[ hooz ]

  1. (the possessive case of who used as an adjective): Whose umbrella did I take? Whose is this one?

  2. (the possessive case of which used as an adjective): a word whose meaning escapes me; an animal whose fur changes color.

  1. the one or ones belonging to what person or persons: Whose painting won the third prize?

Origin of whose

First recorded before 900; Middle English whos, early Middle English hwās; replacing hwas, Old English hwæs, genitive of interrogative pronoun hwā who

usage note For whose

2. Sometimes the phrase of which is used as the possessive of which: Chicago is a city of which the attractions are many or Chicago is a city the attractions of which are many. The use of this phrase can often seem awkward or pretentious, whereas whose sounds more idiomatic: Chicago is a city whose attractions are many.

Words that may be confused with whose

Words Nearby whose

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use whose in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for whose


/ (huːz) /

    • of whom? belonging to whom? used in direct and indirect questions: I told him whose fault it was; whose car is this?

    • (as pronoun): whose is that?

  1. of whom; belonging to whom; of which; belonging to which: used as a relative pronoun: a house whose windows are broken

Origin of whose

Old English hwæs, genitive of hwā who and hwæt what

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