Definition of whodunit in English:


(British whodunnit)


  • A story or play about a murder in which the identity of the murderer is not revealed until the end.

    • ‘Ten strangers with secrets are brought together in a savage rainstorm in the whodunnit thriller Identity.’
    • ‘In the classic whodunit, in contrast, the situation itself may have strong comic possibilities.’
    • ‘Whatever you may think of the lady's literary ability, an Agatha Christie whodunit is going to be cleverly plotted, make no mistake.’
    • ‘It is a whodunnit and a thriller with thrills and fun for audience and actors alike.’
    • ‘A literary detective story is still a detective story and aficionados of the whodunit won't be disappointed.’
    • ‘Death on the Nile is a classic whodunnit in every sense.’
    • ‘In some ways this film is a whodunit as well as a horror flick.’
    • ‘This mystery is a traditional whodunnit, but with a serious vein of social commentary running through it.’
    • ‘Some reality formats even involve members of the public becoming involved, perhaps unwittingly, in semi-scripted dramas or whodunits.’
    • ‘Christopher's digressions into maths and existential questions amplify what is, on one level, a family drama with a whodunnit attached.’
    • ‘It's a whodunit about the murder of a trucking company owner who is also an illegal alien smuggler.’
    • ‘Instead he cleverly subverts the traditional whodunit scenario to expose class inequalities in the 1930s.’
    • ‘This next case is a straightforward whodunit with a few touches of class conflict.’
    • ‘Instead of a conventional whodunit, the film is interested in what motivates everyone involved.’
    • ‘Partners in Crime is a whodunit with a television twist of combining the detective with his FBI agent ex-wife.’
    • ‘Further compounding the peril is the fact that this is basically a murder mystery, a whodunit with slasher overtones.’
    • ‘The viewer catches on pretty early that, unlike other classic horror films in which the identity of the killer is never in question, this film is a whodunit.’
    • ‘This is the theatrical equivalent of the whodunnit you buy at the airport as you go on holiday.’
    • ‘A whodunit of mistaken identities and missing bodies, it's a family show - a bit scary but it won't do any lasting damage to the kids!’
    • ‘In 1976 an all-star cast was assembled for Simon's whodunit comedy Murder By Death.’
    thriller, detective novel, detective story, murder story
    View synonyms


1930s: from who done it?, nonstandard form of who did it?.