What does When mean?

Definitions for When
ʰwɛn, wɛn; unstressed ʰwən, wənwhen

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word When.

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  1. whennoun

    The time.

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

  2. whenpronoun

    What time; which time

    Since when do I need your permission?

  3. whenconjunction

    At what time.

    They were told when to sleep.

  4. whenconjunction

    At such time as.

    I'm happiest when I'm working.

  5. whenconjunction

    As soon as.

    I'll do it when I get the time.

  6. whenconjunction

    At a time in the past,

    It was raining when I came yesterday.

  7. wheninterjection

    That's enough,

  8. whenadverb

    At what time? At which time? Upon which occasion or circumstance? Used to introduce direct or indirect questions about time.

    When are they coming over? When will they arrive? When did they arrive?

  9. whenadverb

    At an earlier time and under different, usually less favorable, circumstances.

    He's mister high and mighty now, but I remember him when.

  10. whenadverb

    At which, on which, during which: often omitted or replaced with that.

    That was the day when the Twin Towers fell.

  11. Etymology: From Middle English when(ne), whan(ne), from Old English hwenne, hwænne, hwonne ("when"), from Proto-Germanic *hwan ("at what time, when"), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷis ("interrogative base"). Cognate with Dutch wanneer ("when") and wen ("when, if"), Low German wannehr ("when"), wann ("when") and wenn ("if, when"), German wann ("when") and wenn ("when, if"), Gothic

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Whenadverb

    Etymology: whan, Gothick; hwænne , Sax. wanneer, Dutch.

    Divers curious men judged that one Theodosius should succeed, when indeed Theodosius did. William Camden.

    One who died several ages ago, raises a secret fondness and benevolence for him in our minds, when we read his story. Add.

    When was it she last walk’d? ——
    —— Since his majesty went into the field. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    If there’s a pow’r above us,
    And that there is all nature cries aloud,
    Through all her works; he must delight in virtue,
    And that which he delights in must be happy.
    But when? or where? Addison.

    I was adopted heir by his consent;
    Since when, his oath is broke. William Shakespeare, Henry VI.

    By this the bloody troops were at the door,
    When as a sudden and a strange dismay,
    Enforc’d them strain who should go in before. Daniel.

    When I have once handed a report to another, how know I how he may improve it? Government of the Tongue.

    Kings may
    Take their advantage when and how they list. Daniel.

    His seed, when is not set, shall bruise my head. John Milton.

    This when as Guyon saw, he ’gan enquire
    What meant that preace about that lady’s throne. Fa. Queen.

    When as sacred light began to dawn
    In Eden on the humid flow’rs, that breath’d
    Their morning incense, came the human pair. John Milton.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Whenadverb

    at what time; -- used interrogatively

  2. Whenadverb

    at what time; at, during, or after the time that; at or just after, the moment that; -- used relatively

  3. Whenadverb

    while; whereas; although; -- used in the manner of a conjunction to introduce a dependent adverbial sentence or clause, having a causal, conditional, or adversative relation to the principal proposition; as, he chose to turn highwayman when he might have continued an honest man; he removed the tree when it was the best in the grounds

  4. Whenadverb

    which time; then; -- used elliptically as a noun

  5. Etymology: [OE. when, whan, whenne, whanne, AS. hwnne, hwanne, hwonne; akin to OS. hwan, OD. wan, OHG. wanne, G. wann when, wenn if, when, Goth. hwan when, and to E. who. . See Who.]


  1. When

    "When" is a song by Canadian singer Shania Twain. It was the second UK release from her 1997 album Come on Over. The song was written by Mutt Lange and Shania Twain. The song was originally released in the summer of 1998. It was the only one of the twelve singles from Come on Over not released to the United States. It was released to Canada however, as a pop single in February 2000. The song was included in the Come on Over Tour and in a medley for the Up! Tour. "When" is also the theme song for the Japanese drama Cheap Love.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. When

    hwen, adv. and conj. at what time? at which time: at or after the time that: while.—interj. (Shak.) an exclamation of impatience, like what!conj. When′as (Shak.), when: whereas.—adv. and conj. Whence (also From whence), from what place: from which things: wherefore.—adv. Whenceforth′ (Spens.), whence.—conjs. Whencesoev′er, from what place, cause, or source soever; Whenev′er, Whene'er′, at every time when; Whensoev′er, at what time soever: whenever. [A.S. hwænne, hwonne (Ger. wann, wenn); orig. accus. of interrog. pron. hwá, who.]

Editors Contribution

  1. when

    At a specific known time.

    When the dance hall opened at the regular time of 22:00hrs they all had an amazing dance.

    Submitted by MaryC on March 24, 2020  

Suggested Resources

  1. WHEN

    What does WHEN stand for? -- Explore the various meanings for the WHEN acronym on the Abbreviations.com website.

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'When' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #63

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'When' in Written Corpus Frequency: #77

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'When' in Adverbs Frequency: #34

How to pronounce When?

How to say When in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of When in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of When in Pythagorean Numerology is: 5

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for When

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    the part played by a person in bringing about a result
    • A. gauge
    • B. value
    • C. contribution
    • D. fancy

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