\ˈhüz, üz\

Definition of whose 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to whom or which especially as possessor or possessors whose gorgeous vesture heaps the ground— Robert Browning , agent or agents the law courts, whose decisions were important— F. L. Mott , or object or objects of an action the first poem whose publication he ever sanctioned— J. W. Krutch

\ˈhüz, üz\

Definition of whose (Entry 2 of 2)

: that which belongs to whom used without a following noun as a pronoun equivalent in meaning to the adjective whose tell me whose it was— William Shakespeare

Examples of whose in a Sentence


The granddaddy of all metafictional novels was Tristram Shandy, whose narrator's dialogues with his imaginary readers are only one of many ways in which Sterne foregrounds the gap between art and life that conventional realism seeks to conceal. — David Lodge, The Art of Fiction, 1992 In early times when I sat with my grandfather … I was puzzled about the relation between the Davis who had lived in a world of great events and my Old Jeff, whose name had entered into the common speech of the region … — Robert Penn Warren, Jefferson Davis Gets His Citizenship Back, 1980 He was a flamboyant, excited person whose eyes darted here and there, like a child's, afraid of what they might miss. — E. L. Doctorow, Ragtime, 1974

Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Though life here is a dangerous business for olive trees, in summer the children roam the streets alone, and well into the night. Everyone knows whose are whose, and keeps an eye out. — David Leavitt, Travel & Leisure, May 2000 And now for the Ignorance and Folly which he reproaches us with, let us see (if we are Fools and Ignoramus's) whose is the Fault, the Men's or our's. — Benjamin Franklin 28 May 1722, in Benjamin Franklin Writings1987

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Then the film shifts to teenager Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), whose artistic inclinations don’t necessarily please his police officer father (Brian Tyree Henry). Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is dazzling, hilarious, and unique," 14 Dec. 2018 Instead of foisting clothes on those whose options are unlimited, an effort needs to be made to also feature older women, and those who aren’t a size 00. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "If Megan Mullally Can’t Get a SAG Awards Dress, Who Can?," 14 Dec. 2018 McClenachan suggests looking to the alewife, a species that lives near her home in Maine and whose ranks were suppressed for several centuries because of dams that prevented them from swimming up the local rivers to spawn. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "What Will Be the Last Fish?," 10 Dec. 2018 Red Table Talk, whose viewers are 64 percent women, according to Facebook, has inspired other unofficial discussion groups. Mariano Vivanco; Styled By Simon Robins, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New American Dynasty," 3 Dec. 2018 The roster of past guests includes notable designers Karl Lagerfeld, John Galliano, and Dolce & Gabbana among others, whose themes have run the gamut from woodland fantasy to under the sea. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "Diane von Furstenberg's Claridge's Christmas Tree Is All About Love," 27 Nov. 2018 Among the people whose homes were destroyed: an elementary school teacher and single mother of two. Mike Arroyo, Fox News, "Hawaii's volcanic eruption has destroyed at least 26 homes, officials say," 2 Oct. 2018 Thale is infatuated with his psychologist, Dr. Agatha Matheson (Gretchen Mol) whose romantic past with Karl soured due to her work with psychics. Samantha Nelson, The Verge, "George R.R. Martin’s Nightflyers asks whether humanity deserves to be saved," 29 Nov. 2018 Deschutes Brewery has many employees whose families are in the Chico area, including in Paradise, who lost homes, so the company is holding an internal fundraiser in addition to brewing the Resilience IPA, spokeswoman Erin Rankin said. Kathleen Mclaughlin, The Seattle Times, "Central Oregon breweries make beer to benefit fire victims," 28 Nov. 2018

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


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

12th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for whose


Middle English whos, genitive of who, what

Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

see whose entry 1

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Statistics for whose

Last Updated

19 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whose

The first known use of whose was before the 12th century

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English Language Learners Definition of whose

—used in questions to ask who owns something, has something, etc.

—used to show which person or thing you are talking about

—used to give more information about a person or thing that has already been mentioned


\ˈhüz \

Kids Definition of whose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to whom or which Whose bag is it? This is the book whose cover is torn.



Kids Definition of whose (Entry 2 of 2)

: that or those belonging to whom Let me know whose are chosen.

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More from Merriam-Webster on whose

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with whose

Spanish Central: Translation of whose

Nglish: Translation of whose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whose for Arabic Speakers

Comments on whose

What made you want to look up whose? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a knickknack or trinket

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