Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



From Middle English forwhy, forwhi, from Old English forhwī, forhwȳ (why, wherefore), equivalent to for +‎ why.


forwhy (obsolete)

  1. (archaic) Because; for the reason that.
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, IV.12:
      Then did he cast to steale her thence away, / And with him beare where none of her might know: / But all in vaine, for-why he found no way / To enter in []
    • 1863 February 22, Letter from Edward Lear to Fortescue:
      But of the day—and of the weeks bygone, and of many other things—this deponent saith nil, whereby and forwhy he is going to bed.

Middle English[edit]



  1. for what reason, for what cause, why; the reason why, for the reason that
    • Chaucer:
      Forwhy? Yif thou enforcest thee to assemble money, thow must byreven him his money that hath it.
  2. on account of which
    • Floriz and Blauncheflur:
      I ne finde no3t atte frume Þat þing for whi ihc am hider icume.
  3. inasmuch as, since, for
    • Chaucer:
      That ye to him of hard now been ywonne Oughte he be glad..Forwhi men seith, "impressiounes light Ful lightly been ay redy to the flight."
  4. for which reason, wherefore, therefore
    • Chaucer:
      Me nedeth here noon other art to use; Forwhi to every lovere I me excuse, ...
  5. in order that, so that
    • Le Morte d'Arthur:
      In hyr hand A braunche newe, Forwhy that no man sholde her lette.
  6. on the condition that, provided that, if
    • Le Morte d'Arthur:
      Thou shalt haue yiftis good, For-why þat thou wilte dwelle with me.