Definitions of What

  1. As an interrogative pronoun, used in asking questions regarding either persons or things; as, what is this? what did you say? what poem is this? what child is lost?
  2. Used adjectively, meaning how remarkable, or how great; as, what folly! what eloquence! what courage!
  3. Sometimes prefixed to adjectives in an adverbial sense, as nearly equivalent to how; as, what happy boys!
  4. As a relative pronoun
  5. Used adverbially in a sense corresponding to the adjectival use; as, he picked what good fruit he saw.
  6. Something; thing; stuff.
  7. Why? For what purpose? On what account?
  8. Used substantively with the antecedent suppressed, equivalent to that which, or those [ persons] who, or those [ things] which; - called a compound relative.
  9. Used adjectively, equivalent to the . . . which; the sort or kind of . . . which; rarely, the . . . on, or at, which.
  10. Whatever; whatsoever; what thing soever; - used indefinitely.
  11. Used adverbially, in part; partly; somewhat; - with a following preposition, especially, with, and commonly with repetition.
  12. Compound relative meaning that which; the thing that; as, have you found what you want? an interrogative; as, what are you doing? an indefinite; as, I do not know what happende.
  13. Interrogative; as, what trade does he follow?.
  14. How; how much; as, what does it profit? Partly: followed by with; as, what with the cold and what with the darkness we could go no farther.
  15. That; as, there is no doubt but what he will succeed; so far as; as well as.
  16. Neuter of WHO: how great: something. - rel. pron. - that which. - WHAT TIME ( B.)- at what time, when.
  17. That which:- also used in asking questions, as, what is it? What man?.
  18. In interrogative construction, asking. For information as to a person or thing.
  19. How surprising, ridiculous, great, or the like.
  20. Which circumstance, event, relation, or the like.
  21. That which; a double relative.
  22. In what respect; to what extent.
  23. In some measure; partly.
  24. So far as; as well as.
  25. That; especially in the phrase but what.
  26. Sort of.
  27. That which; the thing that; which part, much used in asking questions interrogatively and elliptically, as equivalent to what will be the consequence? What time, at the time when. What though, granted this or that; allow it to be so. What, ho! an exclamation of calling.
  28. Thing; matter.
  29. That which; the thing that; the sort or kind; which of several; used as an exclamatory word by way of surprise or question, meaning, how great, how remarkable, and suchlike; used for partly or in part,- as, " what with war, what with poverty".

Usage examples for What

  1. What could I ha' done? – Sylvia's Lovers -- Complete by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  2. You know what to say. – Fire-Tongue by Sax Rohmer
  3. What have you been?" – A Man and His Money by Frederic Stewart Isham
  4. And what did he say, O'Grady? – With Moore At Corunna by G. A. Henty
  5. That what you mean? – The Bells of San Juan by Jackson Gregory
  6. But what does it matter, Batsby? – Ayala's Angel by Anthony Trollope
  7. Now, Jael Dence, what is the matter?" – Put Yourself in His Place by Charles Reade
  8. I say what I mean. – The Beetle A Mystery by Richard Marsh
  9. What can us do? – By Violence by John Trevena
  10. What will the man think of me? – 'Laramie;' or, The Queen of Bedlam. by Charles King
  11. I wonder what you think of it. – Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman by Giberne Sieveking
  12. Then what shall you tell him? – The Dominant Strain by Anna Chapin Ray
  13. I know what it will mean. – Kent Knowles: Quahaug by Joseph C. Lincoln
  14. What do you mean, Vicomte? – The Complete PG Edition of The Works of Winston Churchill by Winston Churchill
  15. That's what you must do. – Moor Fires by E. H. (Emily Hilda) Young
  16. You remember what I said." – Taken Alive by E. P. Roe
  17. What do you think, Lawry? – Haste and Waste by Oliver Optic
  18. What to do with her? – An Outcast of the Islands by Joseph Conrad
  19. What do you want to see? – Fighting France by Stephane Lauzanne