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) — {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

  • 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 ho — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • What if — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • What of it — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • What of that — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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