Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- enPR: hwĕns, IPA: /ʍɛns/, X-SAMPA: /WEns/
- (in accents with the wine-whine merger) enPR: wĕns, IPA: /wɛns/, X-SAMPA: /wEns/
Audio (US) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɛns
whence (not comparable)
- From where; from which place or source.
- Whence came I?
- 1818, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein, Chapter 4:
- Whence, I often asked myself, did the principle of life proceed?
- 1898, J. Meade Falkner, Moonfleet, Chapter 3:
- At first I could not tell what this new sound was, nor whence it came, and now it seemed a little noise close by, and now a great noise in the distance. And then it grew nearer and more defined, and in a moment I knew it was the sound of voices talking.
Usage notes 
- This word is uncommon in modern usage; from where is now usually substituted (as in the example sentence: Where did I come from? or From where did I come?). It is now chiefly encountered in older works, or in poetic or literary writing.
- From whence has a strong literary precedent, appearing in Shakespeare and the King James Bible as well as in the writings of numerous Victorian-era writers. In recent times, however, it has been criticized as redundant by usage commentators.
From where; from which place or source
- From where.
- 1611, King James BibleWikisource, John 8:14:
- 1883, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Sea-chest”, in Treasure IslandWikisource:
- [W]hat greatly encouraged me, it was in an opposite direction from that whence the blind man had made his appearance and whither he had presumably returned.
- (literary, poetic) From which.
- From French, whence we get most of our modern cooking terms.
- I scored more than you in the exam, whence we can conclude that I am better at the subject than you are.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
Translations to be checked