Why

Why
Why 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}.] [1913 Webster] 1. For what cause, reason, or purpose; on what account; wherefore; -- used interrogatively. See the Note under {What}, pron., 1. [1913 Webster]

Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? --Ezek. xxxiii. 11. [1913 Webster]

2. For which; on account of which; -- used relatively. [1913 Webster]

No ground of enmity between us known Why he should mean me ill or seek to harm. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Turn the discourse; I have a reason why I would not have you speak so tenderly. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

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. [1913 Webster]

If her chill heart I can not move, Why, I'll enjoy the very love. --Cowley. [1913 Webster] Sometimes, also, it is used as a noun. [1913 Webster]

The how and the why and the where. --Goldsmith. [1913 Webster]

{For why}, because; why. See {Forwhy}. [Obs. or Colloq.] [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • why me? — spoken phrase used when you cannot understand why you have been chosen to do something difficult or why something bad has happened to you Somebody had to take the blame, but why me? Thesaurus: ways of saying that you do not know or… …   Useful english dictionary

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