where·​abouts | \ ˈ(h)wer-ə-ˌbau̇ts How to pronounce whereabouts (audio) \
variants: or less commonly whereabout \ ˈ(h)wer-​ə-​ˌbau̇t How to pronounce whereabout (audio) \

Definition of whereabouts

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: about where : near what place whereabouts is the house
also whereabout

Definition of whereabouts (Entry 2 of 3)

: the place or general locality where a person or thing is their present whereabouts are a secret


variants: or less commonly whereabout

Definition of whereabouts (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : near what place : where know whereabouts he lives
2 obsolete : on what business or errand

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Synonyms for whereabouts

Synonyms: Adverb

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Whereabouts Is or whereabouts Are?

Whereabouts may function as an adverb (“Whereabouts is it?”), a conjunction (“I know whereabouts he lives”), or a noun (“Her whereabouts were unknown”). The noun form may provoke confusion because it feels singular but looks plural; should one write “her whereabouts were” or "her whereabouts was”? Because the final -s is an adverbial suffix, not a plural ending (similar to the one at the end of besides), certain usage commentators have insisted on treating whereabouts as a singular noun. In spite of this, you should feel comfortable pairing it with a plural verb; while some have employed singular verbs with this word, the plural (“her whereabouts were”) has become the regular choice.

Examples of whereabouts in a Sentence

Adverb Whereabouts did you park the car? whereabouts do you expect to be on your journey tonight?
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction Investigators used Abbas’s social media accounts on Instagram and Snapchat to track and confirm his whereabouts, and gather evidence to charge him. Chidinma Irene Nwoye, Quartz Africa, "How the FBI used Instagram and Snapchat to track down an alleged conman in Dubai," 10 July 2020 Over the next year, researchers will continue recording its whereabouts to better understand the species’ range and behavior. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Fiji reefs restored with traditional knowledge, and more," 10 July 2020 Anyone with information about her whereabouts may call police at 972-485-4840. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Missing Garland woman’s car found along I-30 near Lake Ray Hubbard," 7 July 2020 The whereabouts of Maxwell had been largely a mystery since Epstein’s death nearly a year ago. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "Epstein associate Ghislaine Maxwell transferred to Brooklyn prison," 6 July 2020 Houston Police is asking for information on the whereabouts of David Nathan Willis, accused of fatally shooting his pregnant wife last month. Kaila Contreras, Houston Chronicle, "Man sought in fatal shooting of pregnant wife," 3 July 2020 The whereabouts of the remains of most of those POWs will never be known. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "The Korean War never technically ended. Here’s why.," 24 June 2020 Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Rudolph or Herbert is asked to call Bessemer police at 205-425-2411 or the tip line at (205) 428-3541. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "3 wanted on felony murder charges in deadly shootout with more than 100 rounds fired," 24 June 2020 Investigations into the whereabouts of the other soldier, as well as the circumstances surrounding Morales’ death, remain ongoing. Brianna Provenzano, refinery29.com, "Everything We Know About Vanessa Guillen, A Fort Hood Soldier Who Went Missing In April," 23 June 2020

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


14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

1605, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for whereabouts


Middle English wheraboutes (from wher aboute + -s, adverb suffix) & wher aboute, from where, wher where + about, aboute about — more at whence

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Time Traveler for whereabouts

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for whereabouts

Cite this Entry

“Whereabouts.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whereabouts. Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for whereabouts


How to pronounce whereabouts (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of whereabouts

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: near what place



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

: the location of a person or thing


where·​abouts | \ ˈhwer-ə-ˌbau̇ts How to pronounce whereabouts (audio) , ˈwer- \

Kids Definition of whereabouts

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: near what place Whereabouts did you lose it?


noun plural

Kids Definition of whereabouts (Entry 2 of 2)

: the place where someone or something is
Hint: Whereabouts can be used as a singular or plural in writing and speaking. … she knew the whereabouts of every fallen tree and hidden gully.— John Reynolds Gardiner, Stone Fox

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