Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adv. For what purpose or reason; why.
  • adv. Therefore.
  • n. A purpose or cause: wanted to know all the whys and wherefores.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Why, for what reason, because of what.
  • adv. Therefore.
  • conj. Because of which.
  • n. An intent or purpose; a why.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. For which reason; so; -- used relatively.
  • adv. For what reason; why; -- used interrogatively.
  • n. the reason why.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • For what reason, thing, or purpose? what for? why?
  • For which cause or reason; in consequence of which; consequently.
  • Synonyms Therefore, Wherefore, Accordingly, etc. See therefore.
  • n. The reason or cause.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

From Middle English wherfor, wherfore, hwarfore, equivalent to where (“=what”) +‎ for. Compare Dutch waarvoor ("what for, wherefore"), German wofür ("for what, what for, why"), Danish and Norwegian hvorfor ("wherefore, why"), Swedish varför ("wherefore, why"). More at where, for. (Wiktionary)

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.