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used to introduce the first of two or more alternative conditions: I haven’t decided whether to go or stay.
Not to be confused with:
weather – meteorological conditions: temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation; face or endure: I can weather the storm.
Abused, Confused, & Misused Words by Mary Embree Copyright © 2007, 2013 by Mary Embree


 (wĕth′ər, hwĕth′-)
1. Used in indirect questions to introduce one alternative: We should find out whether the museum is open. See Usage Notes at doubt, if.
2. Used to introduce alternative possibilities: Whether she wins or whether she loses, this is her last tournament.
3. Either: He passed the test, whether by skill or luck.
pron. Archaic
Which: "We came in full View of a great Island or Continent, (for we knew not whether)" (Jonathan Swift).
whether or no
Regardless of circumstances.

[Middle English, from Old English hwether; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (subordinating) used to introduce an indirect question or a clause after a verb expressing or implying doubt or choice in order to indicate two or more alternatives, the second or last of which is introduced by or or or whether: he doesn't know whether she's in Britain or whether she's gone to France.
2. (often foll by: or not) used to introduce any indirect question: he was not certain whether his friend was there or not.
3. (coordinating) another word for either3: any man, whether liberal or conservative, would agree with me.
4. (coordinating) archaic used to introduce a direct question consisting of two alternatives, the second of which is introduced by or or or whether: whether does he live at home or abroad.
5. whether or no
a. used as a conjunction as a variant of whether1
b. under any circumstances: he will be here tomorrow, whether or no.
6. whether…or whether…or whether if on the one hand…or even if on the other hand: you'll eat that, whether you like it or not.
determiner, pron
obsolete which (of two): used in direct or indirect questions
[Old English hwæther, hwether; related to Old Frisian hweder, hoder, Old High German hwedar, Old Norse hvatharr, hvarr, Gothic hwathar]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈʰwɛð ər, ˈwɛð-)

1. (used to introduce the first of two or more alternatives, and sometimes repeated before the second or later alternative, usu. with the correlative or): It matters little whether we go or stay. Whether we go or whether we stay, the result is the same.
2. (used to introduce a single alternative, the other being implied or understood, or some clause or element not involving alternatives): See whether she has come. I doubt whether we can do anything now.
3. Archaic. (used to introduce a question presenting alternatives, usu. with the correlative or).
pron. Archaic.
4. which or whichever (of two)?
whether or no, under whatever circumstances; regardless: He threatens to go whether or no.
[before 900; Middle English; Old English hwether, hwæther=hwe- (akin to hwā who) + -ther comp. suffix; c. Old High German (h)wedar, Old Norse hvatharr, Gothic hwathar]
usage: See if.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'weather'

If you are talking about the weather, you are saying, for example, that it is raining, cloudy, sunny, hot, or cold.

The weather was good for the time of year.
The trip was cancelled because of bad weather conditions.

Be Careful!
Weather is an uncountable noun. Don't use 'a' with it. Don't say, for example, 'We are expecting a bad weather'. Say 'We are expecting bad weather'.

They completed the climb despite appalling weather.
The wedding took place in perfect May weather.

Don't tell someone what the weather is like by saying, for example, 'It's lovely weather'. Say 'The weather is lovely'.

The weather was awful. It hardly ever stopped raining.
2. 'whether'

Do not confuse weather with whether. You use whether when you are talking about two or more alternatives.

I don't know whether to go out or stay at home.
She asked whether I wanted more coffee.
See whether


Whether is used in reported clauses and conditional clauses.

1. used in reported clauses

You can use a clause beginning with whether after a reporting verb such as know, ask, or wonder. You use whether when you are mentioning two or more alternatives. You put whether in front of the first alternative, and or in front of the second one.

I don't know whether he's in or out.
I was asked whether I wanted to stay at a hotel or at his home.

When the two alternatives are opposites, you don't need to mention both of them. For example, instead of saying 'I don't know whether he's in or out', you can simply say 'I don't know whether he's in'.

Lucy wondered whether Rita had been happy.
I asked Professor Gupta whether he agreed.
2. 'whether...or not'

You can also mention the second alternative using or not. You put or not either at the end of the sentence or immediately after whether.

I didn't know whether to believe him or not.
She didn't ask whether or not we wanted to come.
3. 'if'

If can be used instead of 'whether', especially when the second alternative is not mentioned.

I asked her if I could help her
I rang up to see if I could get seats.
4. reporting uncertainty

If someone is uncertain about doing a particular thing, or uncertain how to respond to a situation, you can report this using a clause consisting of whether and a to-infinitive.

