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From Middle English whos, from Old English hwæs, from Proto-Germanic *hwes, genitive case of *hwaz(who, what).




  1. Of whom, belonging to whom; used as an interrogative pronoun.
    Whose wallet is this?
  2. Of whom, belonging to whom; used as a relative pronoun.
    This is the man whose dog caused the accident.‎ (=This man's dog caused the accident.)
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. [] Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
  3. (formerly proscribed) Of which, belonging to which; used as a relative pronoun.
    We saw several houses whose roofs are falling off.‎ (=The roofs are falling off several houses that we saw.)



Most common English words before 1923: woman · want · home · #234: whose · words · given · hands