1

whereabouts

adverb where·abouts \ ˈhwer-ə-ˌbau̇ts , ˈwer- \
variants: or less commonly whereabout play \ˈhwer-ə-ˌbau̇t, ˈwer-\
|Updated on: 7 Jun 2018

Definition of whereabouts

: about where : near what place
  • whereabouts is the house

Examples of whereabouts in a Sentence

  1. Whereabouts did you park the car?

  2. whereabouts do you expect to be on your journey tonight?

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.

Origin and Etymology of whereabouts

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

whereabouts Synonyms

Synonyms

where, whither;

Near Antonyms

whence;

Related Words

wherever;


2

whereabouts

conjunction
variants: or less commonly whereabout

Definition of whereabouts

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

First Known Use of whereabouts

14th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

3

whereabouts

noun, plural in form but singular or plural in construction

Definition of whereabouts

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

Recent Examples of whereabouts from the Web

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

1605

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

WHEREABOUTS Defined for English Language Learners

whereabouts

Definition of whereabouts for English Language Learners

  • : near what place


whereabouts

Definition of whereabouts for English Language Learners

  • : the location of a person or thing


WHEREABOUTS Defined for Kids

1

whereabouts

adverb where·abouts \ ˈhwer-ə-ˌbau̇ts , ˈwer- \

Definition of whereabouts for Students

: near what place
  • Whereabouts did you lose it?

2

whereabouts

noun plural

Definition of whereabouts for Students

: 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


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to recoil in dread or terror

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name More Food!

True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!