what ... for? Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “what ... for?” in the English Dictionary

"what ... for?" in British English

See all translations

what ... for?

why: What did you do that for? What are you ​emptying that ​cupboard for?
(Definition of what ... for? from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"what for" in American English

See all translations

what for

used for questioning the ​purpose of or ​reason for an ​action or ​plan: "We really need a ​biggercar." "What for? The one we have ​seemsbig enough to me."
(Definition of what for from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “what ... for?”
in Chinese (Simplified) 为什么?…
in Chinese (Traditional) 為甚麽?…
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
Word of the Day

float

a large vehicle with a flat surface that is decorated and used in festivals

Word of the Day

PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
PLEASE DON’T SHOUT!
by Colin McIntosh,
February 09, 2016
New words are entering the language all the time. A few of these are completely new and original coinages, but the vast majority are based on the existing stock of words in some way, for example by using affixes (prefixes and suffixes). These can have the effect of changing the meaning of the

Read More 

farecasting noun
farecasting noun
February 08, 2016
predicting the optimum date to buy a plane ticket, especially on a website or using an app A handful of new and updated websites and apps are trying to perfect the art of what’s known as farecasting – predicting the best date to buy a ticket.

Read More