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English definition of “whatever”

whatever

pronoun (SURPRISE)    /wɒtˈev.ər/ US  /wɑːˈt̬ev.ɚ/
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 ?Question words and expressions Grammar:However, whatever, whichever, whenever, wherever, whoeverGrammar:Emphatic questions with whatever and what on earthWe can ask emphatic questions using whatever or what on earth to express shock or surprise. We stress ever and earth:
(Definition of whatever pronoun (SURPRISE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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