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why's

[hwahyz, wahyz] /ʰwaɪz, waɪz/
1.
contraction of why is:
Why's dinner so late?
Usage note

why

[hwahy, wahy] /ʰwaɪ, waɪ/
adverb
1.
for what? for what reason, cause, or purpose?:
Why did you behave so badly?
conjunction
2.
for what cause or reason:
I don't know why he is leaving.
3.
for which; on account of which (usually after reason to introduce a relative clause):
the reason why he refused to go.
4.
the reason for which:
That is why he returned.
noun, plural whys.
5.
a question concerning the cause or reason for which something is done, achieved, etc.:
a child's unending hows and whys.
6.
the cause or reason:
the whys and wherefores of a troublesome situation.
interjection
7.
(used as an expression of surprise, hesitation, etc., or sometimes a mere expletive):
Why, it's all gone!
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English; Old English hwī, hwȳ, instrumental case of hwæt what; cognate with Old Norse hvī
Usage note
See reason.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for why's
  • Offers a user's guide to green transportation and articles on the how's and why's of buying green.
  • The why's of that are complex and may be beyond description.
  • It allowed me to answer a series of why's and find out things for myself.
British Dictionary definitions for why's

why

/waɪ/
adverb
1.
  1. for what reason, purpose, or cause? why are you here?
  2. (used in indirect questions) tell me why you're here
pronoun
2.
for or because of which there is no reason why he shouldn't come
noun (pl) whys
3.
(usually pl) the reason, purpose, or cause of something (esp in the phrase the whys and wherefores)
interjection
4.
an introductory expression of surprise, disagreement, indignation, etc why, don't be silly!
Word Origin
Old English hwī; related to Old Norse hvī, Gothic hveileiks what kind of, Latin quī
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 why's
why
O.E. hwi, instrumental case (showing for what purpose or by what means) of hwæt (see what), from P.Gmc. *khwi (cf. O.S. hwi, O.N. hvi), from PIE *qwei, locative of *qwo- "who" (cf. Gk. pei "where"). As an interjection of surprise or to call attention to a statement, recorded from 1519.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Word of The Day

Difficulty index for why's

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for why

12
10
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