whydunit

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

whydunit (plural whydunits)

  1. A type of detective story in which the focus is not on who committed the crime, but what were their motives for committing it.
    1985, Laurence Urdang, Walter W. Hunsinger, Nancy LaRoche: Picturesque expressions: a thematic dictionary, p 420[1]:
    • Connery takes over the interrogation and in the process beats the man to death. This much we know almost from the beginning, so the film is less of a whodunit than a whydunit.

Related terms[edit]