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



Definition of wherewithal (Entry 2 of 3)



Definition of wherewithal (Entry 3 of 3)

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Synonyms for wherewithal

Synonyms: Noun

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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 The pandemic also robbed U.S. teams of one of their great advantages: the financial wherewithal to stay sharp by traveling internationally for games more than probably any other country. Mark Zeigler, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 July 2021 Toronto may have to bludgeon opponents into submission, and Gallo gives them the wherewithal to do so – this year and next. Gabe Lacques, USA TODAY, 27 July 2021 The board moved on from Grand Point and Cienda's proposal in March after questioning the Dallas group's wherewithal to execute its proposal. David Showers, Arkansas Online, 20 July 2021 Moderna now also has the wherewithal to execute on its pipeline. Trefis Team, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Thoreen also cited the fact that Judge Penny decided over the summer that Britney had the wherewithal to hire Rosengart. Nancy Dillon, Rolling Stone, 22 Sep. 2021 Moderna now also has the wherewithal to execute on its pipeline. Trefis Team, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 Thomas has the wherewithal to be the workhorse running back that Utah often employs, but Bernard has been more consistent, more explosive with four runs of at least 19 yards vs. BYU, and has shown the ability to be a reliable pass-catching option. Josh Newman, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Sep. 2021 Luckily, designers had the wherewithal to design clothing that could withstand whatever else 2021 threw at us. Eliza Huber, refinery29.com, 1 Sep. 2021

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


1809, in the meaning defined above


1534, in the meaning defined above


1583, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for wherewithal


where + withal entry 2

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Time Traveler for wherewithal

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The first known use of wherewithal was in 1534

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Last Updated

20 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Wherewithal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wherewithal. Accessed 22 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of wherewithal

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

More from Merriam-Webster on wherewithal

Nglish: Translation of wherewithal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of wherewithal for Arabic Speakers


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