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See also: what's




  1. plural of what; used as a stand-in to collectively pluralize arbitrary instances of things. Often used along with whys, hows, etc.
    • 1871, Sarah N. Randolph, The Domestic Life of Thomas Jefferson: Comp. from Family Letters and Reminiscences [1]
      Shall I continue this reproaching style, quote all the whats and whys out of Jeremiah's Lamentations, and then present you with some outlines of Job for consolation?
    • 1955, George Burgess, Barriers and Bridges [2]
      When learning about people and their circumstances, some tend to form generalizations surrounding the whats and wherefores of the people.
    • 2004, Joe Caruso, The Power of Losing Control: Finding Strength, Meaning, and Happiness in an Out-Of-Control World [3]
      Now see if you can describe the whys behind some of your whats. In other words, write about why you look the way you do in terms of how you wear your hair or the kind of clothes you wear.