Meaning of “whether” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"whether" in British English

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uk /ˈweð.ər/ us /ˈweð.ɚ/

B1 (used especially in reporting questions and expressing doubts) if, or not:

I wasn't sure whether you'd like it.
She asked me whether I was interested in working for her.
I'm wondering whether to have the fish or the beef.
I doubt whether it'll work.
I was merely questioning whether we have the money to fund such a project.
It all depends on whether or not she has the time.
Anyway, it's a good story, whether or not it's true.

B1 (used to introduce two or more possibilities) it is not important if:

I'm going, whether she likes it or not.
Someone has to tell her, whether it's you or me.
Let's face it - you're going to be late whether you go by bus or train.

More examples

  • He called for checks to discover whether corrupt officials are being bribed to connive in shoddy construction.
  • The authorities debated whether to build a new car park.
  • We need to consider whether the disadvantages of the plan outweigh the advantages.
  • She asked the man sitting opposite whether he'd mind if she opened the window.
  • She doubts whether she'll ever be able to fulfil her ambition.

(Definition of “whether” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"whether" in American English

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us /ˈhweð·ər, ˈweð-/

(used to refer to one or more possibilities or to express uncertainty) if:

I didn’t know whether he was too busy or (whether) he just didn’t want to see me.
I wasn’t sure whether (or not) you’d like it.


(Definition of “whether” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)