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Webster 1913 Edition


When

When

,
adv.
[OE.
when
,
whan
,
whenne
,
whanne
, AS.
hwænne
,
hwanne
,
hwonne
; akin to OS.
hwan
, OD.
wan
, OHG.
wanne
, G.
wann
when,
wenn
if, when, Goth.
hwan
when, and to E.
who
. [GREEK][GREEK][GREEK][GREEK]. See
Who
.]
1.
At what time; – used interrogatively.
When
shall these things be?
Matt. xxiv. 3.
☞ See the Note under
What
, pron., 1.
2.
At what time; at, during, or after the time that; at or just after, the moment that; – used relatively.
Kings may
Take their advantage
when
and how they list.
Daniel.
Book lore ne’er served,
when
trial came,
Nor gifts,
when
faith was dead.
J. H. Newman.
3.
While; whereas; although; – used in the manner of a conjunction to introduce a dependent adverbial sentence or clause, having a causal, conditional, or adversative relation to the principal proposition;
as, he chose to turn highwayman
when
he might have continued an honest man; he removed the tree
when
it was the best in the grounds
.
4.
Which time; then; – used elliptically as a noun.
I was adopted heir by his consent;
Since
when
, his oath is broke.
Shakespeare
When was formerly used as an exclamation of surprise or impatience, like what!
Come hither; mend my ruff:
Here,
when
! thou art such a tedious lady!
J. Webster.
When as
,
When that
,
at the time that; when.
[Obs.]
When as
sacred light began to dawn.
Milton.
When that
mine eye is famished for a look.
Shakespeare

Webster 1828 Edition


When

WHEN

,
adv.
[G., L.]
1.
At the time. We were present when General LaFayette embarked at Havre for New York.
2.
At what time, interrogatively.
When shall these things be? Matthew 24.
3.
Which time.
I was adopted heir by his consent; since when, his oath is broke.
4.
After the time that. When the act is passed, the public will be satisfied.
5.
At what time.
Kings may take their advantage, when and how they list.
When as, at the time when; what time.
When as sacred light began to dawn.

Definition 2023


when

when

English

Alternative forms

  • wen (eye dialect)

Adverb

when (not comparable)

  1. (interrogative) Used to introduce questions about time.
    When will they arrive?
  2. Used to introduce indirect questions about time.
    Do you know when they arrived?
    Do you know when they will arrive?
    Do you know when they arrive?
  3. At an earlier and less prosperous time.
    He's mister high and mighty now, but I remember him when.

Translations

Conjunction

when

  1. At what time.
    They were told when to sleep.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      The Celebrity, by arts unknown, induced Mrs. Judge Short and two other ladies to call at Mohair on an afternoon when Mr. Cooke was trying a trotter on the track. [] Their example was followed by others at a time when the master of Mohair was superintending in person the docking of some two-year-olds, and equally invisible.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, Nobody, chapter III:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  2. At such time as.
    I’m happiest when I’m working.
  3. At the time of the action of the following clause or participle phrase
    It was raining when I came yesterday.
    The show will begin when I get there.
    The game is over when the referee says it is.
    Be careful when crossing the street.
    Pay attention when spoken to.
    When (you are) angry, count to ten before speaking or acting.
    That time when the dog stole the turkey from the table.
    • 2012 April 22, Sam Sheringham, Liverpool 0-1 West Brom”, in BBC Sport:
      The Baggies had offered little threat until the 28th minute, but when their first chance came it was a clear one.
  4. Since; given the fact that.
    I don't see the point of putting up Christmas decorations when I am the only person who is going to see them.

Derived terms

Translations

Pronoun

when

  1. (interrogative) What time; which time
    Since when do I need your permission?

Translations

Noun

when (plural whens)

  1. The time at which something happens.
    A good article will cover the who, the what, the when, the where, the why and the how.

Translations

See also

Interjection

when

  1. That's enough, a command to stop adding something, especially an ingredient of food or drink.
    • 2004, Andy Husbands and Joe Yonan, The Fearless Chef: Innovative Recipes from the Edge of American Cuisine, page 83:
      When we go out to a restuarant, we're the guys who never say "when" when the waiter is grinding fresh pepper on our salads.
    • 2009, Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin, page 111:
      He keeps the bottle in the top bureau drawer; he takes it out, and two glasses, and pours. Say when.
      When, please.
    • 2011, Fritz Allhoff and Dave Monroe, Porn - Philosophy for Everyone: How to Think With Kink:
      Producers have the power to say "when" when the actress involved is too stressed to continue. That's responsible filmmaking.

Translations

Derived terms

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: will · no · them · #50: when · if · there · more

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