- Whether is defined as a word used to introduce an alternative.
An example of whether is what someone would say when asking her child if she would like vanilla or chocolate ice cream.
whether definition by Webster's New World
- if it be the case or fact that: used to introduce an indirect question: ask whether she will help
- in case; in either case that: used to introduce alternatives, the second of which is preceded by or or by or whether[whether he drives or (whether he) flies, he'll be on time]: sometimes, the second is merely implied or understood [we don't know whether he'll improve (or not)]
- either: taxation to support the war, whether just or unjust
Origin: Middle English ; from Old English hwæther (akin to German weder, neither) ; from Indo-European an unverified form kwotero-, which (of two) ; from base an unverified form kwo-, who (from source what) plush comparative suffix
whether definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- Used in indirect questions to introduce one alternative: We should find out whether the museum is open. See Usage Notes at doubt, if.
- Used to introduce alternative possibilities: Whether she wins or whether she loses, this is her last tournament.
- Either: He passed the test, whether by skill or luck.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English hwether; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.
whether - Phrases/Idioms
whether or no
whether or no