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From Middle English wheraboutes, equivalent to whereabout +‎ -s.


  • (adverb) IPA(key): /ˌ(h)wɛəɹəˈbaʊts/
  • (noun) IPA(key): /ˈ(h)wɛəɹəˌbaʊts/
  • (file)


whereabouts (not comparable)

  1. In, at or near what location
    Whereabouts do you live?



whereabouts (plural whereabouts) (usually plural only)

  1. (with a possessive) Location; where something is situated.
    • 1936, Rollo Ahmed, The Black Art, London: Long, page 145:
      In the Middle Ages Rhabdomancers were employed to discover mines, and the whereabouts of precious stones.
    • 1962, Geert van den Steenhoven, Leadership and Law Among the Eskimos of the Keewatin District, Northwest Territories, London: Excelsior, page 54:
      the effectively functioning group of relatives is likely to be much smaller owing, for instance, to death of the older generation or far distant whereabouts of other relatives.
    • 2011 September 7, “Whereabouts of Qaddafi Are Clouded in Confusion”, in The New York Times[1], page A14:
    • 2020 September 4, “Here’s What the Season 1 Cast of 'Below Deck Med' Is Doing Now”, in Men's Health[2], Yahoo:
      It might feel like forever ago, but you're probably still wondering about the whereabouts of fireman-turned-deckhand Bobby Giancola, English second stew Julia d'Albert Pusey, and of course, Danny Zureikat, the deckhand who didn't quite make it to the end of the charter season. Well, we have answers—and some of their whereabouts might surprise you.
    • 2021 July 15, Ronen Bergman and Oscar Lopez, “Former Official Wanted by Mexico Takes Refuge in Israel”, in The New York Times[3], page A7:
      Mr. Zerón’s exact whereabouts is not known and he could not be reached for comment.
  2. (sports) Information about an elite athlete's future whereabouts, supplied to anti-doping authorities to facilitate random out-of-competition testing
    • 2021 June 11, “Nigerian athlete Roland Ezuruike receives 18-month ban for whereabouts rule violation”, in Press Releases[4], International Paralympic Committee:
      The IPC reminds all athletes in their Registered Testing Pool to remain vigilant when it comes to filing and updating their whereabouts.

Usage notes[edit]

Usually construed as plural, but singular is also standard, though becoming rarer since the 1950s.[1] Singular is mandated by some style guides,[2] plural by others.[3]



  1. ^ Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of English Usage (1989), p. 955; Fowler's Dictionary of Modern English Usage (4th ed., 2015) p.880, Garner's Modern English Usage (4th ed., 2018) p.960
  2. ^ UPI Style Book & Guide to Newswriting (4th ed., 2004) p. 264; The Wall Street Journal Guide to Business Style and Us (2010) p. 249
  3. ^ The Economist Style Guide (12th ed., 2018) sv "plural nouns"

See also[edit]

Here-, there-, and where- words