1. (used interrogatively as a request for specific information): What is the matter?2. (used interrogatively to inquire about the character, occupation, etc., of a person): What does he do?3. (used interrogatively to inquire as to the origin, identity, etc., of something): What are those birds?4. (used interrogatively to inquire as to the worth, usefulness, force, or importance of something): What is wealth without friends?5. (used interrogatively to request a repetition of words or information not fully understood, usually used in elliptical constructions): You need what?6. (used interrogatively to inquire the reason or purpose of something, usually used in elliptical constructions): What of it?7. how much?: What does it cost?8. (used relatively to indicate that which): I will send what was promised.9. whatever; anything that: Say what you please. Come what may.10. the kind of thing or person that: He said what everyone expected he would. They are just what I was expecting.11. as much as; as many as: We should each give what we can.12. the thing or fact that (used in parenthetic clauses): He went to the meeting and, what was worse, insisted on speaking.13. (used to indicate more to follow, additional possibilities, alternatives, etc.): You know what? Shall we go or what?14. (used as an intensifier in exclamatory phrases, often fol. by an indefinite article): What luck! What an idea!15. Brit. don't you agree?: An unusual chap, what?16. Nonstandard. that; which; who: She's the one what told me.17. Say what? Slang. (used esp. among teenagers) What's that you say? Would you repeat that?19. what have you, other things of the same kind; so forth: money, jewels, stocks, and what have you.20. what for,a. why: What are you doing that for?b. a punishment or scolding.21. what if, what would be the outcome if; suppose that: What if everyone who was invited comes?22. 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.23. what's what, Informal. the true situation; all the facts: It's high time you told him what's what.n.24. the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics: a lecture on the whats and hows of crop rotation.adj.25. (used interrogatively before nouns): What news? What clothes shall I pack?26. whatever: Take what supplies you need.adv.27. to what extent or degree? how much?: What does it matter?28. (used to introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with with): What with storms and all, their return was delayed.29. Obs. for what reason or purpose? why?30. (used in exclamatory expressions, often fol. by a question): What, no salt?conj.31. Older Use. as much as; as far as: He helps me what he can.32. but what, Informal. but that; but who; who or that ... not: Who knows but what the sun may still shine.
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