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 (wī, hwī)
For what purpose, reason, or cause; with what intention, justification, or motive: Why is the door shut? Why do birds sing?
1. The reason, cause, or purpose for which: I know why you left.
2. Usage Problem On account of which; for which.
n. pl. whys
1. The cause or intention underlying a given action or situation: studying the whys of antisocial behavior.
2. A difficult problem or question.
Used to express mild surprise, indignation, or impatience.

[Middle English, from Old English hwȳ; see kwo- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: A traditional rule states that why is redundant in the expression reason why, as in The reason why he accepted the nomination is not clear. It is true that why could be eliminated from such examples with no loss to the meaning, and that that could be used instead of why, but reason why has been used by reputable English writers since the Renaissance, and a majority of the Usage Panel accepts the construction. In our 2009 survey, 55 percent accepted the example quoted above. Higher percentages accepted examples in which reason is modified by a, any, or another instead of the.. For instance, 67 percent accepted the example Is there any reason why this drug enforcement program should work? While there is certainly no harm in observing this rule in one's own writing, insisting on it in the writing of others may seem petty. See Usage Note at where.


(ʰwaɪz, waɪz)
contraction of why is.
References in periodicals archive ?
FEARFUL REUNION: Sonia's arrival Why's he so put out - and what's his relationship with Sonia now?
Rather than starting the conversation with, "I really like you", why not opt for an icebreaker like, "I've noticed you're not on Twitter or Facebook - why's that?
Although the actress's fans bombarded her with questions demanding to know the when's and why's of the picture, Zeina decided to keep schtum about it
Ricci draws on 40 years of experience and some contributions from co-authors to present a thorough guide to treatment methods, with emphasis on an understanding of the pathogenic process, holistic assessment, the how's and the why's of surgical approaches and procedures, and long-term assessment of results.
Why's there more police protection in BedStuy and Harlem now?
I think it's got a name, this place, Six pints will help me judge, So why's it even harder still I'm as jober as a sludge
Spirits talk on a pure level and don't get distracted by people saying things like, 'That's nice, but why's he wearing that?
In this expanded version of her doctoral dissertation from McMaster University, Wendel (New Testament, Briercrest College, Canada) looks at the Jesus movement in the first century CE and the how's and why's of this group's appropriation of the Jewish scriptures, although the group was composed primarily of non-Jews.
And we've added one to the Yellow zone: If HD-45 (Rose) is so uncompetitive, why's the incumbent running like a man with a wild boar on his tail?
From temples built in honour of the sun and moon by prehistoric man to theories about how the stars and planets work, people have always been fascinated by this amazing aspect of our lives--philosophers have been drawn to the wonder of space and theories have emerged about the how's and why's of this great unknown.
After briefly explaining the why's and how's of the search for alternative funding sources and new revenue generators, the book explores the uproar surrounding the UC Berkeley-Novartis agreement.