whataboutery

noun

what·​about·​ery ˌ(h)wä-tə-ˈbau̇-tə-rē How to pronounce whataboutery (audio)
ˌ(h)wə-
plural whatabouteries
chiefly British
: whataboutism
… blame can be accepted without some finger-pointing immediately following it but, especially online, whataboutery still abounds. Liam Bryce
"Whataboutery" is deployed by people who are themselves accused of a charge, and who wish to distract rather than defend themselves—it is a misdirection technique of the guilty. Kate Maltby
… there was always the lurking suspicion that the promised new approach could not be sustained and that old whatabouteries would inevitably surface … Belfast Telegraph Online

Word History

Etymology

what about [X]? + -ery

First Known Use

1974, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of whataboutery was in 1974

Dictionary Entries Near whataboutery

Cite this Entry

“Whataboutery.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whataboutery. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