I've been wondering whether to look for another job.
He didn't know whether to feel glad or sorry that she was leaving.
5. used in conditional clauses

You can add a clause containing whether and or not to a sentence to indicate that something is true in any of the circumstances you mention.

He's going to buy a house whether he gets married or not.
6. 'weather'

Do not confuse whether with weather, which is pronounced the same way. If you say that it is raining, windy, hot, or cold, you are talking about the weather.

The wet weather lasted all weekend.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
إن، إذا، فيما إذاسَوَاء
hoće li
...인지 어떤지
arar... ar
được hay không


[ˈweðəʳ] CONJsi
I don't know whetherno sé si ...
I doubt whetherdudo que + subjun
I am not certain whether he'll come (or not)no estoy seguro de que venga
whether it is ... or notsea ... o no (sea)
whether you like it or nottanto si quieres como si no
whether they come or notvengan o no (vengan)
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


hwɛðər] conjsi
I don't know whether to accept or not → Je ne sais pas si je dois accepter ou non.
He didn't know whether to accept her gift or not → Il ne savait pas s'il devait ou non accepter son cadeau.
They now have two weeks to decide whether or not to buy
BUT Ils ont maintenant deux semaines pour décider d'acheter ou non.
whether you go or not → que vous y alliez ou non
whether we like it or not → que cela nous plaise ou non
it's doubtful whether (= unlikely) → il est peu probable que
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


conjob; (= no matter whether)egal or ganz gleich or einerlei, ob; I am not certain whether they’re coming or not or whether or not they’re comingich bin nicht sicher, ob sie kommen oder nicht; whether they come or not, we’ll go aheadegal or ganz gleich or einerlei, ob sie kommen oder nicht (kommen), wir fangen (schon mal) an; he’s not sure whether to go or stayer weiß nicht, ob er gehen oder bleiben soll
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈwɛðəʳ] conj (if) → se; (no matter whether) → che + sub
whether you want to or not → che tu voglia o no
whether it's sunny or not → che ci sia il sole o no
I am not certain whether he'll come (or not) → non so con certezza se verrà (o no), non sono sicuro che venga
whether they come or not → che vengano o meno
I don't know whether you know ... → non so se lo sai...
I doubt whether that's true → dubito che sia vero
I don't know whether to accept or not → non so se accettare o no
it's doubtful whether → è poco probabile che
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈweðə) conjunction
if. I don't know whether it's possible.
whether … or
introducing alternatives. He can't decide whether to go or not / whether or not to go; Whether you like the idea or not, I'm going ahead with it; Decide whether you're going or staying.

see also weather.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


سَوَاء jestli om ob κατά πόσον si joko si hoće li se ・・・かどうか ...인지 어떤지 of hvorvidt czy se ли om ไม่ว่าจะ....หรือไม่ eğer được hay không 是否
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
And I should like to know whether I may say the same of another proposition--that not life, but a good life, is to be chiefly valued?
SOCRATES: From these premisses I proceed to argue the question whether I ought or ought not to try and escape without the consent of the Athenians: and if I am clearly right in escaping, then I will make the attempt; but if not, I will abstain.
It is often important to consider also whether the author's personal method is
What qualifications were necessary in those who are to be created new lords: whether the humour of the prince, a sum of money to a court lady, or a design of strengthening a party opposite to the public interest, ever happened to be the motive in those advancements?
Whether he would or would not be able, I said, is not to the point.
My readers have opportunities of judging for themselves whether the influences and tendencies which I distrust in America, have any existence not in my imagination.
Now, therefore, take me to the ships or bind me securely here, until you come back and have proved my words whether they be false or true."
MENO: Can you tell me, Socrates, whether virtue is acquired by teaching or by practice; or if neither by teaching nor by practice, then whether it comes to man by nature, or in what other way?
But whether any person is such by nature, and whether it is advantageous and just for any one to be a slave or no, or whether all slavery is contrary to nature, shall be considered hereafter; not that it is difficult to determine it upon general principles, or to understand it from matters of fact; for that some should govern, and others be governed, is not only necessary but useful, and from the hour of their birth some are marked out for those purposes, and others for the other, and there are many species of both sorts.
It's Sunday to-morrow--I do wonder how he'll look, and whether he'll be able to go through the service.
We had been sitting in this crouching manner for some time, when all at once I thought I would open my eyes; for when between sheets, whether by day or by night, and whether asleep or awake, I have a way of always keeping my eyes shut, in order the more to concentrate the snugness of being in bed.
D.), it should still remain a problem, whether these spoutings are, after all, really water, or nothing but vapor --this is surely a noteworthy thing.