Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “whatever”

whatever

pronoun, determiner uk   /wɒtˈev.ər/ us    /wɑːˈt̬ev.ɚ/

whatever pronoun, determiner (NOT IMPORTANT WHAT)

B2 it is not important what is; it makes no difference what (is): We'll go whatever the weather. Whatever happens, you know that I'll stand by you. Whatever else may be said of him, Mr Meese is not scared of a fight. Whatever the outcome of the war, there will be no winners. Whatever the reason, more Britons are emigrating to Australia today than at any time since the 1950s.

whatever pronoun, determiner (ANYTHING)

B1 anything or everything: I eat whatever I want and I still don't seem to put on weight. "What can we do tonight?" "It's up to you - whatever you want." Whatever I say I always seem to get it wrong. Don't, whatever you do, tell Patrick (= you certainly should not tell him). Do whatever you want - it won't affect me. "So I'll bring red wine then." "Sure, whatever (= bring that or anything else)." Apparently he 'discovered himself' in India, whatever that means (= although I do not know what that means).

whatever

pronoun uk   /wɒtˈev.ər/ us    /wɑːˈt̬ev.ɚ/

whatever pronoun (SURPRISE)

used instead of the word 'what' to add emphasis to a phrase, usually expressing surprise: Whatever is he doing with that rod? Whatever's that yellow thing on your plate? Whatever did you say that for? Whatever does she see in him - he's revolting! Whatever made him buy that jacket?

whatever

adverb uk   /wɒtˈev.ər/ us    /wɑːˈt̬ev.ɚ/

whatever adverb (EMPHASIS)

→ whatsoever: There is no evidence whatever to show that this is in fact the case.

whatever adverb (DISRESPECT)

informal something that is said to show no respect to someone who is asking you to agree with them or agree to do something: "Bryce, could you do what I ask you to once in a while?" "Whatever."
(Definition of whatever from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of whatever?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “whatever” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

hello stranger

said to a person that you know but have not seen for a long time

Word of the Day

Come on – you can do it! Phrasal verbs with ‘come’.

by Liz Walter​,
November 19, 2014
As part of an occasional series on the tricky subject of phrasal verbs, this blog looks at ones formed with the verb ‘come’. If you are reading this blog, I’m sure you already know come from, as it is one of the first things you learn in class: I come from Scotland/Spain.

Read More 

silver splicer noun

November 17, 2014
informal a person who marries in later life Newly retired and now newlywed – rise of the ‘silver splicers’ Reaching pension age becomes a trigger to tie the knot as baby-boomers begin to redefine retirement

Read More