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 whereabout (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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for whereabouts

Synonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Anyone with information on Cailie’s whereabouts was asked to call the Silverhill Police Department at 251-947-4010 or call 911. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Baldwin County authorities searching for girl, 16, missing since Sunday," 1 July 2020 Anyone with information on Williams' whereabouts is encouraged to contact Detective Jess Hamblin at 859-292-2375. Segann March, The Enquirer, "Covington Police: Suspect at-large after woman shot during an 'altercation,' hospitalized," 1 July 2020 Esmaili claimed that Seyed Mahmoud Mousavi Majd disclosed the whereabouts of Soleimani to US intelligence officials. Nada Altaher And Tara John, CNN, "Iran issues arrest warrant for Trump over drone strike that killed Qasem Soleimani," 29 June 2020 This post will be updated if more information about Anthony’s whereabouts is provided Sunday. Jane Morice | Jmorice@cleveland.com, cleveland, "Cleveland police seek public’s help to find 14-year-old boy," 28 June 2020 Police encourage anyone who knows Kemp's whereabouts to contact MetroSafe at 502-574-7111 or the anonymous tip line at 502-574-LMPD. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Female victim killed in shooting on Dixie Highway, Louisville police say," 26 June 2020 Anyone with information about Linda’s whereabouts is encouraged to call the East Lampeter Township Police Department at 717-291-4676 or to submit a tip on the Crime Watch website. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "Authorities, volunteers search for missing Amish woman who failed to return home after attending church service on Sunday in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania," 23 June 2020 Anyone with information about the children’s whereabouts may contact police at 817-392-4222. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Young siblings last seen leaving their Fort Worth home together are found safe," 23 June 2020 Anyone who may know of Cross' whereabouts is encouraged to contact investigators at (513) 785-1309. Madeline Mitchell, Cincinnati.com, "Sheriff: Third suspect in Liberty Township homicide remains at-large," 12 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whereabouts

Time Traveler for whereabouts

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for whereabouts

Cite this Entry

“Whereabouts.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whereabouts. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whereabouts


How to pronounce whereabouts (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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