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whom

[hoom] /hum/
pronoun
1.
the objective case of who:
Whom did you call? Of whom are you speaking? With whom did you stay?
2.
the dative case of who:
You gave whom the book?
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English hwām, dative of hwā who
Can be confused
who, whom (see usage note at who)
Usage note
See who.

who

[hoo] /hu/
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
Can be confused
who, whom (see usage note at the current entry)
Usage note
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
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for whom
  • Tom and partridge come across a lame fellow in rags to whom tom gives a shilling.
  • On his death bed, his marshals asked him to whom he bequeathed his kingdom.
  • He befriends the priest, whom he meets at the quayside, and later witnesses his death.
  • There are seventeen countries with whom the holy see still does not have relations.
  • Emma eventually gave birth to seven children, three of whom died shortly after birth.
  • He was the oldest of twelve children, seven of whom reached adulthood.
  • It is common to have guests whom the couple has never met before.
  • The one to whom we pray for reward and whose punishment we fear.
  • He uses the world to interact with his son, with whom he has an estranged relationship.
  • He was the second of four brothers, all of whom entered the army.
British Dictionary definitions for whom

whom

/huːm/
pronoun
1.
the objective form of who, used when who is not the subject of its own clause whom did you say you had seen?, he can't remember whom he saw
Usage note
It was formerly considered correct to use whom whenever the objective form of who was required. This is no longer thought to be necessary and the objective form who is now commonly used, even in formal writing: there were several people there who he had met before. Who cannot be used directly after a preposition – the preposition is usually displaced, as in the man (who) he sold his car to. In formal writing whom is preferred in sentences like these: the man to whom he sold his car. There are some types of sentence in which who cannot be used: the refugees, many of whom were old and ill, were allowed across the border
Word Origin
Old English hwām, dative of hwāwho

who

/huː/
pronoun
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
Word Origin
Old English hwā; related to Old Saxon hwē, Old High German hwer, Gothic hvas, Lithuanian kàs, Danish hvo

WHO

abbreviation
1.
World Health Organization
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for whom

Old English hwam, the dative form of hwa (see who).

who

pron.

Old English hwa, from Proto-Germanic *khwas, *khwes, *khwo (cf. Old Saxon hwe, Danish hvo, Swedish vem, Old Frisian hwa, Dutch wie, Old High German hwer, German wer, Gothic hvo (fem.) "who"), from PIE *kwo- (cf. Sanskrit kah "who, which;" Avestan ko, Hittite kuish "who;" Latin quis/quid "in what respect, to what extent; how, why," qua "where, which way," qui/quae/quod "who, which;" Lithuanian kas "who;" Old Church Slavonic kuto, Russian kto "who;" Old Irish ce, Welsh pwy "who").

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for whom

who

Related Terms

says you


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for whom

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.
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Word Value for whom

12
12
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