which
Pronunciation
  • enPR: wĭch, IPA: /wɪt͡ʃ/
  • (wine/whine) enPR: hwĭch, IPA: /ʍɪt͡ʃ/

Determiner
  1. (interrogative) What, of those mentioned or implied.
    Which song shall we play?
    They couldn't decide which song to play.
    Which one is bigger?
    Show me which one is bigger.
  2. (relative) The one or ones mentioned.
    • 1860, Alfred Henry Forrester, Fairy footsteps, or, Lessons from legends, with illustr., by Alfred Crowquill, page 166 (Google Books view) ↗:
      After glaring upon the smoking philosopher, who took his misfortunes with such positive nonchalance, he growled out an oath in German, which language is particularly adapted for growling in; then, raising his hand, he dealt him a blow on his pipe, which sent it, like a rocket, into the midst of the players.
    He once owned a painting of the house, which painting would later be stolen.
    For several seconds he sat in silence, during which time the tea and sandwiches arrived.
    I'm thinking of getting a new car, in which case I'd get a red one.
Translations Translations
Pronoun
  1. (interrogative) What one or ones (of those mentioned or implied).
    Which is which?
    By now, you must surely know which is which.
    Which is bigger, the red one or the blue one?
    I'm unable to determine which is bigger.
  2. (relative) Who; whom; what (of those mentioned or implied).
    He walked by a door with a sign, which read: PRIVATE OFFICE.
    A situation in which tensions are high.
    He had to leave, which was very difficult.
    No art can be properly understood apart from the culture of which it is a part.
    • 1611, King James Version of the Bible, Luke 1:1
      Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us...
    • 1913, Mrs. [Marie] Belloc Lowndes, chapter II, in The Lodger, London: Methuen, OCLC 7780546 ↗; republished in Novels of Mystery: The Lodger; The Story of Ivy; What Really Happened, New York, N.Y.: Longmans, Green and Co., […], [1933], OCLC 2666860 ↗, page 0091 ↗:
      There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
  3. (relative, archaic) Used of people (now generally who, whom or that).
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts IX:
      The men which acompanyed him on his waye stode amased, for they herde a voyce, butt sawe no man.
Related terms Translations Translations
  • French: qui (referring to the subject); que (referring to the object)
  • German: der, welcher, was (referring back to a clause)
  • Italian: che, cui
  • Portuguese: que
  • Russian: кото́рый
  • Spanish: quien (if a person), que

Noun

which (plural whiches)

  1. An occurrence of the word which.
    • 1959, William Van O'Connor, Modern prose, form and style (page 251)
      The ofs and the whiches have thrown our prose into a hundred-years' sleep.
    • 1989, Donald Ervin Knuth, Tracy Larrabee, Paul M. Roberts, Mathematical writing (page 90)
      Is it not true, TLL asked of Mary-Claire, that people invariably get their whiches and thats right when they speak?



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