From Middle English what, from Old English hwæt (“what”), from Proto-Germanic *hwat (“what”), from Proto-Indo-European *kʷód (“what”), neuter form of *kʷós (“who”). Cognate with Scots whit (“what”), North Frisian wat (“what”), Saterland Frisian wat (“what”), West Frisian wat (“what”), Dutch wat (“what”), Low German wat (“what”), German was (“what”), Danish hvad (“what”), Norwegian Bokmål hva (“what”), Swedish vad (“what”), Norwegian Nynorsk kva (“what”), Icelandic hvað (“what”), Latin quod (“what, which”).
- (interrogative) Which thing, event, circumstance, etc.: used interrogatively in asking for the specification of an identity, quantity, quality, etc.
- That which; those that; the thing that.
- (relative, nonstandard) That; which; who.
what (not comparable)
- (usually followed by "with") In some manner or degree; in part; partly. See also what with
- (obsolete) Why.
- (now rare) Used to introduce each of two coordinate phrases or concepts; both…and.
- (Singlish) Alternative form of wat (used to contradict an assumption)
- An expression of surprise or disbelief.
- What do you want? An abrupt, usually unfriendly enquiry as to what a person desires.
- (Britain, colloquial, dated) Clipping of what do you say?
- What did you say? I beg your pardon?
- A part of speech used to initiate a sentance. Usually followed by a
- Which; which kind of.
- How much; how great (used in an exclamation).
- (relative) Whatever
what (countable and uncountable, plural whats)
- (obsolete, uncountable) Something; thing; stuff.
- (countable) The identity of a thing, as an answer to a question of what.
- (countable) Something that is addressed by what, as opposed to a person, addressed by who.