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whizbang shell
whizz along
whizz kid
who is who
who was who
who's who

Who definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

WHO, pron. relative. pron. hoo. [L. Who is undoubtedly a contracted word in English as in Latin. See What and Wight.]
1. Who is a pronoun relative, always referring to persons. It forms whose in the genitive or possessive case, answering to the L. Cujus, and whom in the objective or accusative case. Who, whose and whom, are in both numbers. Thus we say, the man or woman who was with us; the men or women who were with us; the men or women whom we saw.
2. Which of many. Are you satisfied who did the mischief?
3. It is much used in asking questions; as, who am I? Who art thou? Who is this? Who are these? In this case, the purpose is to obtain the name or designation of the person or character.
4. It has sometimes a disjunctive sense.
There thou tellst of kings, and who aspire; who fall, who rise, who triumph, who do moan.
5. Whose is of all genders. Whose book is this?
This question whose solution I require--
As who should say, elliptically for as one who should say.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: a United Nations agency to coordinate international health activities and to help governments improve health services [syn: World Health Organization, WHO]

Merriam Webster's

pronoun Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hw?; akin to Old High German hwer, interrogative pronoun, who, Latin quis, Greek tis, Latin qui, relative pronoun, who Date: before 12th century 1. what or which person or persons — used as an interrogative <who was elected?> <find out who they are> — used by speakers on all educational levels and by many reputable writers, though disapproved by some grammarians, as the object of a verb or a following preposition <who did I see but a Spanish lady — Padraic Colum> <do not know who the message is from — G. K. Chesterton> 2. the person or persons that ; whoever 3. — used as a function word to introduce a relative clause; used especially in reference to persons <my father, who was a lawyer> but also in reference to groups <a generation who had known nothing but war — R. B. West> or to animals <dogs who…fawn all over tramps — Nigel Balchin> or to inanimate objects especially with the implication that the reference is really to a person <earlier sources who maintain a Davidic ancestry — F. M. Cross> — used by speakers on all educational levels and by many reputable writers, though disapproved by some grammarians, as the object of a verb or a following preposition <a character who we are meant to pity — Times Literary Supplement> Usage: see whom, that

Merriam Webster's

abbreviation World Health Organization

Oxford Reference Dictionary

abbr. World Health Organization.

Oxford Reference Dictionary

pron. (obj. whom or colloq. who; poss. whose) 1 a what or which person or persons? (who called?; you know who it was; whom or who did you see?). Usage: In the last example whom is correct but who is common in less formal contexts. b what sort of person or persons? (who am I to object?). 2 (a person) that (anyone who wishes can come; the woman whom you met; the man who you saw). Usage: In the last two examples whom is correct but who is common in less formal contexts. 3 and or but he, she, they, etc. (gave it to Tom, who sold it to Jim). 4 archaic the or any person or persons that (whom the gods love die young). Phrases and idioms: as who should say like a person who said; as though one said. who-does-what (of a dispute etc.) about which group of workers should do a particular job. who goes there? see GO(1). who's who 1 who or what each person is (know who's who). 2 a list or directory with facts about notable persons. Etymology: OE hwa f. Gmc: whom f. OE dative hwam, hwæm: whose f. genit. hwæs

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Who Who, pron. [Possess. whose; object. Whom.] [OE. who, wha, AS. hw[=a], interrogative pron., neut. hw[ae]t; akin to OFries. hwa, neut. hwet, OS. hw[=e], neut. hwat, D. wie, neut. wat, G. wer, neut. was, OHG. wer, hwer, neut. waz, hwaz, Icel. hvat, neut., Dan. hvo, neut. hvad, Sw. ho, hvem, neut. hvad, Goth. hwas, fem. hw[=o], neut. hwa, Lith. kas, Ir. & Gael. co, W. pwy, L. quod, neuter of qui, Gr. po`teros whether, Skr. kas. [root]182. Cf. How, Quantity, Quorum, Quote, Ubiquity, What, When, Where, Whether, Which, Whither, Whom, Why.] 1. Originally, an interrogative pronoun, later, a relative pronoun also; -- used always substantively, and either as singular or plural. See the Note under What, pron., 1. As interrogative pronouns, who and whom ask the question: What or which person or persons? Who and whom, as relative pronouns (in the sense of that), are properly used of persons (corresponding to which, as applied to things), but are sometimes, less properly and now rarely, used of animals, plants, etc. Who and whom, as compound relatives, are also used especially of persons, meaning the person that; the persons that; the one that; whosoever. ``Let who will be President.'' --Macaulay. [He] should not tell whose children they were. --Chaucer. There thou tell'st of kings, and who aspire; Who fall, who rise, who triumph, who do moan. --Daniel. Adders who with cloven tongues Do hiss into madness. --Shak. Whom I could pity thus forlorn. --Milton. How hard is our fate, who serve in the state. --Addison. Who cheapens life, abates the fear of death. --Young. The brace of large greyhounds, who were the companions of his sports. --Sir W. Scott. 2. One; any; one. [Obs., except in the archaic phrase, as who should say.] As who should say, it were a very dangerous matter if a man in any point should be found wiser than his forefathers were. --Robynson (More's Utopia).

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English. Note: 'Who' is used as the subject or object of a verb. See entries at 'whom' and 'whose'. 1. You use who in questions when you ask about the name or identity of a person or group of people. Who's there?... Who is the least popular man around here?... Who do you work for?... Who do you suppose will replace her on the show?... 'You reminded me of somebody.'—'Who?' QUEST 2. You use who after certain words, especially verbs and adjectives, to introduce a clause where you talk about the identity of a person or a group of people. Police have not been able to find out who was responsible for the forgeries... I went over to start up a conversation, asking her who she knew at the party... You know who these people are. CONJ 3. You use who at the beginning of a relative clause when specifying the person or group of people you are talking about or when giving more information about them. There are those who eat out for a special occasion, or treat themselves... The woman, who needs constant attention, is cared for by relatives... PRON


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