1

whatever

pronoun what·ev·er \ hwät-ˈe-vər , wät- , (h)wət- \
1 a : anything or everything that
  • take whatever you want
b : no matter what
  • whatever he says, they won't believe him
c : whatnot
  • enjoys skiing, hiking, or whatever
2 : what 1a(1) used to express astonishment or perplexity
  • whatever do you mean by that

Examples of whatever in a Sentence

  1. “What's that smell?” “I don't know, but whatever it is, it's awful!”

  2. Whatever you do, don't press that button!

First Known Use of whatever

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
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whatever Synonyms

Synonyms

what all, whatnot;

Related Words

anything;

whichever;

Phrases

what have you;


2

whatever

adjective
1 a : any … that : all … that
  • buy peace … on whatever terms could be obtained
  • —C. S. Forester
b : no matter what
  • money, in whatever hands, will confer power
  • —Samuel Johnson
2 : of any kind at all used after the substantive it modifies with any or with an expressed or implied negative
  • in any order whatever
  • —W. G. Moulton
  • no food whatever

Examples of whatever in a Sentence

  1. She will buy the painting at whatever price.

  2. There's no evidence whatever to support your theory.

Recent Examples of whatever from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whatever.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of whatever

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1a

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

3

whatever

adverb
: in any case : whatever the case may be sometimes used interjectionally to suggest the unimportance of an issue or decision between alternatives
  • go see a movie, watch TV,— whatever

Examples of whatever in a Sentence

  1. whatever the reviews say, I still think it was a great play

Recent Examples of whatever from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'whatever.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of whatever

1870

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

whatever Synonyms

Synonyms

anyhow, anyway, regardless;

Related Words

after all, however, nevertheless;

always;

Phrases

at all events, at any rate, in any case, in any event, no matter, whether or no (or whether or not);



WHATEVER Defined for English Language Learners

whatever

  • : anything or everything that

  • : no matter what : regardless of what

  • —used in questions that express surprise or confusion


whatever

  • : all the

  • : any : any…that

  • —used to refer to something that is not known


whatever

  • —used to show that something said or done is not important


WHATEVER Defined for Kids

1

whatever

pronoun what·ev·er \ hwät-ˈe-vər , hwət- , wät- , wət- \
1 : anything or everything that
  • Take whatever you need.
2 : no matter what
  • Whatever you do, don't cheat.
3 : what in the world
  • Whatever made you do that?

2

whatever

adjective
1 : any and all : any … that
  • Take whatever money you need.
2 : of any kind at all
  • There's no food whatever.


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