Origin of why

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

usage note for why

See reason.

Words nearby why

Definition for why (2 of 2)

[ hwahyz, wahyz ]
/ ʰwaɪz, waɪz /

contraction of why is: Why's dinner so late?

usage note for why's

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British Dictionary definitions for why

Word Origin for why

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