Webster 1913 Edition
hwelc, from the root of
līcbody; hence properly, of what sort or kind; akin to OS.
hvīlīkr, Dan. & Sw.
leiks; cf. L.
qualis. [GREEK][GREEK][GREEK][GREEK]. See
, and cf.
Of what sort or kind; what; what a; who.
whichthey weren and of what degree.
A interrogative pronoun, used both substantively and adjectively, and in direct and indirect questions, to ask for, or refer to, an individual person or thing among several of a class;
as,See the Note under
whichman is it?
whichwoman was it?
whichis the house? he asked
whichroute he should take;
whichis best, to live or to die?
Whichof you convinceth me of sin?
John viii. 46.
A relative pronoun, used esp. in referring to an antecedent noun or clause, but sometimes with reference to what is specified or implied in a sentence, or to a following noun or clause (generally involving a reference, however, to something which has preceded). It is used in all numbers and genders, and was formerly used of persons.
And when thou fail’st – as God forbid the hour! –
Must Edward fall,
Must Edward fall,
whichperil heaven forfend!
God . . . rested on the seventh day from all his work
whichhe had made.
Gen. ii. 2.
whichart in heaven.
Matt. vi. 9.
The temple of God is holy,
whichtemple ye are.
1 Cor. iii. 17.
A compound relative or indefinite pronoun, standing for any one which, whichever, that which, those which, the . . . which, and the like;
☞ The which was formerly often used for which. The expressions which that, which as, were also sometimes used by way of emphasis.
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by
the whichye are called?
James ii. 7.
☞ Which, referring to a series of preceding sentences, or members of a sentence, may have all joined to it adjectively. “All which, as a method of a proclamation, is very convenient.”
Webster 1828 Edition
WHICH, pron. relative or substitute. [I have not found this word in any other language. I think it may be from the root of quick. See What and Wight.]
1.A word called a relative or pronoun relative, because it relates to another word or thing, usually to some word that precedes it in the sentence. I call it also a substitute, as it supplies the place of a noun, or of an adjective, or of a sentence or clause. 1. The garden which I cultivate, that is , the garden, which garden I cultivate. 2. We are bound to obey all the divine commands, which we cannot do without divine aid. Here which represents the words, obey the divine commands. 3. You declared him to be innocent, which he is not. Here which stands for innocent. In the foregoing uses, which is not used int eh masculine gender, that is, it does not in modern usage represent a person.
2.Which is much used in asking questions, for the purpose of obtaining the designation of a particular person or thing by the answer, and in this use, it is of the masculine as well as of the neuter gender. There are two or three things to be done; which shall I do first? Which man is it?
Which of you convinceth me of sin? John 8.
For which of those works do ye stone me? John 10.
3.That which. Take which you will, that is, take any one of the whole.
The which, by the which. The use of the before which, is obsolete.