Definition of “what ... for?” - English Dictionary

british dictionary

“what ... for?” in British English

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what ... for?


What did you do that for?
What are you emptying that cupboard for?

(Definition of “what ... for?” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“what for” in American English

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what for

used for questioning the purpose of or reason for an action or plan:

"We really need a bigger car." "What for? The one we have seems big enough to me."

(Definition of “what for” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

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