where·​abouts | \ˈhwer-ə-ˌbau̇ts, ˈwer-\
variants: or less commonly whereabout \ˈhwer-​ə-​ˌbau̇t, 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

For weeks, Saudi Arabia denied having knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts or what could have happened to him. Fox News, "Khashoggi's fiancée under police protection, Turkish media report," 22 Oct. 2018 Photo: Cem Ozdel/Associated Press Al Jazeera has repeatedly broken stories on the Turkish investigation into the Saudi dissident’s whereabouts. Rory Jones And Summer Said, WSJ, "Jamal Khashoggi’s Death Fuels a Middle East Information War," 20 Oct. 2018 Also, alert your family and friends of your whereabouts and safety with Facebook's Safety Check. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "How Typhoon Trami Will Affect Your Travel," 1 Oct. 2018 Today, its empire is under threat, as the tycoon’s whereabouts is unknown. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "A Top Chinese Oilman Vanishes, and a Manhattan Buying Binge Ends," 25 Oct. 2018 The whereabouts of a 13-year-old girl from northern Wisconsin are unknown after police responded to a 911 call from her home and found both of her parents dead inside, according to NBC News. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "13-Year-Old Jayme Closs Is Missing After Her Parents Were Found Dead in Their Home," 16 Oct. 2018 The campaign also said that multiple eyewitnesses can confirm that Cisneros wasn’t intoxicated and his whereabouts were different from what the accuser alleged. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Obama to stump for California Democrats -- including one facing sexual misconduct accusations," 6 Sep. 2018 Anyone with knowledge of Elliott’s whereabouts is asked to contact the sheriff’s office. Steve Burns, ajc, "Man who attended Rainbow Family gathering in Georgia reported missing," 11 July 2018 Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact Detective Ed Wallace at 360-679-9567 or tips@co.island.wa.us. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Fugitive charged with murder in woman's decapitation after DNA found on samurai sword," 2 July 2018

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, 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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