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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for whereabouts

Synonyms: Adverb

where, whither

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


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

She is seen in the West Wing by two reporters and yet conspiracy theories are thrown out about her whereabouts. Fox News, "Rep. Meadows says subpoenas forthcoming over Russia probe," 22 June 2018 This family is dealing with enough! #FindJessica pic.twitter.com/LO3LB8swTy — Haralson Sheriff (@HaralsonSheriff) June 29, 2018 Sheriff’s officials have offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to her whereabouts. Steve Burns, ajc, "Key figure in case of missing Georgia woman surrenders, says snake bit him," 5 July 2018 Four days after a Houston woman vanished on her way to work, Texas EquuSearch teams continued scouring the area for clues to her whereabouts. Keri Blakinger, Houston Chronicle, "Search for missing Houston mother continues," 25 June 2018 Anyone with information pertaining to Bishop's whereabouts is asked to call the Chesterfield Township Police at 586-949-2322. Marc Daalder, Detroit Free Press, "Chesterfield Township Police to conduct search for missing teen," 8 June 2018 The home is offering a $20,000 reward for information leading to its whereabouts. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Heartbroken Family Sues the Funeral Home That Lost Their Daughter's Body," 22 Jan. 2016 Officials were looking for Rouse and ask anyone with information on his whereabouts to call the sheriff's office at 586-307-9412. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Murder warrant issued for suspect in Mt. Clemens block-party shoot-out," 6 July 2018 Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to call the Selma Police Department Criminal Investigations Unit at 334-874-2125 or call the secret witness line at 334-874-2190. Carol Robinson, AL.com, "2 jailed, 2 still on the run in deadly Selma gas station shooting," 2 May 2018 The woman's vehicle was discovered at Longview Community College in Lee's Summit, but her whereabouts were unknown until Wednesday, according to Kansas City police. Max Londberg, kansascity, "Woman, 20, who was missing after last being seen near the KC Zoo has been found safe | The Kansas City Star," 11 Apr. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about whereabouts

Share whereabouts

Statistics for whereabouts

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whereabouts

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


lying above or upon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!