even the wherewithal to buy a loaf.

    His Masterpiece

    Emile Zola

  • It's vexatious, when one has the wherewithal to pay for wetting his whistle!

    The Downfall

    Emile Zola

  • Or how could he be the richest of men who might even have to go begging, because he had not wherewithal to live?


    An Imitator of Plato

British Dictionary definitions for wherewithal


noun (ˈwɛəwɪðˌɔːl)

the wherewithal necessary funds, resources, or equipment (for something or to do something)these people lack the wherewithal for a decent existence

pronoun (ˌwɛəwɪðˈɔːl)

a less common word for wherewith (def. 1), wherewith (def. 2)
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 wherewithal

"means by which," 1530s, from where + withal. The noun is first recorded 1809.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper