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


    Alternative forms

    • whiche ( obsolete )
    • wich ( Jamaican English )


    Old English hwilc, from Proto-Germanic *hwi- +‎ *-līkaz, the former being the stem of *hwaz. Cognates include German welcher, Dutch welk and Old Norse hvílíkr .


    • ( UK ) enPR: hwĭch, IPA: /ʍɪʧ/, X-SAMPA: /WItS/
    • ( US ) enPR: wĭch, hwĭch, IPA: /wɪʧ/, /ʍɪʧ/, X-SAMPA: /wItS/, /WItS/
    • Rhymes: -ɪtʃ
    • Homophone: witch, wich, wych ( in accents with the wine-whine merger )



    1. What, of those mentioned or implied ( used interrogatively ) .
      Which song made the charts?
    2. ( interrogative ) What one or ones ( of those mentioned or implied ) .
      Which is bigger?
      Which is which?
    3. ( relative ) The one or ones that .
      Show me which one is bigger .
      They couldn't decide which song to play .
    4. ( relative ) the one mentioned
      For several seconds he sat in silence, during which time the tea and sandwiches arrived .
      I'm thinking of getting a new car, in which case I'd get a red one .
    5. ( now dialectal ) Used of people ( now generally who, whom or that ).



    1. ( relative ) Who; whom; what ( of those mentioned or implied )
      He walked by a door with a sign which read: PRIVATE OFFICE .
      Their first song, which made the charts in 2004, is great .
      We've met some problems which are very difficult to handle .
      He had to leave, which was very difficult .
      We have to protect the environment in which we live .
      No art can be properly understood apart from the culture of which it is a part .

    Usage notes


    Derived terms


    which ( plural: whiches )

    1. An occurrence of the word which.


Definition of which by GCIDE Dictionary


  1. Which pron. [OE. which, whilk, AS. hwilc, hwylc, hwelc, from the root of hwā who + līc body; hence properly, of what sort or kind; akin to OS. hwilik which, OFries. hwelik, D. welk, G. welch, OHG. welīh, hwelīh, Icel. hvīlīkr, Dan. & Sw. hvilken, Goth. hwileiks, hwleiks; cf. L. qualis. See Who, and Like, a., and cf. Such.]

    1. Of what sort or kind; what; what a; who. [Obs.]

    And which they weren and of what degree. Chaucer.

    2. A interrogative pronoun, used both substantively and adjectively, and in direct and indirect questions, to ask for, or refer to, an individual person or thing among several of a class; as, “which man is it? which woman was it? which is the house? he asked which route he should take; which is best, to live or to die?” See the Note under What, pron., 1.

    Which of you convinceth me of sin? John viii. 46.

    3. A relative pronoun, used esp. in referring to an antecedent noun or clause, but sometimes with reference to what is specified or implied in a sentence, or to a following noun or clause ( generally involving a reference, however, to something which has preceded ). It is used in all numbers and genders, and was formerly used of persons.

    And when thou fail'st -- as God forbid the hour! --

    Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend! Shak.

    God . . . rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. Gen. ii. 2.

    Our Father, which art in heaven. Matt. vi. 9.

    The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. 1 Cor. iii. 17.

    4. A compound relative or indefinite pronoun, standing for any one which, whichever, that which, those which, the . . . which, and the like; as, “take which you will”.

    ☞ The which was formerly often used for which. The expressions which that, which as, were also sometimes used by way of emphasis.

    Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? James ii. 7.

    ☞ Which, referring to a series of preceding sentences, or members of a sentence, may have all joined to it adjectively. “All which, as a method of a proclamation, is very convenient.” Carlyle.