why Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “why” in the English Dictionary

"why" in British English

See all translations

whyadverb

uk   /waɪ/  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 find chocolate so addictive? The police asked me to explain why I hadn't reported the accident sooner. 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

whyexclamation

uk   /waɪ/  us   /waɪ/ mainly US or old-fashioned

whynoun

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

"why" in American English

See all translations

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 your homework.
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?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“why” in British English

A bunch of stuff about plurals
A bunch of stuff about plurals
by ,
May 24, 2016
by Colin McIntosh One of the many ways in which English differs from other languages is its use of uncountable nouns to talk about collections of objects: as well as never being used in the plural, they’re never used with a or an. Examples are furniture (plural in German and many other languages), cutlery (plural in Italian), and

Read More 

Word of the Day

shade

to prevent direct light from shining on something

Word of the Day

convo noun
convo noun
May 23, 2016
informal a conversation The convo around concussions mostly focuses on guys who play football, but Chastain thinks that this whole thing could be a headache for women too.

Read More