whence
I. adverb Etymology: Middle English whennes, from whenne whence (from Old English hwanon) + -s, adverb suffix, from -s, genitivesingular ending; akin to Old High German hwanān whence, Old English hwā who Date: 13th century from what place, source, or cause <
then whence comes this paradox — Changing Times
>
II. conjunction Date: 13th century 1. from what place, source, or cause <
inquired whence the water came — Maria Edgeworth
>
2. a. from or out of which place, source, or cause <
the lawless society whence the ballads sprang — DeLancey Ferguson
>
b. by reason of which fact ; wherefore <
nothing broke— whence I infer that my bones are not yet chalky — O. W. Holmes †1935
>

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Whence — Whence, adv. [OE. whennes, whens (with adverbial s, properly a genitive ending; see { wards}), also whenne, whanene, AS. hwanan, hwanon, hwonan, hwanone; akin to D. when. See {When}, and cf. {Hence}, {Thence}.] [1913 Webster] 1. From what place;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whence — (also from whence) ► ADVERB formal or archaic 1) from what place or source? 2) from which; from where. 3) to the place from which. 4) as a consequence of which. USAGE Whence means ‘from what place’, as in who are you and whence come you? Strictly …   English terms dictionary

  • whence — [hwens, wens] adv. [ME whennes (< whenne, WHEN + adv. gen. s), replacing OE hwanan] from what place, source, or cause?; from where? [whence does he find his strength?] conj. 1. from what place, source, or cause [I know whence he comes] 2. from …   English World dictionary

  • whence — [ wens, hwens ] adverb, conjunction 1. ) LITERARY used for introducing the result of a fact that has just been stated: The work is slow and dangerous, whence the high costs. 2. ) an old or literary word meaning from where : He arrived at the… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • whence — whence, whither Both words have centuries of history behind them and were once routine in their respective meanings ‘from which place’ and ‘to which place’, but in current use they are regarded as archaic or at least highly formal, although they… …   Modern English usage

  • whence — [wens] adv, pron [Date: 1200 1300; : Old English; Origin: whanon from which place ] old use from where ▪ I walked to Rainbagh, whence I could complete the journey by car. →↑whither …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • whence — c.1300, whennes, with adverbial genitive s, from O.E. hwanone, related to hwænne (see WHEN (Cf. when)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • whence — [[t](h)we̱ns[/t]] PRON REL Whence means from where. [LITERARY or OLD FASHIONED] We looked down to the river whence we d climbed, and nobody complained of the effort as I had anticipated... He was educated at Quakers Yard Grammar School, whence he …   English dictionary

  • whence — /hwens, wens/ adv. 1. from what place?: Whence comest thou? 2. from what source, origin, or cause?: Whence has he wisdom? conj. 3. from what place, source, cause, etc.: He told whence he came. [1250 1300; ME whennes, whannes, equiv. to whanne (by …   Universalium

  • whence — [[t](h)wɛns, wɛns[/t]] adv. 1) from what place?: Whence comest thou?[/ex] 2) from what source, origin, or cause?: Whence has he wisdom?[/ex] 3) from what place, source, cause, etc.: He told whence he came[/ex] • Etymology: 1250–1300; ME whennes,… …   From formal English to slang

  • whence — adv. & conj. formal adv. from what place? (whence did they come?). conj. 1 to the place from which (return whence you came). 2 (often prec. by place etc.) from which (the source whence these errors arise). 3 and thence (whence it follows that).… …   Useful english dictionary

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