Hyper Dictionary

English Dictionary Computer Dictionary Video Dictionary Thesaurus Dream Dictionary Medical Dictionary

Search Dictionary:  

Meaning of WHY

Pronunciation:  wI

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  the cause or intention underlying an action or situation esp in the phrase"the whys and wherefores"
  2. [adv]  question word; what is the reason; "why are you here?"; (`how come' is a nonstandard variant as in"how come he got an ice cream cone but I didn't?")

WHY is a 3 letter word that starts with W.


 Synonyms: how come, wherefore
 See Also: ground, reason



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Why\, adv. [OE. whi, why, AS. hw[=i], hw?, instrumental
    case of hw[=a], hw[ae]t; akin to Icel. hv[=i] why, Dan. & Sw.
    hvi; cf. Goth. hw?. ?. See {Who}.]
    1. For what cause, reason, or purpose; on what account;
       wherefore; -- used interrogatively. See the Note under
       {What}, pron., 1.
             Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will
             ye die, O house of Israel?            --Ezek.
                                                   xxxiii. 11.
    2. For which; on account of which; -- used relatively.
             No ground of enmity between us known Why he should
             mean me ill or seek to harm.          --Milton.
             Turn the discourse; I have a reason why I would not
             have you speak so tenderly.           --Dryden.
    3. The reason or cause for which; that on account of which;
       on what account; as, I know not why he left town so
       suddenly; -- used as a compound relative.
    Note: Why is sometimes used as an interjection or an
          expletive in expression of surprise or content at a
          turn of affairs; used also in calling. ``Why,
          Jessica!'' --Shak.
                If her chill heart I can not move, Why, I'll
                enjoy the very love.               --Cowley.
          Sometimes, also, it is used as a noun.
                The how and the why and the where. --Goldsmith.
    {For why}, because; why. See {Forwhy}. [Obs. or Colloq.]
  2. \Why\, n.
    A young heifer. [Prov. Eng.] --Grose.