whose

[ hooz ]
/ huz /

pronoun

(the possessive case of who used as an adjective): Whose umbrella did I take? Whose is this one?
(the possessive case of which used as an adjective): a word whose meaning escapes me; an animal whose fur changes color.
the one or ones belonging to what person or persons: Whose painting won the third prize?

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Origin of whose

before 900; Middle English whos,early Middle English hwās; replacing hwas,Old English hwæs, genitive of hwāwho

usage note for whose

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

who's, whose (see usage note at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for whose

British Dictionary definitions for whose

whose
/ (huːz) /

determiner

  1. of whom? belonging to whom? used in direct and indirect questionsI told him whose fault it was; whose car is this?
  2. (as pronoun)whose is that?
of whom; belonging to whom; of which; belonging to which: used as a relative pronouna house whose windows are broken

Word Origin for 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