What What, interrog. adv. Why? For what purpose? On what account? [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

What should I tell the answer of the knight. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

But what do I stand reckoning upon advantages and gains lost by the misrule and turbulency of the prelates? What do I pick up so thriftily their scatterings and diminishings of the meaner subject? --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • what — W1S1 [wɔt US wa:t, wʌt] pron, determiner, predeterminer [: Old English; Origin: hwAt] 1.) used to ask for information or for someone s opinion ▪ What are you doing? ▪ What subjects did you enjoy most? ▪ What colour is the new carpet? ▪ What s… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • what — [ wat, hwat ] function word *** What can be used in the following ways: as a question pronoun (introducing a direct or indirect question): What do you want? Tell me what happened. as a relative pronoun (starting a relative clause that is subject …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • What — What, pron., a., & adv. [AS. hw[ae]t, neuter of hw[=a] who; akin to OS. hwat what, OFries. hwet, D. & LG. wat, G. was, OHG. waz, hwaz, Icel. hvat, Sw. & Dan. hvad, Goth. hwa. [root]182. See {Who}.] [1913 Webster] 1. As an interrogative pronoun,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • what — 1. general. As a relative pronoun, what is an especially complex word because it can be either singular or plural and can refer both to words that have gone before and to words that come later in the sentence. In general it stands for a group of… …   Modern English usage

  • what — [hwut, hwät, wut, wät] pron. [ME hwat < OE hwæt, neut. of hwa, who < IE interrogative base * kwo , * kwe > WHERE, WHO, L qui, who what, Lith kàs, what, who] I as an interrogative: which thing, event, circumstance, etc.?: used to ask for… …   English World dictionary

  • what — what; What·man; what·ness; what·so·e er; what·som·ever; what·ten; what·you·may·jig·ger; some·what; what·so·ev·er; what·en; what·na; what·sis; what·sit; what·som·dev·er; …   English syllables

  • What — or WHAT may refer to: What, an interrogative pronoun in English What? , one of the Five Ws used in journalism Web Hypertext Application Technology, a group of people interested in evolving HTML and related technologies Winter Haven Area Transit,… …   Wikipedia

  • what — ► PRONOUN & DETERMINER 1) asking for information specifying something. 2) (as pronoun ) asking for repetition of something not heard or confirmation of something not understood. 3) (as pronoun ) the thing or things that. 4) whatever. 5) used to… …   English terms dictionary

  • what — O.E. hwæt, from P.Gmc. *khwat (Cf. O.S. hwat, O.N. hvat, Dan. hvad, O.Fris. hwet, Du. wat, O.H.G. hwaz, Ger. was, Goth. hva what ), from PIE *qwod, neut. sing. of *qwos who (see …   Etymology dictionary

  • what? — idiom (informal) 1. used when you have not heard or have not understood sth • What? I can t hear you. 2. used to show that you have heard sb and to ask what they want • ‘Mummy!’ …   Useful english dictionary

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