Origin of which
- used with a noun in requesting that its referent be further specified, identified, or distinguished from the other members of a classwhich house did you want to buy?
- (as pronoun)which did you find?
- (used in indirect questions)I wondered which apples were cheaper
- whatever of a class; whicheverbring which car you want
- (as pronoun)choose which of the cars suit you
Word Origin for which
Old English hwilc (West Saxon) "which," short for hwi-lic "of what form," from Proto-Germanic *khwilikaz (cf. Old Saxon hwilik, Old Norse hvelikr, Swedish vilken, Old Frisian hwelik, Middle Dutch wilk, Dutch welk, Old High German hwelich, German welch, Gothic hvileiks "which"), from *khwi- "who" (see who) + *likan "body, form" (cf. Old English lic "body;" see like (adj.)). In Middle English used as a relative pronoun where Modern English would use who, as still in the Lord's Prayer. Old English also had parallel forms hwelc and hwylc, which disappeared 15c.
In addition to the idioms beginning with which
- which is which
- which way the wind blows
- every which way
- know which side of bread is buttered
- (which) way the wind blows