Definitions for: Why


[n] the cause or intention underlying an action or situation esp in the phrase"the whys and wherefores"
[adv] question word; what is the reason; "why are you here?"; (`how come' is a nonstandard variant as in"how come he got an ice cream cone but I didn't?")



Webster (1913) Definition: Why, adv. [OE. whi, why, AS. hw[=i], hw?, instrumental
case of hw[=a], hw[ae]t; akin to Icel. hv[=i] why, Dan. & Sw.
hvi; cf. Goth. hw?. ?. See Who.]
1. For what cause, reason, or purpose; on what account;
wherefore; -- used interrogatively. See the Note under
What, pron., 1.

Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will
ye die, O house of Israel? --Ezek.
xxxiii. 11.

2. For which; on account of which; -- used relatively.

No ground of enmity between us known Why he should
mean me ill or seek to harm. --Milton.

Turn the discourse; I have a reason why I would not
have you speak so tenderly. --Dryden.

3. The reason or cause for which; that on account of which;
on what account; as, I know not why he left town so
suddenly; -- used as a compound relative.

Note: Why is sometimes used as an interjection or an
expletive in expression of surprise or content at a
turn of affairs; used also in calling. ``Why,
Jessica!'' --Shak.

If her chill heart I can not move, Why, I'll
enjoy the very love. --Cowley.
Sometimes, also, it is used as a noun.

The how and the why and the where. --Goldsmith.

For why, because; why. See Forwhy. [Obs. or Colloq.]


Why, n.
A young heifer. [Prov. Eng.] --Grose.

Synonyms: how come, wherefore

See Also: ground, reason

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