where it's at

at

1 [at; unstressed uht, it]
preposition
1.
(used to indicate a point or place occupied in space); in, on, or near: to stand at the door; at the bottom of the barrel.
2.
(used to indicate a location or position, as in time, on a scale, or in order): at zero; at noon; at age 65; at the end; at the lowest point.
3.
(used to indicate presence or location): at home; at hand.
4.
(used to indicate amount, degree, or rate): at great speed; at high altitudes.
5.
(used to indicate a direction, goal, or objective); toward: Aim at the mark. Look at that.
6.
(used to indicate occupation or involvement): at work; at play.
7.
(used to indicate a state or condition): at ease; at peace.
8.
(used to indicate a cause or source): She was annoyed at his stupidity.
9.
(used to indicate a method or manner): He spoke at length.
10.
(used to indicate relative quality or value): at one's best; at cost.
Idioms
11.
be at (someone), to be sexually aggressive toward (a person): She's pregnant again because he's at her morning, noon, and night.
12.
where it's at, Informal. the place where the most interesting or exciting things happen: Emma says that Rome is definitely where it's at now.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English æt; cognate with Old Frisian et, Old Norse, Old Saxon, Gothic at, Old High German az, Latin, Old Welsh, Old Breton ad, Greek a- (< a pre-Hellenic IE substratum language), Oscan, Old Irish, Gaulish, Phrygian ad-

Dictionary.com Unabridged

where

[hwair, wair]
adverb
1.
in or at what place?: Where is he? Where do you live?
2.
in what position or circumstances?: Where do you stand on this question? Without money, where are you?
3.
in what particular respect, way, etc.?: Where does this affect us?
4.
to what place, point, or end? whither?: Where are you going?
5.
from what source? whence?: Where did you get such a notion?
conjunction
6.
in or at what place, part, point, etc.: Find where he is. Find where the trouble is.
7.
in or at the place, part, point, etc., in or at which: The book is where you left it.
8.
in a position, case, etc., in which: Where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise.
9.
in any place, position, case, etc., in which; wherever: Use the ointment where pain is felt.
10.
to what or whatever place; to the place or any place to which: I will go where you go.
11.
in or at which place; and there: They came to the town, where they lodged for the night.
pronoun
12.
what place?: Where did you come from?
13.
the place in which; point at which: This is where the boat docks. That was where the phone rang.
noun
14.
a place; that place in which something is located or occurs: the wheres and hows of job hunting.
Idioms
15.
where it's at, Slang. where the most exciting, prestigious, or profitable activity or circumstance is to be found.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English quher, wher, Old English hwǣr; cognate with Dutch waar, Old High German hwār; akin to Old Norse hvar, Gothic hwar

1. we're, were, where ; 2. where, wherefore (see usage note at the current entry).


Whereat (Where was he at? ) and whereto (Where is this leading to? ) are often criticized as redundant because neither at nor to adds anything to the meaning of where, and sentences like the preceding ones are perfectly clear and standard without the final at or to. This criticism does not apply to wherefrom, which is fully standard: Where does the money come from? The constructions whereat and whereto occur in the speech of educated people but are rare in formal speech and edited writing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To where it's at
Collins
World English Dictionary
at1 (æt)
 
prep
1.  used to indicate location or position: are they at the table?; staying at a small hotel
2.  towards; in the direction of: looking at television; throwing stones at windows
3.  used to indicate position in time: come at three o'clock
4.  engaged in; in a state of (being): children at play; stand at ease; he is at his most charming today
5.  (in expressions concerned with habitual activity) during the passing of (esp in the phrase at night): he used to work at night
6.  for; in exchange for: it's selling at four pounds
7.  used to indicate the object of an emotion: angry at the driver; shocked at his behaviour
8.  slang where it's at the real place of action
 
[Old English æt; related to Old Norse at to, Latin ad to]

at2 (ɑːt, æt)
 
n , pl at
a Laotian monetary unit worth one hundredth of a kip
 
[from Thai]

at3
 
the internet domain name for
Austria

At
 
the chemical symbol for
1.  astatine
 
symbol for
2.  Also: A ampere-turn

AT
 
abbreviation for
attainment target

where (wɛə)
 
adv
1.  a.  in, at, or to what place, point, or position?: where are you going?
 b.  (used in indirect questions): I don't know where they are
2.  in, at, or to which (place): the hotel where we spent our honeymoon
3.  (subordinating) in the place at which: where we live it's always raining
 
n
4.  (usually plural) a question as to the position, direction, or destination of something
 
usage  It was formerly considered incorrect to use where as a substitute for in which after a noun which did not refer to a place or position, but this use has now become acceptable: we now have a situation where/in which no further action is needed

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

where
O.E. hwær, hwar, from P.Gmc. *khwar (cf. O.S. hwar, O.N. hvar, O.Fris. hwer, M.Du. waer, O.H.G. hwar, Ger. wo, Goth. hvar "where"), from PIE interrogative base *qwo- (see who).

at
O.E. æt, common P.Gmc. (cf. O.N., Goth. at, O.Fris. et, O.H.G. az), from PIE *ad- "to, near, at" (cf. L. ad "to, toward" Skt. adhi "near"). Lost in Ger. and Du., which use their equivalent of to; in Scandinavian, however, to has been lost and at fills its place. At-home (n.) "reception of visitors"
is from 1745; baseball at-bat "player's turn at the plate" is from 1941. The colloquial use of at after where ("where it's at") is attested from 1859. In choosing between at church, in church, etc. at is properly distinguished from in or on by involving some practical connection; a worshipper is at church; a tourist is in the church. At last is recorded from late 13c.; adv. phrase at least was in use by 1775. At in M.E. was used freely with prepositions (e.g. at after, which is in Shakespeare), but this has faded with the exception of at about, which was used in modern times by Trollope, Virginia Woolfe, D.H. Lawrence, and Evelyn Waugh, but nonetheless is regarded as a sign of incompetent writing by my copy editor bosses.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

At
The symbol for the element astatine.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
At  
The symbol for astatine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
aT
attotesla
At
  1. ampere-turn

  2. astatine

AT
  1. achievement test

  2. advanced technology

  3. air temperature

  4. antitank

  5. Atlantic Time

  6. automatic transmission

WHERE
Women for Healthcare Education, Reform, and Equity
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

where it's at

Also, where the action is. The key center of activity; where important things are happening. For example, He decided to set up his store here, convinced that this is where it's at, or I'm going into the brokerage business; that's where the action is these days. The action or activity in this phrase can relate to just about anythingfinancial, political, social, or commercial. [Slang; c. 1960]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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