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who +‎ ever



whoever (nominative case, objective whomever, possessive whosever)

  1. An emphatic form of who.
    Whoever thought up that stupid idea?
  2. Whatever person or persons.
    Whoever knows the answer to this question must be intelligent.
  3. No matter who.
    Whoever stole the painting, the police will catch the thief in no time.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Who is a subject pronoun. Whom is an object pronoun. To determine whether a particular sentence uses a subject or an object pronoun, rephrase it to use he/she or him/her instead of who, whom; if you use he or she, then you use the subject pronoun who; if you use him or her, then you use the object pronoun.
  • Who can also be used as an object pronoun, especially in informal writing and speech (hence one hears not only whom are you waiting for? but also who are you waiting for?), and whom may be seen as (overly) formal; in some dialects and contexts, it is hardly used, even in the most formal settings. As an exception to this, fronted prepositional phrases almost always use whom, e.g. one usually says with whom did you go?, not *with who did you go?. However, dialects in which whom is rarely used usually avoid fronting prepositional phrases in the first place (for example, using who did you go with?).
  • The use of who as an object pronoun is proscribed by many authorities, but is frequent nonetheless.


See also[edit]



  1. Misspelling of who ever.
    • 2014 July 13, Peter FitzSimons, “Ian Thorpe acknowledges he's gay, let's hope he's now happy as well”, in Sydney Morning Herald:
      When the gays can claim the toughest bastard whoever pulled on a football boot as one of their own, ...