Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “why”

See all translations

why

adverb
 
 
/waɪ/
A1 used to ask or talk about the reasons for something: Why didn't you call me? I wonder why he didn't come. So that's the reason why he asked her!Question words and expressions
Why don't you?/Why not do sth? A2 used to make a suggestion: Why don't you come with us? Why not give it a try?Suggestions and proposals
why not? informal B1 used to agree with something that someone has suggested: "Let's have an ice cream." "Yes, why not?"Question words and expressions
Translations of “why”
in Korean 왜…
in Arabic لِماذا…
in French pourquoi…
in Turkish neden, niçin, ne diye…
in Italian perché…
in Chinese (Traditional) 為甚麼…
in Russian почему?…
in Polish dlaczego, czemu…
in Spanish por qué…
in Portuguese por que, por quê…
in German warum…
in Catalan per què…
in Japanese どうして, なぜ…
in Chinese (Simplified) 为什么…
(Definition of why from the Cambridge Learners Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “why” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

sail

When a boat or a ship sails, it travels on the water.

Word of the Day

Byronic, Orwellian and Darwinian: adjectives from names.

by Liz Walter,
April 15, 2015
Becoming an adjective is a strange kind of memorial, but it is often a sign of a person having had real influence on the world. Science is full of examples, from Hippocrates, the Greek medic born around 460 BC, who gave his name to the Hippocratic Oath still used by doctors today,

Read More 

dumbwalking noun

April 20, 2015
walking slowly, without paying attention to the world around you because you are consulting a smartphone He told me dumbwalking probably wouldn’t be a long-term problem.

Read More