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(used interrogatively as a request for specific information):
What is the matter?
(used interrogatively to inquire about the character, occupation, etc., of a person):
What does he do?
(used interrogatively to inquire as to the origin, identity, etc., of something):
What are those birds?
(used interrogatively to inquire as to the worth, usefulness, force, or importance of something):
What is wealth without friends?
(used interrogatively to request a repetition of words or information not fully understood, usually used in elliptical constructions):
You need what?
(used interrogatively to inquire the reason or purpose of something, usually used in elliptical constructions):
What of it?
how much?:
What does it cost?
(used relatively to indicate that which):
I will send what was promised.
whatever; anything that:
Say what you please. Come what may.
the kind of thing or person that:
He said what everyone expected he would. They are just what I was expecting.
as much as; as many as:
We should each give what we can.
the thing or fact that (used in parenthetic clauses):
He went to the meeting and, what was worse, insisted on speaking.
(used to indicate more to follow, additional possibilities, alternatives, etc.):
You know what? Shall we go or what?
(used as an intensifier in exclamatory phrases, often followed by an indefinite article):
What luck! What an idea!
British. don’t you agree?:
An unusual chap, what?
Nonstandard. that; which; who:
She’s the one what told me.
the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics:
a lecture on the whats and hows of crop rotation.
(used interrogatively before nouns):
What news? What clothes shall I pack?
Take what supplies you need.
to what extent or degree? how much?:
What does it matter?
(used to introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with with):
What with storms and all, their return was delayed.
Obsolete. for what reason or purpose? why?
(used in exclamatory expressions, often followed by a question):
What, no salt?
Older Use. as much as; as far as:
He helps me what he can.
but what, Informal. but that; but who; who or that … not:
Who knows but what the sun may still shine.
Say what?, Slang. (used especially among teenagers) What’s that you say? Would you repeat that?
So what?, Informal. (an expression of disinterest, disinclination, or contempt.)
what for,

why: What are you doing that for?
You want that package now? What for?
Older Use: Informal. a punishment or scolding:
If he stays out late again, his parents are going to give him what for!

what have you, other things of the same kind; so forth:
money, jewels, stocks, and what have you.
what if, what would be the outcome if; suppose that:
What if everyone who was invited comes?
what it takes, something that enables one to achieve success or attain a desired end, as good looks, ability, or money:
There’s a young woman who has what it takes to get along in the world.
what’s what, Informal. the true situation; all the facts:
It’s high time you told him what’s what.
contraction of what is or what has:
What’s the matter? What’s been done?
contraction of what does: What’s she do for a living?

used with a noun in requesting further information about the identity or categorization of something: what job does he do?
(as pronoun): what is her address?
(used in indirect questions): does he know what man did this?, tell me what he said

the (person, thing, persons, or things) that: we photographed what animals we could see
(as pronoun): bring me what you’ve written, come what may

(intensifier; used in exclamations): what a good book!
in what respect? to what degree?: what do you care?
(not standard) which, who, or that, when used as relative pronouns: this is the man what I saw in the park yesterday
what about, what do you think, know, feel, etc, concerning?
what for

for what purpose? why?
(informal) a punishment or reprimand (esp in the phrase give (a person) what for)

what have you, someone, something, or somewhere unknown or unspecified: cars, motorcycles, or what have you
what if

what would happen if?
what difference would it make if?

what matter, what does it matter?
(informal) what’s what, the true or real state of affairs
(informal) don’t you think? don’t you agree?: splendid party, what?

what about
what do you know
what do you take me for?
what for
what gives
what goes around comes around
what have you
what if
what in the world
what is more
what it takes
what makes one tick
what of it?
what the hell
what with


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    on the contrary; yet: My brother went, but I did not. except; save: She was so overcome with grief she could do nothing but weep. unless; if not; except that (followed by a clause, often with that expressed): Nothing would do but that I should come in. without the circumstance that: It never rains but […]

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