what for
phrasal 1. for what purpose or reason ; why — usually used with the other words of a question between what and for <
what did you do that for
>
except when used alone 2. harsh treatment especially by blows or by a sharp reprimand <
gave him what for in violent Spanish — New Yorker
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • What For — Infobox single Name = What For Type = single Artist = James Released = March 1988 Recorded = 1987 Genre = Folk Length = Label = Sire Producer = Hugh Jones Last single = 1986 So Many Ways This single = 1988 What For Next single = 1988 Ya Ho What… …   Wikipedia

  • what for — 1. adverb For what reason; why. He wants four copies of it? What for? 2. noun An unspecified punishment or rebuke When your dad gets home, hell give you what f …   Wiktionary

  • What for — Whatfor Whatfor Pays d’origine France Genre(s) Pop Années actives 2002 – 2003 Label(s) Az Anciens membres Nicolas Vitiello Cyril Selli Monia Érika Fleury …   Wikipédia en Français

  • what for(1) — {interrog.} For what reason; why? * /I told Mary what I was going to town for./ * /What are you running for?/ Often used alone as a question. * /Billy s mother told him to wear his hat. What for? he asked./ Compare: HOW COME …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • what for(1) — {interrog.} For what reason; why? * /I told Mary what I was going to town for./ * /What are you running for?/ Often used alone as a question. * /Billy s mother told him to wear his hat. What for? he asked./ Compare: HOW COME …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • what for(2) — {n. phr.}, {informal} A scolding, or other punishment. Usually used with get or give . * /Tom got what for from his father for answering him rudely, and I heard him crying in the house./ * /The teacher gave me what for because I was late./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • what for(2) — {n. phr.}, {informal} A scolding, or other punishment. Usually used with get or give . * /Tom got what for from his father for answering him rudely, and I heard him crying in the house./ * /The teacher gave me what for because I was late./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • give someone what for — verb To punish; to rebuke. She gave him what for all right. But you could see she was ever so pleased and she went around telling everybody about it. Syn: give someone a piece of ones mind, let someone have it …   Wiktionary

  • give what for — verb To scold; to punish, especially verbally. When she found out, she really gave him what for …   Wiktionary

  • give somebody what-for — verb To admonish or berate; to speak angrily at somebody. He really gave the kid what for about the baseball through his window …   Wiktionary

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