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what

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English

Pronunciation

Etymology

Middle English < Old English hwæt < Proto-Germanic *hwa- < Proto-Indo-European *kʷos, *kʷod (which also gave us who).

Pronoun

what

  1. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) which thing, event, circumstance, etc.: used interrogatively in asking for the specification of an identity, quantity, quality, etc.
    What is your address?
    You told them what?
    (UK) (colloquial) It's rather late, what?
  2. (Template loop detected: Template:context 1) that; which

Translations

Adverb

what (not comparable)

Positive
what

Comparative
not comparable

Superlative
none (absolute)

  1. in some manner or degree; in part; partly; usually followed by with.
    What with singing and joking, the time passed quickly.
  2. Such; this is; that is.
    What a pity.
    What a beautiful day!
  3. (obsolete) why?

Synonyms

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Conjunction

what

  1. that which; those which; the thing that
    He knows what he wants.

Translations

Interjection

what

  1. an expression of surprise or disbelief.
    What! That’s amazing.
  2. (UK) (colloquial) is that not true?
    It’s a nice day, what? (sometimes repeated, e.g.: What-what?)
  3. (UK) (colloquial) greeting (archaic).
    What ho, Frobisher!

Translations

Determiner

what

  1. which; which kind of.
    What shirt are you going to wear?
    What time is it?
    What kind of car is that?
  2. how much; how great (used in an exclamation)
    What talent he has!
    What a talent!

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

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