whence


Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.

whence

 (wĕns, hwĕns)
adv.
1. From where; from what place: Whence came this traveler?
2. From what origin or source: Whence comes this splendid feast?
conj.
1. Out of which place; from or out of which.
2. By reason of which; from which: The dog was coal black from nose to tail, whence the name Shadow.

[Middle English whennes : whenne, whence (from Old English hwanon; see kwo- in Indo-European roots) + -es, genitive sing. suff.; see -s3.]
Usage Note: The construction from whence has been criticized as redundant since the 1700s. It is true that whence incorporates the sense of from: a remote village, whence little news reached the wider world. But from whence has been used steadily by reputable writers since the 1300s, among them Shakespeare, John Milton, Jane Austen, and the translators of the King James Bible: "I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help" (Psalms). Such a respectable precedent makes it difficult to label the construction, which is fairly rare and very formal in any case, as incorrect.

whence

(wɛns)
adv
from what place, cause, or origin?
pron
(subordinating) from what place, cause, or origin
[C13 whannes, adverbial genitive of Old English hwanon; related to Old Frisian hwana, Old High German hwanan]
Usage: The expression from whence should be avoided, since whence already means from which place: the tradition whence (not from whence) such ideas flowed

whence

(ʰwɛns, wɛns)
adv.
1. from what place?: Whence comest thou?
2. from what source, origin, or cause?: Whence has he wisdom?
conj.
3. from what place, source, cause, etc.: He told whence he came.
[1250–1300; Middle English whennes, whannes=whanne (by syncope from Old English hwanone whence) + -s -s1]
usage: Although sometimes criticized as redundant on the grounds that “from” is included in the meaning of whence, the idiom from whence is old in the language, well established, and standard: She finally settled in Paris, from whence she bombarded us with letters and postcards. Among its users are the King James Bible, Shakespeare, Dryden, and Dickens. The parallel construction from thence occurs infrequently. Both are easy to avoid if desired.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.whence - from what place, source, or cause
Translations
من أيْن؟
hvorfra
d’où
honnan?
hvaîan
ne yüzdennereden

whence

[wens] ADV
1. (poet) (= from where) → de donde; (interrog) → ¿de dónde?
2. (frm) (= from which) → por lo cual; (= therefore) → y por consiguiente
whence I conclude thatpor lo cual concluyo que ...

whence

hwɛns] (literary)
pron
from whence → d'où
conj (= from where) → d'où

whence

adv
(old, form)woher, von wannen (old, liter)
(form) whence I conclude …woraus ich schließe, …

whence

[wɛns] adv (liter) (from where) → da dove

when

(wen) adverb
at what time(?). When did you arrive?; When will you see her again?; I asked him when the incident had occurred; Tell me when to jump.
(wən, wen) conjunction
1. (at or during) the time at which. It happened when I was abroad; When you see her, give her this message; When I've finished, I'll telephone you.
2. in spite of the fact that; considering that. Why do you walk when you have a car?
whence (wens) adverb
from what place or circumstance (?); from where (?).
whenˈever adverb, conjunction
1. at any time that. Come and see me whenever you want to.
2. at every time that. I go to the theatre whenever I get the chance.
References in classic literature ?
Many are as green as the Green Mountains whence they came.
Yes, Cleitophon, but he also said that justice is the interest of the stronger, and, while admitting both these propositions, he further acknowledged that the stronger may command the weaker who are his subjects to do what is not for his own interest; whence follows that justice is the injury quite as much as the interest of the stronger.
I laugh, when those who at the Spear are bold And vent'rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear What yet they know must follow, to endure Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, The sentence of thir Conquerour: This is now Our doom; which if we can sustain and bear, Our Supream Foe in time may much remit His anger, and perhaps thus farr remov'd Not mind us not offending, satisfi'd With what is punish't; whence these raging fires Will slack'n, if his breath stir not thir flames.
How oft amidst Thick clouds and dark doth Heav'ns all-ruling Sire Choose to reside, his Glory unobscur'd, And with the Majesty of darkness round Covers his Throne; from whence deep thunders roar Must'ring thir rage, and Heav'n resembles Hell?
I answered, as I had before determined, "that I was a Dutch merchant, shipwrecked in a very remote country, whence I had travelled by sea and land to Luggnagg, and then took shipping for Japan; where I knew my countrymen often traded, and with some of these I hoped to get an opportunity of returning into Europe: I therefore most humbly entreated his royal favour, to give order that I should be conducted in safety to Nangasac.
In the next place, from reflecting on the circumstance that I doubted, and that consequently my being was not wholly perfect (for I clearly saw that it was a greater perfection to know than to doubt), I was led to inquire whence I had learned to think of something more perfect than myself; and I clearly recognized that I must hold this notion from some nature which in reality was more perfect.
Why I came, I do not know at all; neither do I know from whence I came.
It is necessary," he said, "that I know whence and how I came; for how can one perform his duties unless able to judge what they are by the way in which he was intrusted with them?
He returned therefore to the kitchen fire, whence he could survey the only door which opened into the parlour, or rather hole, where Jones was seated; and as for the window to that room, it was impossible for any creature larger than a cat to have made his escape through it.
IN youth I have known one with whom the Earth In secret communing held-as he with it, In daylight, and in beauty, from his birth: Whose fervid, flickering torch of life was lit From the sun and stars, whence he had drawn forth A passionate light such for his spirit was fit And yet that spirit knew-not in the hour Of its own fervor-what had o'er it power.
with all his lore, Wherefore he sang, or whence the mandate sped.
Then the straw began and said: 'Dear friends, from whence do you come here?