Also found in: Thesaurus, Legal, Idioms.


 (wâr′fôr′, hwâr′-)
1. For what purpose or reason; why.
2. Therefore.
A purpose or cause: wanted to know all the whys and wherefores.




(usually plural) an explanation or reason (esp in the phrase the whys and wherefores)
archaic for what reason? why?
sentence connector
(Law) archaic or formal for which reason: used as an introductory word in legal preambles


(ˈʰwɛərˌfɔr, -ˌfoʊr, ˈwɛər-)

1. for that cause or reason: Wherefore let us be grateful.
2. Archaic. for what? why?
3. the cause or reason: to study the whys and wherefores of a situation.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.wherefore - the cause or intention underlying an action or situation, especially in the phrase `the whys and wherefores'
reason, ground - a rational motive for a belief or action; "the reason that war was declared"; "the grounds for their declaration"


1. That which provides a reason or justification:
call, cause, ground (often used in plural), justification, necessity, occasion, reason, why.
Idiom: why and wherefore.
2. A fact or circumstance that gives logical support to an assertion, claim, or proposal:
argument, ground (often used in plural), proof, reason, why.
Idiom: why and wherefore.


(archaic) [ˈwɛəfɔːʳ] (also liter)
A. ADV (= why) → por qué; (= and for this reason) → y por tanto, por lo cual
B. N = why C


adv (obs)warum, weswegen
conj (obs)weswegen
n ? why N
References in classic literature ?
They can turn in the water like a flash, wherefore it is not wise to pat one on the tail lest it present its mouth instead.
A shadow of awe and half-fearful anticipation--nobody knew wherefore, nor of what--had all at once fallen over the company.
But wherefore it was that after having repeatedly smelt the sea as a merchant sailor, I should now take it into my head to go on a whaling voyage; this the invisible police officer of the Fates, who has the constant surveillance of me, and secretly dogs me, and influences me in some unaccountable way --he can better answer than any one else.
Wherefore, you must now have perceived that the front of the Sperm Whale's head is a dead, blind wall, without a single organ or tender prominence of any sort whatsoever.
As to Tom, he was thinking over some words of an unfashionable old book, which kept running through his head, again and again, as follows: "We have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come; wherefore God himself is not ashamed to be called our God; for he hath prepared for us a city.
Even the duelists' subordinates came in for a handsome share of the public approbation: wherefore Pudd'nhead Wilson was suddenly become a man of consequence.
Wherefore the clerk put on his white comforter, and tried to warm himself at the candle; in which effort, not being a man of a strong imagination, he failed.
You know it to be No, Pip, and wherefore should I say it?
It told of how the black folk grew, and of how the white folk should eat them up, and wherefore they were and wherefore they should cease to be.
You see the fault becomes a virtue when it is hers, the treason prospers; wherefore, no doubt, the impossibility of imagining it.
wherefore but in hope To dispossess him, and thy self to reigne?
Wherefore, sweet gentleman, I pray you hand over your purse without more ado, that I may judge of its weight in proper fashion.