why /ˈhwaɪ, ˈwaɪ/
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.]
Why, n. A young heifer. [Prov. Eng.]
n : the cause or intention underlying an action or situation,
especially in the phrase `the whys and wherefores' [syn:
adv : question word; what is the reason (`how come' is a
nonstandard variant); "why are you here?"; "how come he
got an ice cream cone but I didn't?" [syn: how come]