Definition of what pronoun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    what

     pronoun,determiner
    pronoun, determiner
    NAmE//wʌt//
     
    , NAmE//wɑt//
     
    , NAmE//wət//
     
     
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  1. 1used in questions to ask for particular information about someone or something What is your name? What (= what job) does he do? What time is it? What kind of music do you like? compare which
  2. 2the thing or things that; whatever What you need is a good meal. Nobody knows what will happen next. I spent what little time I had with my family.
  3. 3used to say that you think that something is especially good, bad, etc. What awful weather! What a beautiful house!
  4. Idioms
    and what not,and what have you(informal)
     
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    and other things of the same type It's full of old toys, books, and what not.
    get/give somebody what for(informal)
     
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    to be punished/punish someone severely I'll give her what for if she does that again.
      or what(informal)
       
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    1. 1used to emphasize your opinion Is he stupid or what?
    2. 2used when you are not sure about something I don't know if he's a teacher or what. Are we going now or what?
      what?(informal)
       
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    1. 1used when you have not heard or have not understood something What? I can't hear you.
    2. 2 used to show that you have heard someone and to ask what they want “Mommy!” “What?” “I'm thirsty.”
    3. 3used to express surprise or anger “It will cost $500.” “What?” “I asked her to marry me.” “You what?
      what about…?(informal)
       
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    1. 1used to make a suggestion What about a trip to Mexico?
    2. 2used to introduce someone or something into the conversation What about you, Joe? Do you like football?
    what-d'you-call-him/-her/-it/-them,what's-his/-her/-its/-their-name
     
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    used instead of a name that you cannot remember I spoke to what's-his-name, you know, Sue's math teacher.
    for what purpose or reason? What is this tool for? What did you do that for (= why did you do that)? “I need to see a doctor.” “What for?”
    what if…?
     
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    what would happen if? What if the train is late? What if she forgets to bring it?
    what of it?(informal)
     
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    used when admitting that something is true, to ask why it should be considered important Yes, I wrote the article. What of it?
    what's it to you?(informal)
     
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    used as a slightly rude reply to a question about something you think is private “What's in the package?” “What's it to you?”
    what's up with that?
     
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    used to suggest that something you have heard is a stupid idea or does not make sense They benched their best player. What's up with that?
    what's what(informal)
     
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    what things are useful, important, etc. She certainly knows what's what.
    what's with somebody?(informal)
     
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    used to ask why someone is behaving in a strange way What's with you? You haven't said a word all morning.
    what's with something?(informal)
     
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    used to ask the reason for something What's with all this walking? Can't we take a cab?
    what with something
     
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    used to list the various reasons for something What with the cold weather and my bad leg, I haven't been out for weeks.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: what