Definitions for WHYʰwaɪ, waɪ

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word WHY

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

why*ʰwaɪ, waɪ(adv.; conj.; n.; interj.)(pl.)whys

  1. (adv.)for what? for what reason or purpose?:

    Why do you ask?

  2. (conj.)for what cause or reason:

    I don't know why he left.

    Category: Function Word

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

    the reason why she refused to go.

    Category: Function Word

  4. the reason for which:

    That is why he returned.

    Category: Function Word

  5. (n.)a question concerning the cause or reason for which something is done, achieved, etc.:

    a child's unending whys.

  6. the cause or reason:

    the whys and wherefores of the Cold War.

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

    Why, it's all gone!

* Usage: See reason.

Origin of why:

bef. 900; ME; OE hwī, hwȳ, instr. case of hwætwhat ; c. ON hvī

Princeton's WordNet

  1. why, wherefore(noun)

    the cause or intention underlying an action or situation, especially in the phrase `the whys and wherefores'

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. why(adverb)ʰwaɪ, waɪ

    indicates or asks about the reason for sth

    Why are you so late?; Why haven't they mentioned this before?; Scientists want to know why the star exploded.; Nobody knows the reason why she left.

  2. whyʰwaɪ, waɪ

    used to suggest sth

    Why not treat yourself to a day off?

  3. whyʰwaɪ, waɪ

    used to agree to a suggestion

    "Do you want to join us for lunch?" "Yeah, why not?"


  1. why(Noun)

    The reason.

    A good article will cover the who, the what, the when, the where, the why and the how.

  2. why(Adverb)

    For what cause, reason, or purpose.

    Why did you do that?

  3. why(Conjunction)

    The reason that.

    I donu2019t know why he did that.

  4. why(Interjection)

    Exclamation of mild surprise.

    Why, I think it would work fine!

Webster Dictionary

  1. Why(adverb)

    for what cause, reason, or purpose; on what account; wherefore; -- used interrogatively. See the Note under What, pron., 1

  2. Why(adverb)

    for which; on account of which; -- used relatively

  3. Why(adverb)

    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

  4. Why(noun)

    a young heifer


  1. Why

    "Why" is the first solo single by the Scottish singer Annie Lennox, released in 1992. It was taken from her debut solo album Diva and reached no.5 in the United Kingdom and number thirty-four on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The single also reached no.6 on the U.S. Adult Contemporary chart. The music video won Lennox an award for Best Female Video at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'WHY' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #193

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'WHY' in Written Corpus Frequency: #134

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'WHY' in Adverbs Frequency: #29

Anagrams of WHY

  1. Hwy.

Translations for WHY

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


for which reason (?)

`Why did you hit the child?'; `He hit the child.' `Why?'; Why haven't you finished?; `I haven't finished.' `Why not?'; `Let's go to the cinema.' `Why not?' (= Let's!); Tell me why you came here.

Get even more translations for WHY »


Find a translation for the WHY definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these WHY definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"WHY." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 22 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for WHY?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for WHY: