whys


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why

 (wī, hwī)
adv.
For what purpose, reason, or cause; with what intention, justification, or motive: Why is the door shut? Why do birds sing?
conj.
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.
interj.
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.

why's

(ʰwaɪz, waɪz)
contraction of why is.
Translations
References in classic literature ?
Somebody else may cipher out the whys and the wherefores and the consistencies of it--I haven't got time.
Rachel was sitting at her window, keeping a sharp eye on everything that passed, from brooks and children up, and that if she noticed anything odd or out of place she would never rest until she had ferreted out the whys and wherefores thereof.
Now, where was Matthew Cuthbert going and why was he going there?
"I'll just step over to Green Gables after tea and find out from Marilla where he's gone and why," the worthy woman finally concluded.
Why, it was only last week I read in the paper how a man and his wife up west of the Island took a boy out of an orphan asylum and he set fire to the house at night--set it ON PURPOSE, Marilla--and nearly burnt them to a crisp in their beds.
I can no more tell you the whys and wherefores of myself than I can lift myself up by the waistband and carry myself into the next county, as some one challenged a speculator in perpetual motion to do.
Why do you stare at that cursed canal, blindly dragging its load of filth from place to place until it pitches it into the sea--just as a crowded street pitches its load into the cemetery?
That quieted my conscience until I began to wonder why one man should make another pay him for exercising one of the virtues.
You want to know why I am living here like a hermit in a vulgar two-roomed hovel instead of tasting the delights of London society with my beautiful and devoted young wife."
"Yes, I do; and I will tell you why. I am helping to liberate those Manchester laborers who were my father's slaves.
"Then why not employ them?" said Trefusis, with ironical gravity.
But for young children there is still plenty of puzzlement about the whys and wherefores of illness.