1 of 3


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


2 of 3



3 of 3


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.

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
The Lopes, who beat Saint Mary’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, possess the wherewithal to attract and sign high-end talent, reach the NCAAs regularly and advance to the second weekend occasionally. Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 12 May 2024 This is one of the top 20 programs in America without the wherewithal to keep the players coaches sweated to deliver. Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2024 That’s giving many Americans the wherewithal to splurge, especially now that pay increases are outpacing inflation. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2024 Would the Cougars and Beavers have the wherewithal? Jon Wilner, The Mercury News, 5 Apr. 2024 For now, what drive the marketplace are talent and the financial wherewithal to take big risks for even bigger rewards. Joe Drape, New York Times, 30 Mar. 2024 The park had already begun this work, but now will have the wherewithal to join forces with Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and other parks to escalate the fight. Brandon Loomis, The Arizona Republic, 21 Feb. 2024 While quite a few NFL teams have the wherewithal to make significant upgrades during the 2024 offseason, several others – including a handful of 2023 playoff outfits – will have to get awfully creative in order to merely tread water (looking at you, Tampa Bay Buccaneers). Nate Davis, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 By refusing to enforce sanctions put in place to deny Iran the financial wherewithal to fund terror groups like Hamas, Biden made the Oct. 7 attack more likely, an attack that saw Hamas kill more than 1,300 Israelis in ways that stagger the mind. Chris Roemer, Baltimore Sun, 27 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'wherewithal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 28 May. 2024.

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
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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