where·​abouts | \ ˈhwer-ə-ˌbau̇ts How to pronounce whereabouts (audio) , ˈwer-\
variants: or less commonly whereabout \ ˈhwer-​ə-​ˌbau̇t How to pronounce whereabout (audio) , ˈwer-​ \

Definition of whereabouts

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: about where : near what place whereabouts is the house


variants: or less commonly whereabout

Definition of whereabouts (Entry 2 of 3)

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

Definition of whereabouts (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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Synonyms for whereabouts

Synonyms: Adverb

where, whither

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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


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

Aviation resources are less viable in situations in which a subject does not have a cellphone or wallet and there are no indications of their whereabouts, Llewellyn said. Jess Nocera, baltimoresun.com, "If Howard had kept its aviation program, would police have found the missing Ellicott City man faster?," 13 Aug. 2019 There's no record of her whereabouts for almost a decade — until her name appeared in the 1951 city directory for Jacksonville. Kori Rumore, chicagotribune.com, "A Tribune reporter wrote the hit play ‘Chicago’ after covering Cook County murder trials. Decades later, we owe her an obituary.," 8 Aug. 2019 His parents came to know of his whereabouts only a few weeks after. Milena Belloni, Quartz Africa, "Why young Eritreans are going to keep risking deadly migration crossings to Europe," 27 July 2019 On Thursday, federal prison officials would not say where he had been taken, and even his lawyers had yet to be informed of his whereabouts. Emily Palmer, New York Times, "El Chapo Has Disappeared. (Is He at the Supermax?)," 18 July 2019 And so, in an attempt to get answers, many have now resorted to asking Michael about his whereabouts on his Instagram page. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'GMA' Fans Are Bombarding Michael Strahan With Questions on Instagram About His Absence," 25 July 2019 In the process, the browser shares information about its whereabouts. Anna Wiener, The New Yorker, "What the Superhuman Controversy Reveals About the Shifting Ethics of Software," 17 July 2019 One of the people on the list — Marwan al-Muraisy, a Yemeni journalist — briefly contacted his family after RSF’s visit, following months of uncertainty about his whereabouts, in what might have been the visit’s sole achievement so far. Washington Post, "Saudi Arabia invited global press freedom group to the kingdom after Khashoggi killing," 10 July 2019 Anyone with information about their whereabouts is urged to call (256) 232-0111. Amy Yurkanin | Ayurkanin@al.com, al.com, "Two inmates missing in Limestone County," 7 July 2019

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


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

1605, in the meaning defined above

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

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

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More Definitions for whereabouts



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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Comments on whereabouts

What made you want to look up whereabouts? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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