1 of 3


where·​abouts ˈ(h)wer-ə-ˌbau̇ts How to pronounce whereabouts (audio)
variants or less commonly whereabout
: about where : near what place
whereabouts is the house


2 of 3


variants or less commonly whereabout
singular or plural in construction
: the place or general locality where a person or thing is
their present whereabouts are a secret


3 of 3


variants or less commonly whereabout
: near what place : where
know whereabouts he lives
obsolete : on what business or errand

Did you know?

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
Anyone with information about Gale's whereabouts is asked to call the Framingham Police Department at 508-532-5923. Emily Shapiro, ABC News, 15 May 2024 The investigation into his whereabouts was taken over by the U.S. Marshall's Service in the Central District of Illinois in June 2022. Gabrielle Rockson, Peoplemag, 15 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for whereabouts 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whereabouts.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



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

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1605, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near whereabouts

Cite this Entry

“Whereabouts.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whereabouts. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 adverb
where·​abouts -ə-ˌbau̇ts How to pronounce whereabouts (audio)
variants also whereabout
: about where
whereabouts is the house


2 of 2 plural or singular noun
: the place where a person or thing is
do you know their whereabouts

More from Merriam-Webster on whereabouts

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