why Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “why” in the English Dictionary

"why" in British English

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whyadverb

uk   us   /waɪ/
A1 for what ​reason: "I'm going ​home." "Why?" Why did you ​choose to ​live in London? Why ​wait? Let's ​leave now. Why should I ​help him - he never ​helps me? Why is it that I ​findchocolate so ​addictive? The ​policeasked me to ​explain why I hadn't ​reported the ​accidentsooner. I don't ​know why she isn't here. Quite why he isn't here today is a ​mystery. There is no reason why we shouldn't ​succeed.

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whyexclamation

uk   us   /waɪ/ mainly US or old-fashioned

whynoun

uk   us   /waɪ/
(Definition of why from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"why" in American English

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whyconjunction, adverb [not gradable]

 us   /hwɑɪ, wɑɪ/
for what ​reason: Why do you like ​living in ​Paris? She’ll ​ask why you don’t have ​yourhomework.
Idioms
(Definition of why from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Translations of “why”
in Korean 왜…
in Arabic لِماذا…
in Malaysian mengapa…
in French pourquoi…
in Russian почему?…
in Chinese (Traditional) 為甚麼…
in Italian perché…
in Turkish neden, niçin, ne diye…
in Polish dlaczego, czemu…
in Spanish por qué…
in Vietnamese tại sao…
in Portuguese por que, por quê…
in Thai ทำไม…
in German warum…
in Catalan per què…
in Japanese どうして, なぜ…
in Chinese (Simplified) 为什么…
in Indonesian mengapa…
What is the pronunciation of why?
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“why” in British English

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