\ 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
\ ˈhüz How to pronounce whose (audio) , 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 whosetell 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 The law includes some exemptions for employees whose jobs require confidentiality, during public awareness events, and for students. María Méndez, Dallas News, "Will Texas’ new laws against hazing and sexual misconduct on campus be effective? Some concerns remain," 12 Feb. 2020 Sharlet is best known for The Family, his investigation into a cohort of Christian fundamentalists whose ranks include the disgraced politicos Senator John Ensign and Governor Mark Sanford. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, "Jeff Sharlet’s Flawed Experiment in Empathy," 11 Feb. 2020 Ralph Lauren, whose New York Fashion Week shows in recent years have been one glamorous spectacle after another, skipped this round and will show in the spring instead.... Ray A. Smith, WSJ, "The Top Takeaways From New York Fashion Week," 11 Feb. 2020 The system, called System Risk Indicator (SyRI) in English, was being used by four Dutch cities to spot individuals whose benefits applications should receive extra scrutiny. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "A.I. and the growing risk of “digital redlining”," 11 Feb. 2020 But the company was dismembered in 2018, liquidated by shareholders whose identities have been permanently shielded by the byzantine laws of Liechtenstein, a tiny European nation with a Cayman Islands-like reputation for financial secrecy. Greg Miller, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Intelligence coup of the century’: How the CIA was able to read encrypted messages of allies and adversaries for decades," 11 Feb. 2020 So too is the emergence of Taylor Chavez, whose 17 points against Arizona tied for her second-highest total of the season and most in Pac-12 play. oregonlive, "Will Oregon women’s basketball avenge its loss to Arizona State?," 9 Feb. 2020 Bill Cosby's trial also featured testimony from five women whose claims were not related to the charges against him. Eric Levenson, CNN, "Witnesses at Harvey Weinstein trial show how #MeToo has changed whose voices matter," 9 Feb. 2020 As for whose pockets make for the toughest dwelling space? Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio Spurs need more from LaMarcus Aldridge," 8 Feb. 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.

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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

Adjective and Pronoun, singular or plural in construction

Middle English whos, genitive of who, what

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Time Traveler for whose

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for whose

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Whose.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whose. Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for whose


How to pronounce whose (audio)

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


How to pronounce whose (audio)

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.

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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

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