who

[hoo]
pronoun, possessive whose; objective whom.
1.
what person or persons?: Who did it?
2.
(of a person) of what character, origin, position, importance, etc.: Who does she think she is?
3.
the person that or any person that (used relatively to represent a specified or implied antecedent): It was who you thought.
4.
(used relatively in restrictive and nonrestrictive clauses to represent a specified antecedent, the antecedent being a person or sometimes an animal or personified thing): Any kid who wants to can learn to swim.
5.
Archaic. the person or persons who.
Idioms
6.
as who should say, Archaic. in a manner of speaking; so to say.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English; Old English hwā; cognate with Old High German hwer, Gothic hwas, Latin quis

who, whom (see usage note at the current entry).


The typical usage guide statement about the choice between who and whom says that the choice must be determined by the grammar of the clause within which this pronoun occurs. Who is the appropriate form for the subject of a sentence or clause: Who are you? The voters who elected him have not been disappointed. Whom is the objective form: Whom did you ask? To whom are we obliged for this assistance? This method of selecting the appropriate form is generally characteristic of formal writing and is usually followed in edited prose.
In most speech and writing, however, since who or whom often occurs at the beginning of the sentence or clause, there is a strong tendency to choose who no matter what its function. Even in edited prose, who occurs at least ten times as often as whom, regardless of grammatical function. Only when it directly follows a preposition is whom more likely to occur than who: Mr. Erickson is the man to whom you should address your request.
In natural informal speech, whom is quite rare. Who were you speaking to? is far more likely to occur than the “correct” To whom were you speaking? or Whom were you speaking to? However, the notion that whom is somehow more “correct” or elegant than who leads some speakers to hypercorrect uses of whom: Whom are you? The person whom is in charge has left the office. See also than.
Dictionary.com Unabridged

who's

[hooz]
1.
contraction of who is: Who's there?
2.
contraction of who has: Who's seen it?
who's, whose (see usage note at whose).
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To who
Collins
World English Dictionary
who (huː)
 
pron
1.  which person? what person? used in direct and indirect questions: he can't remember who did it; who met you?
2.  used to introduce relative clauses with antecedents referring to human beings: the people who lived here have left
3.  the one or ones who; whoever: bring who you want
 

WHO
 
abbreviation for
World Health Organization

who's (huːz)
 
contraction of
who is

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

who
O.E. hwa, from P.Gmc. *khwas, *khwes, *khwo (cf. O.S. hwe, Dan. hvo, Swed. vem, O.Fris. hwa, Du. wie, O.H.G. hwer, Ger. wer, Goth. hvo (fem.) "who"), from PIE *qwos/*qwes (cf. Skt. kah "who, which," Avestan ko, Hittite kuish "who," L. qui, quae, quod "who, which, what," Lith. kas "who," O.C.S. kuto,
Rus. kto "who," O.Ir. ce, Welsh pwy "who").
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
WHO
World Health Organization
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Others outfit those who combat future or local troublemakers.
Another was composed of middle-aged and older patients who'd been diagnosed
  with cardiovascular disease.
People who are at high risk for flu complications may also want to see a doctor
  if they get the flu.
Mason, however, was the co-coordinator who called the plays on game day.
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature
FAVORITES
RECENT

;