Definition of whodunnit in English:


(US whodunit)


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

    • ‘This mystery is a traditional whodunnit, but with a serious vein of social commentary running through it.’
    • ‘Ten strangers with secrets are brought together in a savage rainstorm in the whodunnit thriller Identity.’
    • ‘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 some ways this film is a whodunit as well as a horror flick.’
    • ‘Some reality formats even involve members of the public becoming involved, perhaps unwittingly, in semi-scripted dramas or whodunits.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Instead of a conventional whodunit, the film is interested in what motivates everyone involved.’
    • ‘A literary detective story is still a detective story and aficionados of the whodunit won't be disappointed.’
    • ‘Partners in Crime is a whodunit with a television twist of combining the detective with his FBI agent ex-wife.’
    • ‘It's a whodunit about the murder of a trucking company owner who is also an illegal alien smuggler.’
    • ‘Further compounding the peril is the fact that this is basically a murder mystery, a whodunit with slasher overtones.’
    • ‘Death on the Nile is a classic whodunnit in every sense.’
    • ‘Instead he cleverly subverts the traditional whodunit scenario to expose class inequalities in the 1930s.’
    • ‘In 1976 an all-star cast was assembled for Simon's whodunit comedy Murder By Death.’
    • ‘It is a whodunnit and a thriller with thrills and fun for audience and actors alike.’
    • ‘Christopher's digressions into maths and existential questions amplify what is, on one level, a family drama with a whodunnit attached.’
    • ‘In the classic whodunit, in contrast, the situation itself may have strong comic possibilities.’
    • ‘This next case is a straightforward whodunit with a few touches of class conflict.’
    • ‘This is the theatrical equivalent of the whodunnit you buy at the airport as you go on holiday.’
    • ‘Whatever you may think of the lady's literary ability, an Agatha Christie whodunit is going to be cleverly plotted, make no mistake.’
    thriller, detective novel, detective story, murder story
    View synonyms


1930s: from who done it?, non-standard form of who did it?.