What does wherefore mean?

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

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage 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.


  1. wherefore

    "Wherefore" is an archaic English term that is primarily used in literary and dramatic contexts. It means "why" or "for what reason/purpose". It is often mistakenly thought to mean "where", largely due to its famous usage in "Romeo and Juliet" where Juliet says "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" which actually means "Romeo, Romeo, why are you Romeo?" not "where are you Romeo?"

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. John Milton:

    But wherefore thou alone Wherefore with theeCame not all hell broke loose Is pain to themLess pain, less to be fled, or thou than theyLess hardy to endure Courageous chief,The first in flight from pain, hadst thou allegedTo thy deserted host this cause of flight,Thou surely hadst not come sole fugitive.

  2. Ephesians 425 Bible:

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

  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. W. Somerset Maugham:

    The rain fell alike upon the just and upon the unjust, and for nothing was there a why and a wherefore.

  5. William Shakespeare:

    Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo Deny thy father, and refuse thy name...

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Translations for wherefore

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"wherefore." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/wherefore>.

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    be present at (meetings, church services, university), etc.
    A attend
    B restore
    C emerge
    D condemn

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