wherewithal

noun
where·​with·​al | \ ˈ(h)wer-wi-ˌt͟hȯl How to pronounce wherewithal (audio) , -ˌthȯl How to pronounce wherewithal (audio) \

Definition of wherewithal

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: means, resources specifically : money didn't have the wherewithal for an expensive dinner

wherewithal

conjunction

Definition of wherewithal (Entry 2 of 3)

wherewithal

pronoun

Definition of wherewithal (Entry 3 of 3)

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Did You Know?

Pronoun

Wherewithal has been with us in one form or another since the 16th century. It comes from "where" and "withal" (meaning "with"), and it has been used as a conjunction meaning "with or by means of which" and as a pronoun meaning "that with or by which." These days, however, it is almost always used as a noun referring to the means or resources one has at one's disposal - especially financial resources, that is, money.

Examples of wherewithal in a Sentence

Noun A project as big as this requires a lot of financial wherewithal. He doesn't have the wherewithal to finish what he started.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And when efforts to hold him down were failing, staff had the wherewithal to break standard protocol and bring his beloved wife, Erica, into the room to instill calm. Hollie Mckay, Fox News, "Spotlight on Walter Reed Medical Center brings back powerful memories for US wounded warriors," 5 Oct. 2020 Dear Lost: These extended family members have the wherewithal to contact your mother by phone or email, or – if rebuffed or ignored – show up to her house to find out how your grandmother is doing. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, "Ask Amy: Grandchild thinks estranged family should be told grandmother is dying," 3 Oct. 2020 Lost: These extended family members have the wherewithal to contact your mother by phone or email, or — if rebuffed or ignored — show up to her house to find out how your grandmother is doing. Washington Post, "Ask Amy: Family estrangement continues to the end," 3 Oct. 2020 Dear Lost: These extended family members have the wherewithal to contact your mother by phone or email, or – if rebuffed or ignored – show up to her house to find out how your grandmother is doing. Amy Dickinson, chicagotribune.com, "Ask Amy: Family estrangement continues to the end," 3 Oct. 2020 Amy says: These family members have the wherewithal to contact your mother by phone or e-mail, or — if rebuffed or ignored — show up to her house to find out how your grandmother is doing. Amy Dickinson, Star Tribune, "Ask Amy: Family estrangement continues to the end," 2 Oct. 2020 The good news is that, despite the withdrawal of federal support, many Americans have the wherewithal to maintain current spending levels for a while longer. Justin Lahart, WSJ, "Incomes Starting to Buckle as Federal Support Fades," 1 Oct. 2020 The show had been moved from its usual spot, the Microsoft Theater, to the home of the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, because the arena has the technological wherewithal to accommodate dozens of remote feeds. John Koblin, New York Times, "Emmys Toast ‘Watchmen’ and ‘Schitt’s Creek’ as Stars Stay Home," 20 Sep. 2020 Ramping up clean energy innovation spending will be absolutely critical to ensuring the U.S. has the technologies and the wherewithal to achieve Biden’s targets of a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: The case for tripling federal spending on energy innovation," 15 Sep. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'wherewithal.' 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 wherewithal

Noun

1809, in the meaning defined above

Conjunction

1534, in the meaning defined above

Pronoun

1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wherewithal

Conjunction

where + withal entry 2

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Time Traveler for wherewithal

Time Traveler

The first known use of wherewithal was in 1534

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Statistics for wherewithal

Last Updated

19 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Wherewithal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wherewithal. Accessed 30 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for wherewithal

wherewithal

noun
How to pronounce wherewithal (audio) How to pronounce wherewithal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of wherewithal

: the money, skill, etc., that is needed to get or do something

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