Advertisement

View synonyms for why

why

[ wahy, hwahy ]

adverb

  1. for what? for what reason, cause, or purpose?:

    Why did you behave so badly?



conjunction

  1. for what cause or reason:

    I don't know why he is leaving.

  2. for which; on account of which (usually after reason to introduce a relative clause):

    the reason why he refused to go.

  3. the reason for which:

    That is why he returned.

noun

, plural whys.
  1. a question concerning the cause or reason for which something is done, achieved, etc.:

    a child's unending hows and whys.

  2. the cause or reason:

    the whys and wherefores of a troublesome situation.

interjection

  1. (used as an expression of surprise, hesitation, etc., or sometimes a mere expletive):

    Why, it's all gone!

why

/ waɪ /

adverb

    1. for what reason, purpose, or cause?

      why are you here?

    2. ( used in indirect questions )

      tell me why you're here



pronoun

  1. for or because of which

    there is no reason why he shouldn't come

noun

  1. usually plural the reason, purpose, or cause of something (esp in the phrase the whys and wherefores )

interjection

  1. an introductory expression of surprise, disagreement, indignation, etc

    why, don't be silly!

Discover More

Usage Note

See reason.

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of why1

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English hwī, hwȳ, instrumental case of hwæt what; cognate with Old Norse hvī

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of why1

Old English hwī; related to Old Norse hvī, Gothic hveileiks what kind of, Latin quī

Discover More

Example Sentences

I mean, even Ron Fournier of National Journal, usually devoted to the pox-on-both-houses, why-can't-Obama-lead?

DB: Why/how does Credit Suisse feel like a good fit for you?

Ferguson reverses those emphases—focusing solely on this historic meltdown, the who/what/where/why/how.

Till now one with sudden hiss: "But-good Christ-just look-why, the roof's leaning—!"

And what is it that brings disaster on those who employ the phalanx?Why the phalanx fails.

It needed a beefy person with fat legs and a large amount of inexplicable dignity, a regular God-knows-why loftiness.

Weren't they as good as gold this morning, Emily?and yesterday!why they never murmured, as good as gold they were.

Like other sharp children, Why-Why was always asking metaphysical conundrums.

Advertisement

Word of the Day

axolotl

[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Dictionary.com Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement


WH-wordWhyalla