Definition of whose in US English:


possessive determiner & pronoun

  • 1Belonging to or associated with which person.

    as determiner ‘whose round is it?’
    as pronoun ‘a car was parked at the curb and Juliet wondered whose it was’
    • ‘It is time for Mr Wills to decide whose side he is on, the University of Bath or the people of Swindon.’
    • ‘We also tried to follow it and knocked on doors to see whose it was, also to no avail.’
  • 2as determiner Of whom or which (used to indicate that the following noun belongs to or is associated with the person or thing mentioned in the previous clause)

    ‘he's a man whose opinion I respect’
    ‘a willow tree whose branches reached right to the ground’
    • ‘We need to remember we are talking about a guy whose best years may well be ahead of him.’
    • ‘A mother whose son was shot dead led a march against guns in Leeds at the weekend.’
    • ‘Gasping for breath, they reached the row of houses whose gardens led onto the park.’
    • ‘It is their very irony that will appeal to precisely the people whose passions they parody.’
    • ‘This provoked outrage in the industry and among those whose branch line was set for the chop.’
    • ‘The attacker, whose face was covered by a hood, grabbed her from behind in the dark alley.’
    • ‘It hopes to give people whose opinions are rarely heard the chance to tell their story.’
    • ‘We were keen to play with any band whose fans might be persuaded to start following us, too.’
    • ‘Kyle, whose back was to her, turned around as he followed the gazes of his two friends.’
    • ‘Those of you whose grubby mitts have not reached for this shiny golden nugget yet, why not?’
    • ‘He followed the story of a widow whose ceremony took place in the sacred river of Pouktiou.’
    • ‘It featured two mothers whose daughters had been lured into relationships by the men.’
    • ‘In his place is a man who trades on trust but whose personality offers limited reassurance.’
    • ‘He was a street fighter whose attraction to violence bordered on the pathological.’
    • ‘He's a workaholic whose goal is to be the first man to put hackers permanently out of business.’
    • ‘It belongs to Lucy Smooth, whose husband used to keep it under control until he died.’
    • ‘At the moment only the select few girls whose parents can afford to pay receive any education.’
    • ‘In fact, he is a mere boy whose life is so painful that it does not seem to him to be worth living.’
    • ‘I knew a man whose idea of following fashion was to change his underwear once a season.’
    • ‘The idea is that you should want people whose opinions you share to have an robust stance.’


On the differences in use between whose and who's, see who's


Old English hwæs, genitive of hwā ‘who’ and hwæt ‘what’.