I. pronoun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hwæther, hwether; akin to Old High German hwedar which of two, Latin uter, Greek poteros, Old English hwā who — more at who Date: before 12th century 1. archaic which one of the two 2. archaic whichever one of the two II. conjunction Date: before 12th century — used as a function word usually with correlative or or with or whether to indicate (1) until the early 19th century a direct question involving alternatives; (2) an indirect question involving stated or implied alternatives <
decide whether he should agree or raise objections
wondered whether to stay
; (3) alternative conditions or possibilities <
see me no more, whether he be dead or no — Shakespeare
seated him next to her whether by accident or design

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • whether — 1. For the choice between if and whether, see if 2. 2. When the alternative to the whether clause is a simple negative, this can take several forms, but whether or not is now more usual than whether or no: • I brooded all the way whether or not I …   Modern English usage

  • Whether — Wheth er, conj. In case; if; used to introduce the first or two or more alternative clauses, the other or others being connected by or, or by or whether. When the second of two alternatives is the simple negative of the first it is sometimes only …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whether — [hweth′ər, weth′ər] conj. [ME < OE hwæther (akin to Ger weder, neither) < IE * kwotero , which (of two) < base * kwo , who (> WHAT) + compar. suffix] 1. if it be the case or fact that: used to introduce an indirect question [ask… …   English World dictionary

  • Whether — Wheth er, pron. [OE. whether, AS. hw[ae]?er; akin to OS. hwe?ar, OFries. hweder, OHG. hwedar, wedar, G. weder, conj., neither, Icel. hv[=a]rr whether, Goth. hwa?ar, Lith. katras, L. uter, Gr. ?, ?, Skr. katara, from the interrogatively pronoun,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • whether — O.E. hwæðer, hweðer which of two, whether, from P.Gmc. *khwatharaz (Cf. O.S. hwedar, O.N. hvarr, Goth. huaþar, O.H.G. hwedar which of the two, Ger. weder neither ), from interrogative base *khwa who (see WHO (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • whether — ► CONJUNCTION 1) expressing a doubt or choice between alternatives. 2) expressing an enquiry or investigation. 3) indicating that a statement applies whichever of the alternatives mentioned is the case. USAGE Whether and if are more or less… …   English terms dictionary

  • whether */*/*/ — UK [ˈweðə(r)] / US [ˈweðər] / US [ˈhweðər] conjunction Collocations: Both whether and if can be used to introduce indirect questions of the type that expect a yes/no answer: She asked if/whether I liked jazz. Use whether, but not if, before an… …   English dictionary

  • whether — conjunction 1 used when talking about a choice you have to make or about two different possibilities: He asked me whether she was coming. | The decision whether to see her was mine alone. | whether or not: I coudn t decide whether or not to go to …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • whether — wheth|er [ weðər, hweðər ] conjunction *** 1. ) used when someone does not know which of two possibilities is true: They asked us whether we were married. There is some doubt as to whether the illness is infectious. whether...or: She doesn t even …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • whether*/*/*/ — [ˈweðə] conjunction 1) used when someone does not know which of two possibilities is true They asked us whether we were married.[/ex] She doesn t even know whether her daughter is dead or alive.[/ex] 2) used when someone can choose between two… …   Dictionary for writing and speaking English

  • whether — [[t](h)we̱ðə(r)[/t]] ♦ 1) CONJ SUBORD You use whether when you are talking about a choice or doubt between two or more alternatives. To this day, it s unclear whether he shot himself or was murdered... Whether it turns out to be a good idea or a… …   English dictionary

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