what Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
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Meaning of “what” in the English Dictionary

"what" in British English

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whatdeterminer, pronoun, exclamation

uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/

what determiner, pronoun, exclamation (QUESTION)

A1 used to ​ask for ​information about ​people or things: What ​time is it? What ​books did you ​buy? What did you ​wear? What ​sizeshoes do you take? What ​happened after I ​left? What ​caused the ​accident? used in ​questions that show you are ​surprised or do not ​believe something: "I just told Peter." "What?/You did what?" What's this I ​hear? You're ​leaving?what... for? B2 used to ​ask about the ​reason for something: What are these ​tools for? What are you doing that for? "We need a ​biggercar." "What for?"
More examples
  • What's the ​matter with you?
  • What did you ​think of the ​film?
  • What's on at the ​cinema this ​week?
  • What did you say to him?
  • What ​kind of ​dog is that?
Grammar

whatpronoun

uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/

what pronoun (THAT WHICH)

B1 the thing(s) that; that which: What I ​wanted to ​find out first was how ​long it was going to take. What really ​concerned her was how ​unhappy the ​child was. She wouldn't ​tell me what he said. I didn't have much ​money on me but I gave them what I had. The ​lettershowedclearly what they were ​planning. I can't ​decide what to do next. Have you ​thought about what tosend as a ​present? used to ​introduce something you are going to say: You'll never guess what - Laurie ​won first ​prize! I'll tell you what - we'll ​pick up something to ​eat on ​our way ​home.
More examples

whatpredeterminer, determiner

uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/

whatpronoun, exclamation

uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/ informal

what pronoun, exclamation (QUESTION)

used to ​ask someone to say something again: "I ​think we should ​leave at twelve." "What?" "I said I ​think we should ​leave at twelve."
Grammar
(Definition of what from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"what" in American English

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whatpronoun, exclamation

 us   /hwʌt, wʌt, hwɑt, wɑt, hwət, wət/

what pronoun, exclamation (QUESTION)

used to ​introducegeneralquestions: What did the ​teacher say? What is the ​capital of Nevada? As an ​adjective, what can refer to ​people or things: What ​time is it? I don’t ​know what ​children she was ​talking about. What may be used to show that you did not ​hear something and to ​ask that it be ​repeated: "Humphrey Jones called." "What (was that)?" "I said Humphrey Jones called."

whatpronoun

 us   /hwʌt, wʌt, hwɑt, wɑt, hwət, wət/

what pronoun (THAT WHICH)

the thing which; that which: I really didn’t ​know what to say. What ​annoyed me was her ​attitude. I ​hope you like the ​sweater – it’s what you ​asked for.

what pronoun (OPINION)

used to ​introduceyouropinion: "She can’t come." "What a ​pity (= I am ​sorry to ​hear that)!"
(Definition of what from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of what?
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