Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of whether
Meaning of whether by Wiktionary Dictionary



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


    • enPR: wĕ'thə( r ), IPA: /ˈwɛðə( r )/, X-SAMPA: /"wED@( r )/
    • enPR: hwĕ'thə( r ), IPA: /ˈʍɛðə( r )/, X-SAMPA: /"WED@( r )/
    • Rhymes: -ɛðə( r )
    • Hyphenation: wheth‧er
    • Homophone: weather, wether ( both in accents with the wine-whine merger )



    1. ( obsolete ) Which of two. [11th-19th c.]



    1. ( obsolete ) Introducing a direct interrogative question ( often with correlative or ) which indicates doubt between alternatives.
    2. 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 .
    3. Without a correlative, used to introduce a simple indirect question; if, whether or not .
      Do you know whether he's coming?
    4. 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 .

    Usage notes