who Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “who” in the English Dictionary

"who" in British English

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whopronoun

uk   us   /huː/
  • who pronoun (QUESTIONS)

A1 used ​especially in ​questions as the ​subject or ​object of a ​verb, when ​asking which ​person or ​people, or when ​asking what someone's ​name is: Who did this? Who's she? Who are all those ​people? She ​asked me if I ​knew who had got the ​job. Who (also formal whom) do you ​want to ​talk to? I don't ​know who to ​ask to the ​party. used with ​verbs that ​relate to ​knowing, when you ​want to say that something is not ​known: "Are they going to get ​married?" "Who knows?" (= It is not ​possible to ​know at the ​moment.) Who can ​tell what will ​happen now?

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  • who pronoun (USED TO REFER)

A2 used as the ​subject or ​object of a ​verb to show which ​person you are referring to, or to ​addinformation about a ​person just ​mentioned. It is used for ​people, not things: I ​think it was ​yourdad who ​phoned. She's one of those ​people who ​love to be the ​centre of ​attention. He called James, who was a good ​friend as well as the ​familydoctor. The other ​people who (also that) ​live in the ​house are really ​friendly. This is Gabriel, who I told you about.

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Grammar
Idioms
(Definition of who from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"who" in American English

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whopronoun

 us   /hu/
  • who pronoun (ASKING)

used esp. in ​questions to ​ask which ​person or ​people, or to ​ask someone’s ​name: Who did this? Who’s she? Note: In formal speech or writing, "whom" is the form of "who" used when it is the object of a verb or preposition.
  • who pronoun (ADDING INFORMATION)

used as the ​subject or ​object of a ​verb when referring to a ​particularperson or when ​addinginformation about a ​person just ​mentioned: The other ​people who ​live in the ​house are really ​friendly. This is Frank, who I told you about. Note: In formal speech or writing, "whom" is the form of "who" used when it is the object of a verb or preposition.
(Definition of who from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“who” in British English

“who” in American English

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