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 concern for parents is where their children will go when the college closes.’
    • ‘That then takes one on the step of identifying where the pollution source is to be found.’
    • ‘It seems that if a man leaves his house without saying where he is going, he is assumed to be looking for a girlfriend.’
    • ‘Directors instantly knew where they were in the pecking order by a quick look at the seating plan.’
    • ‘With the children settled into new homes, their families at last heard where they were.’
    • ‘But it is completely wrong for students to allow finances to decide where they study.’
    • ‘No one saw what happened to the company director, or exactly where he was when the wall of water struck.’
    • ‘I live in a terraced house so where am I supposed to garage this essential part of modern living?’
    • ‘Mistara was supposed to meet Scott here and see where she would be positioned next.’
    • ‘But you're not in a position to say where he was whilst this was going on?’
    • ‘The first thing they asked when entering the small house was where the dustbin was.’
    • ‘The platform was then moved and the mice had to remember where it was last positioned.’
    • ‘If anyone knows where to source this vegetable in the San Francisco area, please let me know.’
    • ‘We'd be as anxious and pleased to see and read where our former players are playing and how.’
    • ‘Be aware of it, but make sure when you leave, you know where the sources of information and resources are.’
    • ‘At some time will you give us the references to where the blood was found on Sako's garment?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The stroller started moving so I took the cover off and helped the baby sit up and see where we were.’
    • ‘No prizes, even though it's Christmas, for guessing where that source of supply is.’
    1. 1.1 In what direction or respect.
      ‘where does the argument lead?’
      • ‘Further directions on where exactly to point it are not available as of time of press.’
      • ‘It's amazing how you can see exactly where you're going wrong when it's staring you in the face.’
      • ‘Bully for you go visit a drug rehabilitation centre and tell the others where they went wrong.’
      • ‘It will take a long time for them to get over this defeat and analyse where it all went wrong.’
      • ‘We describe how the project and its evaluation were set up and examine where the project went wrong.’
      • ‘Spent more time explaining why everyone was wrong than actually seeing where his company ought to go.’
      • ‘I know you are but what I am asking you is, can you tell me where I am wrong in that analysis?’
      • ‘Tell them where their strategy is going wrong and damaging the business and its future prospects.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘While it is possible to see where this argument is leading, it makes little sense.’
      • ‘Reviewing past models is useful in identifying where the Strokes have gone so very wrong.’
      • ‘Suddenly people started talking back to us and telling us where we were going wrong.’
      • ‘He would play the expert, telling Lee how to play football and where he went wrong.’
      • ‘It can be held in one hand and can make it easier to direct where the floss is going than using your fingers.’
      • ‘Not sure where it all went wrong, but it quite clearly did, and horribly so.’
      • ‘So, for those who speak out or bring legal cases against the Church, where does it all go wrong?’
      • ‘Fans, former players and mangers are now demanding to know where it all went wrong.’
      • ‘This type of focus helps the government out, letting it know where investment should be directed.’
      • ‘We have worked out where we were going wrong, and I believe we are back on the right track now.’
      • ‘We know where we went wrong and it is important that we dealt with it straight away.’
    2. 1.2 In or from what source.
      ‘where did you read that?’
      • ‘When jamskating hits Britain in a few months, remember where you read about it first.’
      • ‘Yadda yadda yadda, Jews trying to control the world, where have I heard that one before?’
      • ‘If you want an outside bet at a very big price, remember where you read this information first.’
      • ‘She couldn't remember where she'd heard that saying, but it seemed to be a good one.’
      • ‘She assured me that the gossip was untrue and demanded to know where I'd heard it.’
      • ‘Suddenly, you begin to hear quite clearly where Sonic Youth and others took their cues from.’
      • ‘Well, those people are quite wrong and one day I will let readers know where to find it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you don't hear music at home or at school then where will you hear it?’
      • ‘On paper you knew what they liked to drink or where they'd heard about the show, but there was no intimacy.’
    3. 1.3 In 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’
    • ‘I wish for all my children a world where they will be free from hatred towards one another.’
    • ‘They run the Baen Free Library, which is a place where you can download free, complete books.’
    • ‘At the same time, the Post was the first paper where I felt free to write as a gay man.’
    • ‘So, what would happen in a free market where anyone could ply their trade in a cab?’
    • ‘Though she did not marry the father, he built her a house where she lived and raised their son.’
    • ‘He could not even find the house where he had lived with his parents and sister.’
    • ‘At last, he has been allowed to take up his office in the House of Commons, where he has raised the Irish flag.’
    • ‘She explained that this was the langur hall, where free meals are served round the clock.’
    • ‘Not only is he in the position where he has to make tough decisions, he doesn't cop out of them.’
    • ‘She has two younger brothers and we all like to live as a family in a house where tennis is rarely mentioned.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘He thinks more and more shoppers are simply heading to a shopping centre, where parking is free and easy.’
    • ‘The second reason is that Fleming gives a reference to the archive where the document can be found in Munich.’
    • ‘There was a site on the Internet where you could download free audio-editing software.’
    • ‘There is no trace of the house where the grandparents lived for more than 40 years.’
    • ‘Of all the parks in the city, this may be the only one where people feel free to walk on the grass.’
    • ‘His estate included a house where he was living at the time of his death.’
    • ‘His biggest fear is losing the heavily mortgaged family house, where he lives alone.’
    • ‘Even here, where free speech is a right unless the mayor doesn't like you, I cannot get a hearing.’
  • 2The place or situation in which.

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

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/