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 whereabouts (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

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 The fund filed for bankruptcy in July, but a subsequent hearing revealed that the physical whereabouts of the company’s two founders were unknown. Yiwen Lu, Washington Post, 21 July 2022 The whereabouts of five other Belarusian soldiers engaged in the exchange remained unknown until at least one soldier appeared in a video posted to a Russian Telegram account Tuesday. Caitlin Mcfall, Fox News, 6 July 2022 Several months ago, the Times reported that, after the book had been published in Mexico, Rivera Garza received a tip concerning the possible whereabouts of the killer. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 4 July 2022 The lawsuit alleges that Christopher and Roberta Laundrie knew the whereabouts of Gabby's body during the time in which authorities were pouring resources into a massive missing persons investigation. Steve Helling, PEOPLE.com, 30 June 2022 Remote villages lack phone service to reach family members and determine the whereabouts of missing migrants. The Christian Science Monitor, 29 June 2022 For more than two decades, no one knew the whereabouts of Sylvia Nicole Smith, a 16-year-old girl who was the subject of a Feb. 18, 2000, runaway report filed with the Midland, Texas, Police Department. Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News, 28 June 2022 Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Lester or his SUV should call State Police at 207-973-3700. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 27 June 2022 No word on the whereabouts of investors’ funds, or on the ongoing investigations into the company’s operations from regulators in at least five states. Will Gottsegen, The Atlantic, 26 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Cite this Entry

“Whereabouts.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whereabouts. Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for whereabouts


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

More from Merriam-Webster on whereabouts

Nglish: Translation of whereabouts for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whereabouts for Arabic Speakers


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