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




  1. (interrogative) Of whom, belonging to whom.
    Whose wallet is this?
  2. (relative) Of whom, belonging to whom.
    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. (relative) Of which, belonging to which.
    We saw several houses whose roofs are falling off.
    (=The roofs are falling off several houses that we saw.)




  1. (interrogative) Of whom, belonging to whom.
    Whose is this book?
    He does not know whose this is.
  2. (relative, rare) Of whom, belonging to whom.
    • Bible (King James Version), Acts 27:23
      For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve,
    • 1833, Tait's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 3, page 637 (Google Books view):
      If he starts it on another man's lands, and kills it there, it belongs to the owner of the land; but if he start game on one man's lands, and pursue it to those of another, and kill it there, it is neither the property of the man on whose lands it is started, nor of him on whose it is killed, but belongs to the killer.
    • 1895, Library Journal, Volume 20, page 397 (Google Books view):
      The notes on authors are extremely brilliant and incisive, not always in good perspective and sometimes freaky in their wit, as, for instance, the reference to Mrs. Holmes, of whose books it is said, "The secret of their long popularity has never been divulged by their readers," and Mrs. Harris, of whose it is said, "To a lively mind they should be conducive of profound sleep," which, whatever its faults, is by no means true of "Rutledge."