1

when

play
adverb \ˈhwen, ˈwen, (h)wən\

Definition of when

  1. 1 :  at what time <when will you return>

  2. 2 a :  at or during which time b :  and then

  3. 3 :  at a former and usually less prosperous time <brag fondly of having known him when — Vance Packard>

Examples of when in a sentence

  1. When did the American Civil War begin?

  2. The detective asked me when I last saw her.

  3. When is the next performance?

  4. It was a time when people didn't have to lock their doors.

  5. the happy days when we were together

  6. We're still waiting for the test results, when we'll decide our next move.

Origin and Etymology of when

Middle English, from Old English hwanne, hwenne; akin to Old High German hwanne when, Old English hwā who — more at who


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

when

conjunction

Definition of when

  1. 1 a :  at or during the time that :  while <went fishing when he was a boy> b :  just at the moment that <stop writing when the bell rings> c :  at any or every time that <when he listens to music, he falls asleep>

  2. 2 :  in the event that :  if <a contestant is disqualified when he disobeys the rules>

  3. 3 a :  considering that <why use water at all when you can drown in it — Stuart Chase> b :  in spite of the fact that :  although <quit politics when I might have had a great career in it>

  4. 4 :  the time or occasion at or in which <tomorrow is when we must decide> <humor is when you laugh — Earl Rovit>

Examples of when in a sentence

  1. When he finally showed up, he was drunk.

  2. When I was in school, we didn't have computers.

  3. You can go when the bell rings.

  4. Call me when you get home.

  5. Things were better when he got a job.

  6. When he watches television, he falls asleep.

  7. She quit politics when she might have had a great career in it.

Origin and Etymology of when

Middle English, from Old English hwanne, hwenne, from hwanne, hwenne, adverb


First Known Use: before 12th century


3

when

play
pronoun \ˈhwen, ˈwen\

Definition of when

  1. :  what or which time <life-long homes for those … who have lived here since when — Kim Waller>

Examples of when in a sentence

  1. He retired in 1998, since when he has been devoting his time to gardening.

  2. You need the report by when?

14th Century

First Known Use of when

14th century


4

when

noun

Definition of when

  1. :  the time in which something is done or comes about <troubled his head very little about the hows and whens of life — Laurence Sterne>

1616

First Known Use of when

1616


WHEN Defined for English Language Learners

1

when

play
adverb \ˈhwen, ˈwen, (h)wən\

Definition of when for English Language Learners

  • : at what time

  • : at, in, or during which

  • : at or during which time


2

when

conjunction

Definition of when for English Language Learners

  • : at or during the time that

  • : just after the time that

  • : at any or every time that


3

when

play
pronoun \ˈhwen, ˈwen\

Definition of when for English Language Learners

  • : what or which time


WHEN Defined for Kids

1

when

play
adverb \ˈhwen, ˈwen, hwən, wən\

Definition of when for Students

  1. 1 :  at what time <When did you leave?>

  2. 2 :  the time at which <I was not sure of when they'd come.>

  3. 3 :  at, in, or during which <It was hard to remember the time when they hadn't played that game … — Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses>


2

when

play
conjunction

Definition of when for Students

  1. 1 :  at, during, or just after the time that <She wants to leave when I do.>

  2. 2 :  in the event that :  if <When you have a question, raise your hand.>

  3. 3 :  although 1 <Why do you tease, when you know it's wrong?>

  4. 4 :  the time at which <Tomorrow is when we leave.>


3

when

play
pronoun

Definition of when for Students

  1. :  what or which time <Since when have you been an expert?>



Seen and Heard

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