, (h)wən \
1 : at what time when will you return
2a : at or during which time
3 : at a former and usually less prosperous time brag fondly of having known him when Vance Packard\ ˈ(h)wen
, (h)wən \1a : at or during the time that : while went fishing when he was a boy
b : just at the moment that stop writing when the bell rings
c : at any or every time that when he listens to music, he falls asleep2 : in the event that : if a contestant is disqualified when he disobeys the rules
3a : considering that why use water at all when you can drown in it Stuart Chaseb : in spite of the fact that : although quit politics when I might have had a great career in it
4 : the time or occasion at or in which tomorrow is when we must decide humor is when you laugh Earl Rovit\ ˈ(h)wen
: what or which time life-long homes for those who have lived here since when Kim Waller\ ˈ(h)wen
: the time in which something is done or comes about troubled his head very little about the hows and whens of life Laurence Sterne
Examples of when in a Sentence
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'when.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
First Known Use of when
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1
before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a
14th century, in the meaning defined above
1616, in the meaning defined above
History and Etymology for when
Middle English, from Old English hwanne, hwenne; akin to Old High German hwanne when, Old English hwā who more at who
Middle English, from Old English hwanne, hwenne, from hwanne, hwenne, adverb
Cite this Entry
When. Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/when. Accessed 5 Sep. 2022.MLA
, ˈwen, hwən, wən \
1 : at what time When did you leave?
2 : the time at which I was not sure of when they'd come.
3 : at, in, or during which It was hard to remember the time when they hadn't played that game Eleanor Estes, The Hundred Dresses
1 : at, during, or just after the time that She wants to leave when I do.2 : in the event that : if When you have a question, raise your hand.
4 : the time at which Tomorrow is when we leave.
: what or which time Since when have you been an expert?