[wɒt] or [wɑt]
(pron., a., & adv.) As an interrogative pronoun, used in asking questions regarding either persons or things; as, what is this? what did you say? what poem is this? what child is lost?
(pron., a., & adv.) As an exclamatory word: -- (a) Used absolutely or independently; -- often with a question following.
(pron., a., & adv.) Used adjectively, meaning how remarkable, or how great; as, what folly! what eloquence! what courage!
(pron., a., & adv.) Sometimes prefixed to adjectives in an adverbial sense, as nearly equivalent to how; as, what happy boys!
(pron., a., & adv.) As a relative pronoun
(pron., a., & adv.) Used substantively with the antecedent suppressed, equivalent to that which, or those [persons] who, or those [things] which; -- called a compound relative.
(pron., a., & adv.) Used adjectively, equivalent to the . . . which; the sort or kind of . . . which; rarely, the . . . on, or at, which.
(pron., a., & adv.) Used adverbially in a sense corresponding to the adjectival use; as, he picked what good fruit he saw.
(pron., a., & adv.) Whatever; whatsoever; what thing soever; -- used indefinitely.
(pron., a., & adv.) Used adverbially, in part; partly; somewhat; -- with a following preposition, especially, with, and commonly with repetition.
(n.) Something; thing; stuff.
(interrog. adv.) Why? For what purpose? On what account?
Synonyms and Synonymous
pron. . That which.. The sort of, the kind of.. Which (out of many, or of many kinds).. How, how great, how remarkable.
- But please to tell me at once what you have done. George Eliot. Middlemarch.
- Constantly she talked to me about what I should do to be thy wife. Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom The Bell Tolls.
- They possess significance only as movements toward something away from what is now going on. John Dewey. Democracy and Education.
- Remember what I told you on the moor--and ask yourself what my assertion is worth. Wilkie Collins. The Moonstone.
- We went to the 'commissionaire' of the hotel--I don't know what a 'commissionaire' is, but that is the man we went to--and told him we wanted a guide. Mark Twain. The Innocents Abroad.
- What a fine town but how the _buena gente_, the good people of that town, have suffered in this war. Hemingway, Ernest. For Whom The Bell Tolls.
- And what do you call these little fellows, ma'am? Charles Dickens. Bleak House.
- What did you burn 'em for? Harriet Beecher Stowe. Uncle Tom's Cabin.
- Dear Mr. Traddles and dear Trotwood, papa once free with honour, what could I wish for! Charles Dickens. David Copperfield.
- What would you advise me to do? Jane Austen. Emma.
- I must do what I am told. Charles Dickens. Little Dorrit.
- He tried to look knowing over the Latin grammar when little Rawdon showed him what part of that work he was in. William Makepeace Thackeray. Vanity Fair.
- What I mean is, Lizzie, that I am a mere impertinent piece of conceit, and you shame me. Charles Dickens. Our Mutual Friend.
- For what does reason discover, when it pronounces any action vicious? David Hume. A Treatise of Human Nature.
- What more can you expect from me, sir? Wilkie Collins. The Moonstone.
- What did she say, sister? Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre.
- I should like to know in what I'm your inferior? William Makepeace Thackeray. Vanity Fair.
- Now, what do you think? Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist.
- I had heard that very voice ere this, and compulsory observation had forced on me a theory as to what it boded. Charlotte Bronte. Villette.
- What did he say he wants with those books? Mark Twain. The Innocents Abroad.
- Joe patted the coverlet on my shoulder with his great good hand, and said, in what I thought a husky voice, Good night! Charles Dickens. Great Expectations.
- Well, I kept my knowledge to myself, and waited to see what would come of it. Arthur Conan Doyle. The Return of Sherlock Holmes.
- And he had hardly looked up, to see what the matter was, when he was stopped by having a pair of arms thrown tight round his neck. Charles Dickens. Oliver Twist.
- And this was what prevented him. Charles Dickens. The Pickwick Papers.
- What's he up to in the case of your friend the handsome gal? Charles Dickens. Our Mutual Friend.
- What do you think of the war really? Ernest Hemingway. A Farewell To Arms.
- What else can be the consequence, said Herbert, in explanation, if he will cut the cheese? Charles Dickens. Great Expectations.
- In what way is he peculiar? Charlotte Bronte. Jane Eyre.
- I see what you're driving at. Wilkie Collins. The Woman in White.
- Then, collecting himself, he added in his usual tone, And what may it be your pleasure to want at so early an hour with the poor Jew? Walter Scott. Ivanhoe.