Whether definition

wĕthər, hwĕth-
Either.

He passed the test, whether by skill or luck.

conjunction
25
15
Used in indirect questions to introduce one alternative.

We should find out whether the museum is open.

conjunction
21
18
Which.
pronoun
14
13
In case; in either case that.
conjunction
4
5
(archaic) Which (esp. of two)
pronoun
3
4
Advertisement
Used to introduce an indirect interrogative question that consists of multiple alternative possibilities (usually with correlative or).

He chose the correct answer, but whether by luck or by skill I don't know.

conjunction
0
1
Without a correlative, used to introduce a simple indirect question; if, whether or not.

Do you know whether he's coming?

conjunction
0
1
Used to introduce a disjunctive adverbial clause which qualifies the main clause of the sentence (with correlative or).

He's coming, whether you like it or not.

conjunction
0
1
Either.

Taxation to support the war, whether just or unjust.

conjunction
13
15
Used to introduce alternative possibilities.

Whether she wins or whether she loses, this is her last tournament.

conjunction
5
7
Advertisement
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.

conjunction
0
2
Bible, Matthew xxi. 31

Whether of them twain did the will of his father?

pronoun
0
2
1616, William Shakespeare, King John, I.i.

Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge, [...] Or the reputed sonne of Cordelion?

conjunction
0
2
If it be the case or fact that.

Ask whether she will help.

conjunction
10
15
whether or no
  • Regardless of circumstances.
idiom
2
1
Advertisement
whether or no
  • in any case
idiom
1
0

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

whether or no
whether or no

Origin of whether

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

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

  • Old English hwæþer, from Proto-Germanic *hwaþeraz, comparative form of *hwaz (“who"). Cognate with German weder (“neither"), Swedish hvar, Icelandic hvorr (“each").

    From Wiktionary