Definition of where in English:

where

adverb

  • 1In or to what place or position.

    ‘where do you live?’
    ‘where is she going?’
    [with preposition] ‘where do you come from?’
    • ‘The stroller started moving so I took the cover off and helped the baby sit up and see where we were.’
    • ‘It seems that if a man leaves his house without saying where he is going, he is assumed to be looking for a girlfriend.’
    • ‘Be aware of it, but make sure when you leave, you know where the sources of information and resources are.’
    • ‘No prizes, even though it's Christmas, for guessing where that source of supply is.’
    • ‘The platform was then moved and the mice had to remember where it was last positioned.’
    • ‘No one saw what happened to the company director, or exactly where he was when the wall of water struck.’
    • ‘With the children settled into new homes, their families at last heard where they were.’
    • ‘Mistara was supposed to meet Scott here and see where she would be positioned next.’
    • ‘If anyone knows where to source this vegetable in the San Francisco area, please let me know.’
    • ‘The concern for parents is where their children will go when the college closes.’
    • ‘I live in a terraced house so where am I supposed to garage this essential part of modern living?’
    • ‘But it is completely wrong for students to allow finances to decide where they study.’
    • ‘The first thing they asked when entering the small house was where the dustbin was.’
    • ‘That then takes one on the step of identifying where the pollution source is to be found.’
    • ‘Directors instantly knew where they were in the pecking order by a quick look at the seating plan.’
    • ‘At some time will you give us the references to where the blood was found on Sako's garment?’
    • ‘We'd be as anxious and pleased to see and read where our former players are playing and how.’
    • ‘But you're not in a position to say where he was whilst this was going on?’
    • ‘What is wrong with parents wanting to choose where they send their children to school?’
    • ‘We all have a free choice as to where we shop, and, yes, I shop in Bolton myself.’
    1. 1.1In what direction or respect.
      ‘where does the argument lead?’
      • ‘We have worked out where we were going wrong, and I believe we are back on the right track now.’
      • ‘We describe how the project and its evaluation were set up and examine where the project went wrong.’
      • ‘Not sure where it all went wrong, but it quite clearly did, and horribly so.’
      • ‘Suddenly people started talking back to us and telling us where we were going wrong.’
      • ‘Reviewing past models is useful in identifying where the Strokes have gone so very wrong.’
      • ‘So, for those who speak out or bring legal cases against the Church, where does it all go wrong?’
      • ‘He would play the expert, telling Lee how to play football and where he went wrong.’
      • ‘We know where we went wrong and it is important that we dealt with it straight away.’
      • ‘I have had chats with him as a mate and as a teammate and I can tell him where he is going wrong and what he is doing right.’
      • ‘Further directions on where exactly to point it are not available as of time of press.’
      • ‘While it is possible to see where this argument is leading, it makes little sense.’
      • ‘Tell them where their strategy is going wrong and damaging the business and its future prospects.’
      • ‘It's amazing how you can see exactly where you're going wrong when it's staring you in the face.’
      • ‘Spent more time explaining why everyone was wrong than actually seeing where his company ought to go.’
      • ‘It can be held in one hand and can make it easier to direct where the floss is going than using your fingers.’
      • ‘I know you are but what I am asking you is, can you tell me where I am wrong in that analysis?’
      • ‘Fans, former players and mangers are now demanding to know where it all went wrong.’
      • ‘Bully for you go visit a drug rehabilitation centre and tell the others where they went wrong.’
      • ‘This type of focus helps the government out, letting it know where investment should be directed.’
      • ‘It will take a long time for them to get over this defeat and analyse where it all went wrong.’
    2. 1.2In or from what source.
      ‘where did you read that?’
      • ‘She couldn't remember where she'd heard that saying, but it seemed to be a good one.’
      • ‘If you want an outside bet at a very big price, remember where you read this information first.’
      • ‘When jamskating hits Britain in a few months, remember where you read about it first.’
      • ‘Well, those people are quite wrong and one day I will let readers know where to find it.’
      • ‘Yadda yadda yadda, Jews trying to control the world, where have I heard that one before?’
      • ‘It was the writer's recommendations of where else to read, as much as it was something to read in and of itself.’
      • ‘So if they resurrect any more dead characters remember where you heard it first.’
      • ‘Suddenly, you begin to hear quite clearly where Sonic Youth and others took their cues from.’
      • ‘If you don't hear music at home or at school then where will you hear it?’
      • ‘She assured me that the gossip was untrue and demanded to know where I'd heard it.’
      • ‘On paper you knew what they liked to drink or where they'd heard about the show, but there was no intimacy.’
    3. 1.3In or to what situation or condition.
      ‘just where is all this leading us?’
      • ‘But where is all this leading us?’
      • ‘So where does that leave us?’

relative adverb

  • 1At, in, or to which (used after reference to a place or situation)

