Definition of whoever in US English:


relative pronoun

  • 1The person or people who; any person who.

    ‘whoever did it hated him’
    • ‘The best athlete doesn't always win, but then whoever said sport was fair?’
    • ‘All of this means that whoever wins Tuesday's election might wish he hadn't.’
    • ‘Certainly whoever wins this year's senior football title will have earned it.’
    • ‘Farmers had to sell to whoever would offer a price for their goods.’
    • ‘The high turnout was welcomed by both camps as a sign that whoever wins the battle will have a clear mandate to lead the party.’
    • ‘Both teams tend to have the attitude that whoever wins this one wins the tournament, even if last year they discovered otherwise.’
    • ‘Both Mr Dowd and Mr Sosnik forecast that whoever wins two of the three big battlegrounds will probably be the next president.’
    • ‘Therefore, whoever offers the best level of service will win the most business.’
    • ‘The showcase award is rated as one of the music industry's most important, and can provide a platform for whoever wins it.’
    • ‘There is also a very attractive doll on offer to whoever can guess her name.’
    • ‘We're going to look at some of the tough challenges ahead for whoever wins the White House.’
    • ‘We are playing for second place in the Pool in the World Cup next year so whoever wins on Saturday has the advantage.’
    • ‘The IFS concludes that taxes would have gone up whoever won the last election, because it was the only way to balance the books.’
    • ‘The next nine deals are started by whoever won the previous deal, and this player can begin with any legal card or combination.’
    • ‘Analysts believe that whoever wins the election this year will be seen as a legitimate leader.’
    • ‘There'll be no doubt this year that whoever wins it will deserve to be All-Ireland champions.’
    • ‘A prize is on offer to whoever comes up with the winning name for Mrs Mason's new shop.’
    • ‘Life for me is going to be pretty good whoever wins the election.’
    • ‘For us, whoever wins the debate gets to have their cake and eat it too.’
    • ‘We started out in South Africa back in April and whoever wins the title will deserve it.’
    1. 1.1 Regardless of who.
      ‘come out, whoever you are’
      • ‘And Lou is certainly not going to be the first to jump to the defence of the arsonists, whoever they may be.’
      • ‘One of the most important things for America is to know who actually won, whoever that may be.’
      • ‘Some people will always be slow whoever else is in the pool.’
      • ‘But it's up to the players who are called upon to step into their shoes - whoever they are.’
      • ‘Yet the sitter, whoever he might be, regards us with an air of quiet confidence.’
      • ‘Fortunately, the strength of the squad is such that, whoever takes the field, the side will not be seriously weakened.’
      • ‘Try to have a good day today, wherever you are, whatever you do, whoever is near, if no one is near.’
      • ‘But whoever loses, regardless of whether it is by six goals or one, it will be devastating.’


  • Used for emphasis instead of “who” in questions, typically expressing surprise or confusion.

    ‘whoever would want to make up something like that?’
    • ‘In any case, why raise the question, for whoever in his right mind ever suggested that everything is false?’


In the emphatic use, whoever may be spelled correctly as either one word or two: whoever does he think he is? or who ever does he think he is? See also however and whatever