What does wherefore mean?

Definitions for wherefore
ˈʰwɛərˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr, ˈwɛər-wher·e·fore

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word wherefore.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. why, whereforenoun

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


  1. whereforenoun

    An intent or purpose; a why.

  2. whereforeadverb

    Why, for what reason, because of what.

  3. whereforeadverb


  4. whereforeconjunction

    Because of which.

  5. Etymology: From wherfor, wherfore, hwarfore, equivalent to. Compare waarvoor, wofür, and hvorfor, varför. More at where, for.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Whereforeadverb

    Etymology: where and for.

    The ox and the ass desire their food, neither purpose they unto themselves any end wherefore. Richard Hooker.

    There is no cause wherefore we should think God more desirous to manifest his favour by temporal blessings towards them than towards us. Richard Hooker.

    Can ye alledge any just cause wherefore absolutely ye should not condescend, in this controversy, to have your judgment over-ruled by some such definitive sentence? Richard Hooker.

    Shall I tell you why?
    ———— Ay, sir, and wherefore; for, they say, every why hath a wherefore. William Shakespeare, Comedy of Errours.

    Wherefore gaze this goodly company,
    As if they saw some wond’rous monument? William Shakespeare.

    O wherefore was my birth from heav’n foretold
    Twice by an angel? John Milton, Agonistes.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Wherefore

    for which reason; so; -- used relatively

  2. Wherefore

    for what reason; why; -- used interrogatively

  3. Whereforenoun

    the reason why

  4. Etymology: [Where + for.]

Matched Categories

How to pronounce wherefore?

How to say wherefore in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of wherefore in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of wherefore in Pythagorean Numerology is: 4

Examples of wherefore in a Sentence

  1. William Shakespeare, Richard III, V.iii:

    I shall despair. There is no creature loves me; And if I die no soul will pity me: And wherefore should they, since that I myself Find in myself no pity to myself?

  2. William Shakespeare, "Romeo and Juliet", Act 2 scene 2:

    O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?

  3. Albert Einstein:

    Our situation on this earth seems strange. Every one of us appears here involuntarily and uninvited for a short stay, without knowing the whys and the wherefore.

  4. Dante Alighieri:

    O human race born to fly upward, wherefore at a little wind dost thou fall.

  5. Ephesians 425 Bible:

    Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour for we are members one of another.

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Translations for wherefore

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    (of especially persons) lacking sense or understanding or judgment
    • A. soft-witted
    • B. ravening
    • C. tacky
    • D. proprietary

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