\ 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 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

In her clinic, she's helped treat patients whose lives are falling apart, all because of vaping. NBC News, "Vaping 101: What to know about e-cigs, addiction and illnesses," 17 Sep. 2019 Many other writers have followed Butler, most recently Colson Whitehead, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning Underground Railroad (2016) cleverly imagined the fugitive slave system as an actual railroad burrowed beneath the nation. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, "How Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Novel Reckons With the Past," 17 Sep. 2019 The group includes the Tohono O’odham Nation, which used to inhabit a large swath of the Sonoran Desert and whose reservation lies north of the park’s boundaries. Juliet Eilperin, Nick Miroff, Anchorage Daily News, "Border fence construction could destroy archaeological sites, park service finds," 17 Sep. 2019 The issues The strike does not include Ford Motor Co. and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, whose UAW contracts were extended while the union tries to negotiate a deal with GM that would be template for talks with the other two companies. Jamie L. Lareau, Detroit Free Press, "UAW leader says GM could have avoided strike: Here's how," 16 Sep. 2019 One of those three Republicans whose vote McConnell needed was Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh. Lisa Mascaro, Fortune, "Why New Brett Kavanaugh Allegation Is Unlikely to Prompt Impeachment," 16 Sep. 2019 Then there is a list of 18 nations, whose imports enter at zero because of free trade agreements such as NAFTA. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, "Real World Economics: Time to explain the basics of trade," 15 Sep. 2019 While New York may boast some of the buzziest household names in the fashion schedule, London has some of the most fearless innovators whose collections — and subsequent beauty looks — continue to push boundaries each season. Allure, "The Best Hair and Makeup From London Fashion Week," 15 Sep. 2019 Shareholders, whose rights were suspended in 2008, sued the government. The Economist, "Steven Mnuchin begins reforming America’s giant mortgage-guarantee firms," 14 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for whose

Last Updated

10 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for whose

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

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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.

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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).


to fake an opponent out of position

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