Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “when”

when

adverb, conjunction uk   /wen/ us  
A1 at what time; at the time at which: "I did tell you about it." "When? I don't remember." When are you going? When's the baby due? We'll go when you're ready. Tell me when to start. Ask him when he's next coming home. When do you expect to have the project completed (by)? She was only 20 when she had her first baby. He was quite shocked when I told him. I hate it when there's no one in the office. I went there when I was a child. I was just getting into the bath when the phone rang.
Grammar

when

when

conjunction uk   /wen/ us  

when conjunction (CONSIDERING THAT)

B2 considering the fact that: How can you say you don't like something when you've never even tried it! You can't complain of being lonely when you don't make any effort to meet people. Why is she training to be a teacher when she doesn't even like children? I don't suppose I can really call myself a vegetarian when I eat fish.

when conjunction (ALTHOUGH)

B2 despite the fact that: He says he hasn't got any money when in fact he's got thousands of dollars in his account. I don't understand how he can say that everything's fine when it's so obvious that it's not.
(Definition of when from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of when?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “when” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

mutant

an organism that is different from others of its type because of a permanent change in its genes

Word of the Day

What’s that lovely smell?

by Kate Woodford​,
October 29, 2014
As adult humans, we can distinguish about 10,000 different smells. It’s no wonder, then, that we have so many words and expressions to describe them. This week we’re taking a look at those smell words – words that describe good smells and words that describe bad smells. Most smell words are either

Read More 

high-frequency trading noun

October 27, 2014
a type of stock market trading that uses very complex technology to trade extremely quickly, often making tiny profits which nevertheless add up to substantial sums Lewis’s book, Flash Boys, is driving a huge amount of attention toward the topic of high frequency trading, and it has rekindled some of

Read More