1. For what cause, reason, or purpose; on what account; wherefore; -- used interrogatively. See the Note under What, pron., 1.
Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel? --Ezek. xxxiii. 11.
2. For which; on account of which; -- used relatively.
No ground of enmity between us known
Why he should mean me ill or seek to harm. --Milton.
Turn the discourse; I have a reason why
I would not have you speak so tenderly. --Dryden.
3. The reason or cause for which; that on account of which; on what account; as, I know not why he left town so suddenly; -- used as a compound relative.
Note: ☞ Why is sometimes used as an interjection or an expletive in expression of surprise or content at a turn of affairs; used also in calling. “Why, Jessica!”
If her chill heart I can not move,
Why, I'll enjoy the very love. --Cowley.
Sometimes, also, it is used as a noun.
The how and the why and the where. --Goldsmith.
For why, because; why. See Forwhy. [Obs. or Colloq.]
1. Because; by reason that; for that; indicating, in Old English, the reason of anything.
And for of long that way had walkéd none,
The vault was hid with plants and bushes hoar. --Fairfax.
And Heaven defend your good souls, that you think
I will your serious and great business scant,
For she with me. --Shak.
2. Since; because; introducing a reason of something before advanced, a cause, motive, explanation, justification, or the like, of an action related or a statement made. It is logically nearly equivalent to since, or because, but connects less closely, and is sometimes used as a very general introduction to something suggested by what has gone before.
Give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth forever. --Ps. cxxxvi. 1.
Heaven doth with us as we with torches do,
Not light them for themselves; for if our virtues
Did not go forth of us, 't were all alike
As if we had them not. --Shak.
For because, because. [Obs.] “Nor for because they set less store by their own citizens.” --Robynson (More's Utopia).
For why. (a) Why; for that reason; wherefore. [Obs.] (b) Because. [Obs.] See Forwhy.
Syn: -- See Because.