AskDefine | Define wherefore

The Collaborative Dictionary

Wherefore \Where"fore\, adv. & conj. [Where + for.] [1913 Webster]
For which reason; so; -- used relatively. [1913 Webster] Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. --Matt. vii.
[1913 Webster]
For what reason; why; -- used interrogatively. [1913 Webster] But wherefore that I tell my tale. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Wherefore didst thou doubt? --Matt. xiv.
[1913 Webster]
Wherefore \Where"fore\, n. the reason why. [Colloq.] [1913 Webster]

Word Net

wherefore n : the cause or intention underlying an action or situation, especially in the phrase `the whys and wherefores' [syn: why] adv : for which reason; "wherefore do I receive this honor?" [syn: wherefor]

Moby Thesaurus

accordingly, after all, after which, all things considered, argument, because of that, because of this, before the bench, before the court, ceteris paribus, consequently, considering, ergo, everything being equal, excuse, explanation, for that, for that cause, for that reason, for this cause, for this reason, for which, for which reason, for why, from what cause, ground, hence, hereat, hereinafter, how come, in court, on, on balance, on that account, on that ground, on the whole, on this account, on what account, pourquoi, pretense, pretext, proof, propter hoc, rational ground, rationale, reason, reason for, reason why, stated cause, sub judice, taking into account, the big idea, the idea, the whatfor, the wherefore, the why, then, thence, thereat, therefor, therefore, this being so, thus, thusly, thuswise, underlying reason, upon, upon which, what for, whence, whereat, wherefrom, whereon, whereto, whereunto, whereupon, wherewith, why, whyever, whyfor



  • , /ˈweə(r)ˌfɔː(r)/, /"we@(r)%fO:(r)/
  • , /ˈʍeə(r)ˌfɔː(r)/, /"We@(r)%fO:(r)/


  1. Why, for what reason, because of what.
    Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power? (Job 21:7, KJV)

Usage notes

It is a common misconception that "wherefore" means "where", and has even been used in that sense in cartoon depictions of Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, the context of "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" is not "Where are you, Romeo, my love?", as is depicted. Rather, it is "Why is your name Romeo?".


  1. Because of which.
    'Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon: Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.'' (Isaiah 30:12-13)


because of which
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