What meaning

wŏt, wŭt, hwŏt, hwŭt; wət, hwət when unstressed
In some manner or degree; in part; partly; usually followed by with.

What with singing and joking, the time passed quickly.

adverb
25
8
How greatly, surprisingly, etc.

What tragic news!

adverb
13
14
(now rare) Used to introduce each of two coordinate phrases or concepts; both...and.
adverb
11
4
The definition of what is which one or as many as.

An example of what used as an adjective is in the sentence, "What shirt do you want?"

An example of what used as an adjective is in the sentence, "Take what clothes you need."

adjective
11
9
(UK, colloquial, dated) Is that not true?

It's a nice day, what? (sometimes repeated, e.g.: What-what?)

interjection
8
6
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Which one or ones of several or many.

What college are you attending? You should know what musical that song is from.

adjective
5
0
Whatever.

They soon repaired what damage had been done.

adjective
5
0
Anything that.

Do what you will.

pronoun
4
0
The exact person or thing that.

He's not what he was five years ago.

pronoun
4
0
How great; how astonishing.

What a fool!

adjective
4
1
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That or who.

The man what gave it to me.

pronoun
4
1
Such; this is; that is.

What a pity.

What a beautiful day!

adverb
4
3
John Milton.

But what do I stand reckoning upon advantages and gains lost by the misrule and turbulency of the prelates?

adverb
4
3
That which or those which.

To know what one wants.

pronoun
3
0
(chiefly brit., informal) Used to end a sentence with a general or rhetorical interrogative force.

It's rather late, what?

pronoun
3
1
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(informal) Something.

I'll tell you what.

pronoun
2
0
A quantity, sum, etc.

What will it cost?

pronoun
1
0
(nonstandard) Which, who, or that.

It's the poor what gets the blame.

pronoun
1
1
That.

I don't know but what I'll go.

conjunction
1
1
Used to express surprise, incredulity, or other strong and sudden excitement.
interjection
1
1
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(chiefly british) Used as a tag question, often to solicit agreement.
interjection
1
1
The nature, class, name, purpose, etc. of a thing.

What is that object? what is your address?

pronoun
1
1
The value, importance, or effect of something.

What is life without music?

pronoun
1
1
Used to introduce a parenthetical element in a sentence.

She has, what is rare, true tolerance.

pronoun
1
1
Used elliptically to mean “what it is,” “what to do,” etc.

I'll tell you what!

pronoun
1
1
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The true or basic quality of something.

To uncover the what and why of their relationship.

noun
1
1
Which or which kind of.

What man told you that? he knows what role she played.

adjective
1
1
As much, or as many, as.

Take what time (or men) you need.

adjective
1
1
In what respect? to what degree? how?

What does it matter?

adverb
1
1
How great, surprising, magnificent, disappointing, etc.

What a man! what nonsense!

adjective
1
2
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An expression of surprise or disbelief.

What! That's amazing.

interjection
1
2
(obs.) Why?
adverb
0
2
(brit., dial.) So far as; as much as.

We warned them what we could.

conjunction
0
2
Used to express surprise, anger, confusion, etc.

What! no dinner?

interjection
0
2
(interrogative) Which thing, event, circumstance, etc.: used interrogatively in asking for the specification of an identity, quantity, quality, etc.
pronoun
0
2
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(UK, colloquial) An interrogative which asks "Don't you agree?"

It's rather late, what?

pronoun
0
2
(relative, nonstandard) That; which.
pronoun
0
2
(relative) That which; those that; the thing that.

He knows what he wants; what is tossed upward falls back down.

pronoun
0
2
How much; how great (used in an exclamation).

What talent he has!

What a talent!

determiner
0
2
(obsolete) Something; thing; stuff.
noun
0
2
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What is defined as the amount, nature, purpose or quality of something.

An example of what used as a pronoun is in the sentence, "What is the cost of that shirt?" which means "How much does that shirt cost?"

pronoun
0
3
What means how.

An example of what used as an adverb is in the sentence, "What does it mean?"

adverb
0
3
What is defined as surprise or confusion.

An example of what used as an interjection is "What! You aren't going with me?"

interjection
0
3
What means the basic nature of something.

An example of what used as a noun is in the sentence, "We need to figure out the what of the project," which means that we need to figure out the core parts of the project.

noun
0
3
How much; in what respect; how.

What does it matter?

adverb
0
3
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Which; which kind of.

What shirt are you going to wear?

What time is it?

What kind of car is that?

determiner
0
3
or what
  • Used as an intensive at the end of a question:
    Is he crazy, or what? Are you a genius, or what?.
idiom
0
2
what for
  • A scolding or strong reprimand:
    The teacher gave the tardy student what for.
  • For what reason; why:
    Give the present back.—What for?.
idiom
0
2
what have you
  • What remains and need not be mentioned:
    A room full of chairs, lamps, radios, and what have you.
idiom
0
2
what if
  • What would occur if; suppose that:
    What if we were rich?.
  • What does it matter if:
    What if he gets angry?—I don't care.
idiom
0
2
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what it takes
  • The necessary expertise or qualities needed for success:
    She has what it takes to be a doctor.
idiom
0
2
(informal) what's what
  • The fundamentals and details of a situation or process; the true state or condition.
idiom
0
2
what with
  • Taking into consideration; because of:
    It's strange we can't find a cab, what with so many hotels nearby.
idiom
0
2
and what not
  • and other things of all sorts
idiom
0
2
what about
  • what is your wish, opinion, or information concerning
    what about going to a movie?.
idiom
0
2
what for
  • for what purpose? why?
  • punishment; esp., a whipping
    He gave his son what for!.
idiom
0
2
what have you
  • anything else of a similar sort
    Selling games, toys, or what have you.
idiom
0
2
what if
  • what would happen if
  • what difference would it make if
idiom
0
2
what it takes
  • whatever is necessary for success or popularity, as wealth, beauty, or intelligence
idiom
0
2
what's what
  • the true state of affairs
idiom
0
2
what the hell (or heck, devil, etc.)
  • an exclamatory remark of surprise, resignation, etc.
idiom
0
2
what though
  • what difference does it make that
idiom
0
2
what with
  • because of
    what with the snow and ice, we'll be late.
  • in view of; taking into account
    what with the usual rush-hour traffic, I suspect you'll be late.
idiom
0
2

Origin of what

  • Middle English from Old English hwæt kwo- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Middle English what, from Old English hwæt (“what"), from Proto-Germanic *hwat (“what"), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷód (“what"), neuter form of *kʷós (“who"). Cognate with Scots what (“what"), North Frisian wat (“what"), Saterland Frisian wat (“what"), West Frisian wat (“what"), Dutch wat (“what"), Low German wat (“what"), German was (“what"), Danish hvad (“what"), Swedish vad (“what"), Icelandic hvað (“what"), Latin quod (“what, which").

    From Wiktionary