Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • A. interrog. What one of a certain implied number or set? indicating a general knowledge of a certain group of individuals, and seeking for a selection of one or more from that number: thus, which do you want? implying a limitation which is absent from the question what do you want?
  • B. rel. As a simple relative pronoun: Who or whom.
  • Used with, reference to things, and to creatures not persons: the antecedent may also be a phrase or a clause: as, the rain washed away the track, which delayed the train.
  • As a compound relative pronoun, having the value of both antecedent and relative: as, you can determine which is better (that is, you can determine that, or the one, which is better).
  • Which is used adjectively:
  • With the sense of ‘what sort of.’
  • As indicating one of a number of known or specified things: as, be careful which way you turn.
  • [Which was formerly used as a clause-connective, along with a personal pronoun which took its place as subject or object, and rendered it redundant save as in its relative value: as, which … he = who; which … his = whose.
  • A relic of this construction survives in the vulgar use of which as a general introductory word.
  • Which was formerly often followed by that or as, having the effect of giving emphasis or definiteness.
  • Redundant for which.
  • noun A chest.
  • noun Specifically, a movable wagon-box.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • pronoun obsolete Of what sort or kind; what; what a; who.
  • pronoun A interrogative pronoun, used both substantively and adjectively, and in direct and indirect questions, to ask for, or refer to, an individual person or thing among several of a class; See the Note under What, pron., 1.
  • pronoun A relative pronoun, used esp. in referring to an antecedent noun or clause, but sometimes with reference to what is specified or implied in a sentence, or to a following noun or clause (generally involving a reference, however, to something which has preceded). It is used in all numbers and genders, and was formerly used of persons.
  • pronoun A compound relative or indefinite pronoun, standing for any one which, whichever, that which, those which, thewhich, and the like.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • determiner What, of those mentioned or implied (used interrogatively).
  • determiner interrogative What one or ones (of those mentioned or implied).
  • determiner relative The one or ones that.
  • determiner relative the one mentioned
  • determiner now dialectal Used of people (now generally who, whom or that).
  • pronoun relative Who; whom; what (of those mentioned or implied)
  • noun An occurrence of the word which.

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English hwilc, from Proto-Germanic *hwi- +‎ *-līkaz, the former being the stem of *hwaz. Cognates include German welcher, Dutch welk and Old Norse hvílíkr.

Examples

  • Last year, Mr. Pinault revealed a major strategic overhaul under which PPR will gradually exit its retail business,  which includes everything from electronics to children's clothing and which has been too dependent on the French market.

    Luxury Business Buoys PPR's Profut

  • Last year, Mr. Pinault revealed a major strategic overhaul under which PPR will gradually exit its retail business,  which includes everything from electronics to children's clothing and which has been too dependent on the French market.

    Luxury Goods Help Lift PPR Results

  • *Replaces top of cranium…lessee..which iz occiput adn which iz frontal?

    i find yur “string theoree” - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • HILLARY IS PART OF THE PLAN…..which is why she is receiving more campaign contributions from defense contractors (bomb, guns, tank manufacturers, etc.) than any other candidate….even republicans….(remember Hillary was the head of her college Republican Chapter) which is why she voted to invade Iraq…..then voted to invade Iran.

    Barack Obama in Perry Iowa live | Barack Obama | positively Barack

  • _Vanguard, Explorer, Discoverer; Pioneer III, _ which discovered the Van Allen layer in 1958, and _Pioneer IV, _ which went zooming past the Moon the following year and took up a solar orbit, and _Mariner II, _which got within twenty-one thousand miles of Venus in 1962, and _Ranger_ and _Surveyor_ and all the rest.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • The only way to do this seems to be to get published by a publisher that does not have an "SF" line if you can, which is what I am doing with the forthcoming _The Druid King -- _which, ironically enough, by its content could have easily enough been published within the genre.

    Asimov's Science Fiction

  • They invented the glagolitic alphabet—from which the Cyrillic derives (See 865) —which came to be used in various Slavonic languages and was later restricted to liturgical books; hence Cyril and Methodius are regarded as founders of Slavonic literature.

    815

  • The ground for this popular interpretation is a constitutional device which to an Englishman, if it be not offensive to say so, can only recall the well-known definition of a metaphysician as "a blind man, in a dark room, looking for a black cat, _which is not there_."

    William of Germany

  • In the course of the afternoon we visited several houses, at one of which quite a quantity of contraband stuff was found, _which was placed in our canteens_.

    Incidents of the War: Humorous, Pathetic, and Descriptive

  • -- _Study the lists above_, _and point out all the connectives in Lessons_ 80 and 81, _telling which are relative pronouns_, _which are conjunctions proper_, _and which are conjunctive adverbs_.

    Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • For its use as part of a dung-cart, see tumbrel.

    September 21, 2010

  • Can the usage rules for using "which" instead of "that" please be added to this listing?

    October 7, 2010

  • That depends. Which ones did you have in mind?

    October 8, 2010

  • During the Middle Ages, thats were not burned at the steak.

    October 8, 2010