what - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “what”

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what

determiner, pronoun, exclamation uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/

what determinerpronounexclamation (QUESTION)

A1 used to ask for information about people or things: What time is it? What books did you buy? What did you wear? What size shoes do you take? What happened after I left? What caused the accident? used in questions that show you are surprised or do not believe something: "I've just told Peter." "What?/You did what?" What's this I hear? You're leaving?what... for? B2 used to ask about the reason for something: What are these tools for? What are you doing that for? "We need a bigger car." "What for?"
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Grammar

what

pronoun uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/

what pronoun (THAT WHICH)

B1 the thing(s) which; that which: What I wanted to find out first was how long it was going to take. What really concerned her was how unhappy the child was. She wouldn't tell me what he said. I hadn't got much money on me but I gave them what I had. The letter showed clearly what they were planning. I can't decide what to do next. Have you thought about what to send as a present? used to introduce something you are going to say: You'll never guess what - Laurie won first prize! I'll tell you what - we'll collect the parcel on our way to the station.
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what

what

pronoun, exclamation uk   /wɒt/  us   /wɑːt/ informal

what pronounexclamation (QUESTION)

used to ask someone to say something again: "I think we should leave at twelve." "What?" "I said I think we should leave at twelve."
Grammar
(Definition of what from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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