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where·​with·​al ˈ(h)wer-wi-ˌt͟hȯl How to pronounce wherewithal (audio) -ˌthȯl How to pronounce wherewithal (audio)
: means, resources
specifically : money
didn't have the wherewithal for an expensive dinner


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Did you know?

Wherewithal 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 a person has at one's disposal—especially financial resources.

Example Sentences

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
The job market is still strong and if employment keeps climbing, people’s wherewithal to spend should remain intact. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 28 July 2022 The fact that David Simon and Ed Burns had the wherewithal to bring these people in as consultants and then put them on the show — has it ever been done? Vulture, 7 July 2022 Niyum Gandhi, chief financial officer of Mass General Brigham, said the 12-hospital system has the financial wherewithal to weather this storm. Jessica Bartlett, BostonGlobe.com, 16 Dec. 2022 As with California’s attempt to support out-of-state residents seeking abortions, the impact of SB 107 is hard to estimate because many people in other states don’t have the option or financial wherewithal to abruptly move to California. Mackenzie Mays, Los Angeles Times, 29 Sep. 2022 Rubio, seeking a third term in the Senate, leads in the polls, but Democrats are hopeful that Demings – who has significantly raised more campaign funds than the incumbent – has the wherewithal to pull an upset. Sarah Elbeshbishi, USA TODAY, 18 Oct. 2022 Homeowners also have the wherewithal to keep spending on their homes. Justin Lahart, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 Also, if the user is really in trouble and doesn’t have the time or wherewithal to deal with Apple’s mandatory menu of emergency messages, Garmin’s SOS button instantly alerts emergency responders. Jakob Schiller, Outside Online, 14 Sep. 2022 Luckily for him, Lillard had enough wherewithal to remember his food was on the roof. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History



where + withal entry 2

First Known Use


1809, in the meaning defined above


1534, in the meaning defined above


1583, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of wherewithal was in 1534


Dictionary Entries Near wherewithal

Cite this Entry

“Wherewithal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/wherewithal. Accessed 9 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


: wealth sense 1, resources
especially : money sense 1b
the wherewithal to buy a house

More from Merriam-Webster on wherewithal

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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