adjective \ˈhwich, ˈwich\

: what one or ones of a group : what particular one or ones

Full Definition of WHICH

:  being what one or ones out of a group —used as an interrogative <which tie should I wear> <kept a record of which employees took their vacations in July>
:  whichever <it will not fit, turn it which way you like>
—used as a function word to introduce a nonrestrictive relative clause and to modify a noun in that clause and to refer together with that noun to a word or word group in a preceding clause or to an entire preceding clause or sentence or longer unit of discourse <in German, which language might … have been the medium of transmission — Thomas Pyles> <that this city is a rebellious city… : for which cause was this city destroyed — Ezra 4:15 (Authorized Version)>

Origin of WHICH

Middle English, of what kind, which, from Old English hwilc; akin to Old High German wilīh of what kind, which, Old English hwā who, gelīk like — more at who, like
First Known Use: before 12th century



: what one or ones out of a group

—used to introduce an additional statement about something that has already been mentioned

—used after a preposition to refer again to something that has already been mentioned

Full Definition of WHICH

:  what one or ones out of a group —used as an interrogative <which of those houses do you live in> <which of you want tea and which want lemonade> <he is swimming or canoeing, I don't know which>
:  whichever <take which you like>
—used as a function word to introduce a relative clause ; used in any grammatical relation except that of a possessive ; used especially in reference to animals, inanimate objects, groups, or ideas <the bonds which represent the debt — G. B. Robinson> <the Samnite tribes, which settled south and southeast of Rome — Ernst Pulgram> ; used freely in reference to persons as recently as the 17th century <our Father which art in heaven — Matthew 6:9(Authorized Version)>, and still occasionally so used but usually with some implication of emphasis on the function or role of the person rather than on the person as such <chiefly they wanted husbands, which they got easily — Lynn White> ; used by speakers on all educational levels and by many reputable writers, though disapproved by some grammarians, in reference to an idea expressed by a word or group of words that is not necessarily a noun or noun phrase <he resigned that post, after which he engaged in ranching — Current Biography>
See Usage Discussion at 4that

First Known Use of WHICH

before 12th century


Next Word in the Dictionary: whichaway
Previous Word in the Dictionary: whge
All Words Near: which

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