\ ˈhüz How to pronounce whose (audio) , 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

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

Adjective 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 Many of the calls were from retailers whose business was looted before becoming engulfed in flames. Fox News, 3 June 2020 The latter company once was owned by Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage. Jennifer Henderson And Hollie Silverman, CNN, 2 June 2020 The Department of Veterans Affairs, whose headquarters on Vermont Avenue is steps from the White House, ordered all nonessential employees to go home by noon on Monday. Anchorage Daily News, 2 June 2020 Five officers picked up Owensby, whose face was cut and bleeding, and put him in the back of a police cruiser. Kevin Grasha, Cincinnati.com, 2 June 2020 My close neighbor is a grandmother whose son and granddaughter have moved in with her. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 2 June 2020 But this list represents a majority of them and those whose absence would be felt. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 2 June 2020 The zoo is no longer controlled by Exotic, whose legal name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage. NBC News, 2 June 2020 The researchers’ first step was to use the DNA sequences to identify the species of animals—goats, sheep, ibex or cows—whose skin was used to make the parchment. Josie Glausiusz, Scientific American, 2 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Adjective and Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Middle English whos, genitive of who, what

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About whose

Time Traveler for whose

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near whose




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for whose

Cite this Entry

“Whose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whose. Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for whose



English Language Learners Definition of whose

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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



English Language Learners Definition of whose (Entry 2 of 2)

: that or those belonging to a person


\ ˈhüz How to pronounce whose (audio) \

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on whose

Nglish: Translation of whose for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of whose for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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