when·​ev·​er | \ (h)we-ˈne-vər How to pronounce whenever (audio) , (h)wə- \

Definition of whenever

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: at any or every time that



Definition of whenever (Entry 2 of 2)

: at whatever time

Examples of whenever in a Sentence

Conjunction You may leave whenever you wish. Whenever he leaves the house he always takes an umbrella. The teacher welcomes originality whenever it is shown. We'll begin the meeting whenever the boss gets here. Adverb You can come tomorrow or whenever.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The letter recommended that officials keep a close watch on COVID-19 hospitalizations and post a warning indicator on the city website whenever the numbers increase for five days in a row. Brian Chasnoff, ExpressNews.com, "‘When we’re full, we’re full’: COVID-19 pushes San Antonio hospitals to the limit," 5 July 2020 Gimenez also mandated that masks be worn inside businesses and outside whenever social distancing is not possible. Fox News, "Thousands flock to beaches for holiday weekend as COVID rate soars, but death rate remains stable," 4 July 2020 The order takes effect on July 13 or whenever it is granted approval by state officials, whichever is later. Lauren Hernández, SFChronicle.com, "Health officer: Adapt because coronavirus ‘will be with us for a long time’," 2 July 2020 The best thing about this experience was the application crash dialog, which pops up whenever something grenades itself. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "A decidedly non-Linux distro walkthrough: Haiku R1/beta2," 29 June 2020 As the Astros leader in home runs in both 1977 and 1978, Watson was a man in the middle of the lineup who made Astrodome concession workers stand ready at the beer taps whenever the orange light coincided with one of his big swings. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "The legend of the Astros' free beer 'Foamer Nights'," 29 June 2020 Troy Weaver isn’t going to ride in a victory parade next season — whenever that finally begins. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons' hire of Troy Weaver brings new light to Detroit sports scene," 22 June 2020 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that face coverings be used whenever 6 feet of social distance cannot be maintained with people outside of a family. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Arnold Schwarzenegger: Anyone who makes wearing face masks 'a political issue is an absolute moron'," 19 June 2020 Yet even as more of us are living in ad hoc households cobbled together in times of crisis, there is still a measure of cultural confusion whenever those households don't conform to familiar shapes. Laurie Penny, Wired, "Live Wrong and Prosper: Covid-19 and the Future of Families," 18 June 2020

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

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First Known Use of whenever


14th century, in the meaning defined above


circa 1576, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for whenever

Time Traveler

The first known use of whenever was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Whenever.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whenever. Accessed 11 Jul. 2020.

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How to pronounce whenever (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whenever

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: at any or every time that



English Language Learners Definition of whenever (Entry 2 of 2)

: at any time : at whatever time


conjunction or adverb
when·​ev·​er | \ hwen-ˈe-vər How to pronounce whenever (audio) , wen-, hwən-, wən- \

Kids Definition of whenever

: at whatever time You may go whenever you want.

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More from Merriam-Webster on whenever

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whenever

Spanish Central: Translation of whenever

Nglish: Translation of whenever for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whenever for Arabic Speakers

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