What-if definition

Frequency:
Used to introduce a suggestion or proposal for a future event.

What if we arrange it for 9:00 instead of 10:00?

adverb
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Used to introduce a speculation about a future event.

What if we could learn to get along? What would happen then?

adverb
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Used to introduce a speculation about a past event. Often the basis for counterfactual historical interpretations.

What if Abraham Lincoln had not been assassinated? How might the Reconstruction of the Southern States have been handled?

adverb
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(informal) A speculation as to what might have happened if something else had happened earlier.
noun
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(informal) To speculate about the consequences of something that could have happened.
verb
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
what-if
Plural:
what-ifs