\ ˈ(h)wer How to pronounce where (audio) , (ˌ)(h)wər \

Definition of where

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : at, in, or to what place where is the house where are we going
b : at, in, or to what situation, position, direction, circumstances, or respect where does this plan lead where am I wrong
2 archaic : here, there lo, where it comes again— William Shakespeare
\ ˈ(h)wer How to pronounce where (audio) , (ˌ)(h)wər \

Definition of where (Entry 2 of 3)

1a : at, in, or to what place knows where the house is
b : at, in, or to what situation, position, direction, circumstances, or respect shows where the plan leads
c : the place or point at, in, or to which couldn't see from where he was sitting kept that horse and gentled him to where I finally rode him— William Faulkner
2 : wherever goes where she likes
3a : at, in, or to which place the town where she lives
b : at or in which has reached the size where traffic is a problem two fireplaces where you can bake bread in the ovens— Randall Jarrell
4a : at, in, or to the place at, in, or to which stay where you are send him away where he'll forget
b : in a case, situation, or respect in which outstanding where endurance is called for
5 : that I've read where they do it that way in some Middle Eastern countries— Andy Rooney


\ ˈ(h)wer How to pronounce where (audio) \

Definition of where (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : place, location the where and the how of the accident
2 : what place, source, or cause I know where that comes from
where it's at
1a : a place of central interest or activity
b : something (such as a topic or field of interest) of primary concern or importance education is where it's at
2 : the true nature of things
where one is at
: one's true position, state, or nature

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Examples of where in a Sentence

Adverb Where did you meet her? Where did you hear that? Where can I find books about gardening? I don't know where that came from. Where is she taking us? Do you know where we're going? Where does the story get interesting? Where do the two candidates disagree on the issue? Conjunction Please stay where you are. We sat down where there was some shade. He put the note where she could easily see it. He doesn't know where he is going. It doesn't matter to me where we eat. We could see the players very clearly from where we sat. I know where their house is. The town where we live is having an arts and crafts fair. This is the room where the children sleep. The store where we shop is closing. Noun we've decided on the when, but we still haven't resolved the where for the party
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb When political parties can decide who sits where, seating becomes a tool for enforcing discipline. The Economist, "Parliaments get facelifts; but it is politics that really needs one," 27 July 2019 Jonathan Lambert at Nature reports that two of the vents where the snails live have active mining exploration licenses on them. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Deep-Sea Snail Builds Its Own Ironclad Suit of Armor. But Even That Can’t Protect It From Ocean Mining," 26 July 2019 The federal prosecutor in charge of the case was none other than Chris Christie, which is where things really get interesting. The Editors, Town & Country, "8 Things You Should Know About the Kushner Family," 25 July 2019 The situation coalesced to such a point where even politicians from the mainland added their voices to the public outrage, demanding Rosselló’s resignation. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló Resigns," 25 July 2019 According to the police report, officers initially searched the South Quaker Lane home, where Rodriguez lived and Gomez sometimes stayed, in February. Emily Brindley, courant.com, "West Hartford residents arrested for meth, fentanyl, loaded firearm near children," 24 July 2019 The couple met in 2014 in New York, where Mize was living. NBC News, "Gay couple sues over U.S. refusal to recognize child as citizen," 24 July 2019 So Zebley and his partner staked out a center where refugees got their documents stamped until Mohamed showed up, then baited him into a government building before tackling him and shipping him back to the U.S. for trial. Tim Elfrink, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump’s latest, and unlikely, target: Aaron Zebley, FBI agent who hunted terrorists," 24 July 2019 The collection of vignettes in Ten Years includes one that imagines mandatory Mandarin language for Hong Kong residents, and a particularly poignant storyline where a Hong Kong resident self-immolates in protest. Isabella Steger, Quartzy, "Six films to watch to understand what’s happening in Hong Kong," 24 July 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Because one important lesson of life is the where and when of things. Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, "Mitch Albom: New high school trend: Viral gradu-shaming speeches," 16 June 2019 The plot is a little messy and undisciplined, throwing into the second act a few wait-where-did-that-come-from incidents that may have been lifted from the book, but are baffling in the play. Rod Stafford Hagwood, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: 5 things to know about ‘Pray The Gay Away'," 24 Aug. 2019 The next step is to get a development agreement with the orchestra that will outline the where and what. Scott Wartman, Cincinnati.com, "The Banks concert venue: What's next," 20 June 2018 Being ankle deep in mud, on a narrow trail traversing a precipitous hillside that was sloping down who-knew-how-far-or-where, and then trying to collect a specimen hidden just out of reach behind a tangle of greenery, would fray anyone’s nerves. The Economist, "Colombia’s national survey of its biodiversity is ambitious," 17 May 2018 Yes, that's Iron Man and Dr. Strange using their superpowers to help a young female consumer arrive safely at the home that has just been approved for a mortgage from you-know-where. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Rocket Mortgage blasts off with TV ads, product placement with 'Avengers: Infinity War'," 2 Apr. 2018 The Fab Five pepper their subjects with compliments, I-know-where-you’re-coming-froms and hugs. Bonnie Wertheim, New York Times, "Antoni Porowski Can Cook," 6 Mar. 2018 Given the academy’s loosey-goosey-where-did-the-money-go history, Mr. Colacello was wary at first. Jacob Bernstein, New York Times, "A Celebrity Party Where Andy Warhol Would Have Fit Right In," 26 Apr. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'where.' 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 where


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for where


Middle English, from Old English hwǣr; akin to Old High German hwār where, Old English hwā who — more at who

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Time Traveler for where

Time Traveler

The first known use of where was before the 12th century

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Statistics for where

Last Updated

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Where.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/where. Accessed 27 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for where


How to pronounce where (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of where

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: at or in what place
: to what place
: when or at what point
How to pronounce where (audio)

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

: at or in the place that
: to or in what place
: the place that


\ ˈhwer How to pronounce where (audio) , ˈwer \

Kids Definition of where

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : at, in, or to what place Where are they?
2 : at or in what way or direction Where does this plan lead? Where am I wrong?

Kids Definition of where (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : at, in, or to the place indicated Sit where the light's better.
2 : every place that They go where they want to.



Kids Definition of where (Entry 3 of 3)

: what place, source, or cause I don't know where that came from.

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More from Merriam-Webster on where

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for where

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with where

Spanish Central: Translation of where

Nglish: Translation of where for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of where for Arabic Speakers

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