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1

why

play
adverb \ˈhwī, ˈwī\

Simple Definition of why

  • : for what reason or purpose

  • —used to offer a suggestion or to say that a course of action is not necessary

  • —used to express irritation or annoyance

Full Definition of why

  1. :  for what cause, reason, or purpose <why did you do it?>

Examples of why

  1. Why did you quit your job?

  2. Why is the sky blue?

  3. Why didn't you call me?

  4. Why didn't I think of that?

  5. I can't go out tonight. Why not?



Origin of why

Middle English, from Old English hwȳ, instr. case of hwæt what — more at what


First Known Use: before 12th century

Rhymes with why


2

why

conjunction

Simple Definition of why

  • : the cause, reason, or purpose for which

  • : for which

Full Definition of why

  1. 1 :  the cause, reason, or purpose for which <know why you did it> <that is why you did it>

  2. 2 :  for which :  on account of which <know the reason why you did it>

Examples of why

  1. I know why he did it.

  2. It's easy to see why she fell in love with him.

  3. He's a very good player. That's why he made the team.

  4. The reason why they succeeded is obvious. They worked really hard.

  5. Give me one good reason why I should stay.



Before 12th Century

First Known Use of why

before 12th century


3

why

noun

Definition of why

plural whys

  1. 1 :  reason, cause <wants to know the whys and wherefores>

  2. 2 :  a baffling problem :  enigma



Examples of why

  1. <asked the whys behind the surprising decision>

  2. <how one decides that a certain he or she is the one is one of the great whys of life>



13th Century

First Known Use of why

13th century


4

why

interjection

Simple Definition of why

  • —used at the beginning of a statement especially to express surprise

Full Definition of why

  1. —used to express mild surprise, hesitation, approval, disapproval, or impatience <why, here's what I was looking for>

Examples of why

  1. <why, what a strange thing to say!>



1519

First Known Use of why

1519



WHY Defined for Kids

1

why

play
adverb \ˈhwī, ˈwī\

Definition of why

  1. :  for what cause or reason <Why did you do it?>




2

why

play
conjunction

Definition of why

  1. 1 :  the cause or reason for which <We know why you did it.>

  2. 2 :  for which <Here's the reason why I did it.>




3

why

play
interjection

Definition of why

  1. —used to express surprise, uncertainty, approval, disapproval, or impatience <Why, how did you know that?>





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