    ‘I first saw him in Paris, where I lived in the early sixties’
    • ‘So, what would happen in a free market where anyone could ply their trade in a cab?’
    • ‘There was a site on the Internet where you could download free audio-editing software.’
    • ‘She explained that this was the langur hall, where free meals are served round the clock.’
    • ‘At last, he has been allowed to take up his office in the House of Commons, where he has raised the Irish flag.’
    • ‘They run the Baen Free Library, which is a place where you can download free, complete books.’
    • ‘Even here, where free speech is a right unless the mayor doesn't like you, I cannot get a hearing.’
    • ‘The second reason is that Fleming gives a reference to the archive where the document can be found in Munich.’
    • ‘She has two younger brothers and we all like to live as a family in a house where tennis is rarely mentioned.’
    • ‘Not only is he in the position where he has to make tough decisions, he doesn't cop out of them.’
    • ‘I wish for all my children a world where they will be free from hatred towards one another.’
    • ‘He could not even find the house where he had lived with his parents and sister.’
    • ‘His estate included a house where he was living at the time of his death.’
    • ‘He thinks more and more shoppers are simply heading to a shopping centre, where parking is free and easy.’
    • ‘I love the idea of America, where people are free and we have a representational democracy.’
    • ‘Anyone know of a car where the speedometer is directly in front of the driver?’
    • ‘His biggest fear is losing the heavily mortgaged family house, where he lives alone.’
    • ‘Though she did not marry the father, he built her a house where she lived and raised their son.’
    • ‘Of all the parks in the city, this may be the only one where people feel free to walk on the grass.’
    • ‘At the same time, the Post was the first paper where I felt free to write as a gay man.’
    • ‘There is no trace of the house where the grandparents lived for more than 40 years.’
  • 2The place or situation in which.

    ‘this is where I live’
    • ‘He twitches the fabric to free it from where it has snagged and pulls the curtains open wide.’
    • ‘This bill should be consigned to the rubbish bin because it is wrong and that is where it belongs.’
    • ‘I live with my mom in Braintree, south of Boston, and if I get it wrong then these guys know where to find me.’
    • ‘Dance in it for twelve minutes, even though you can't hear any music from where you are.’
    • ‘We educate them to respect where they are but to keep their identity as Muslims.’
    • ‘A direct initiative is where registered voters vote on the proposal put forward.’
    • ‘One jumped down and examined the ground and looked directly to where they were hiding.’
    • ‘The Best Position is where an equal number of voters are to the left and to the right.’
    • ‘His father and advisor began walking in the opposite direction from where Rheyce lay in wait.’
    • ‘But here is where it all went wrong, Lynne.’
    • ‘If that's where your house previously stood, however, you have nowhere to build a new one.’
    • ‘This is where the efforts are directed at providing a higher level of service and comfort.’
    • ‘Grand Boulevard is about grand homes and this is where big houses should be, he said.’
    • ‘For three nights in a row, a dozen of his men lay in ambush near where the source said the men would pass.’
    • ‘Coaching respects where you are right now, but will take you further, faster, easier.’
    • ‘This only left the few holes directly above where the stream first disappeared.’
    • ‘The Matrix was where I first heard about Invis, and in a lot of ways got me into comics.’
    • ‘At that moment one of the colossal dark shapes passes directly under where we are standing.’
    • ‘In the evening he served a lavish meal of goat and rice, and gave us directions to where we could find his sons and camels.’
    • ‘This, you might be relieved to hear, is where the protests and the sausages come in.’
    1. 2.1In or to a place or situation in which.
      ‘sit where I can see you’
      ‘where people were concerned, his threshold of boredom was low’
      • ‘Once you've got his attention, you start directing his attention where you want it to go.’
      • ‘I never buy a product unless it is cruelty free and I always try to buy free range where I can.’
      • ‘I only have to look at other members who now have that security where food is concerned.’
      • ‘Any French foreign minister knows what he is talking about where French Africa is concerned.’
      • ‘Am I the only one thought beginning to feel somewhat voyeuristic where Ahmed is concerned?’
      • ‘Even where there is no direct prejudice, there may be unfair preferences which should not count.’
      • ‘He recycled where possible from the site and sourced secondhand items where necessary.’
      • ‘The paper is positioned just where his face ought to be, and all I see of him are two ears and a tuft of hair.’
      • ‘Given the mood Her Majesty must be in where dates are concerned, he did well to get the nod.’
      • ‘Why couldn't they have placed the reception team directly opposite the door where you can see it?’
      • ‘Why can't football fans have this sort of outlook, and give respect where it is due?’
      • ‘That does not mean they have not availed themselves of legal arguments where it was advantageous to do so.’
      • ‘If the new law allows us to direct our compassion where it is truly deserved, then it can be judged a success.’
      • ‘The council adopted a policy of merging schools where the position of headteacher at one falls vacant.’
      • ‘Sometimes I am clever, sometimes not, it seems where tax is concerned I am not very clever at all.’
      • ‘I like to go where the breeze blows free and the windows of the heart are not shut.’
      • ‘Follow up on phone messages left for you and offer them free advice where possible.’
      • ‘I was trying to place myself in the right position and put myself where I had to make a move.’
      • ‘Mr Bernau said he accepted the fees as a part of the open market, but urged people to use a free machine where possible.’
      • ‘At another, she rails against a world in which development is not directed where it is most needed.’
    2. 2.2In or to any place in which; wherever.
      ‘he was free to go where he liked’
      • ‘The Jews in Domachevo were free to go where they liked and do what they wanted, subject to no restriction.’
      • ‘We stayed out in the countryside for six months, finding empty houses and crashing where we could.’
      • ‘The focus puller was the biggest hero on our set because we were very free to move where we wanted to.’
      • ‘We went where there were free samples, elbowing each other out of the way to get to them.’
      • ‘It was the wonderful, free feeling of roaming where they liked, of waking up each day to a different view.’

conjunction

informal
  • 1That.

    ‘do you see where the men in your life are emotionally unavailable to you?’
    ‘I see where the hotel has changed hands again’
    • ‘I don't see where she has even gotten out of the starting blocks.’
  • 2Whereas.

    ‘where some caregivers burn out, others become too involved’
    • ‘Where some people see cowardice in Cally, I see innocence.’

Origin

Old English hwǣr, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch waar and German wo.

Pronunciation:

where

/(h)wer/