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definition of the word wherefore

by the Wiktionnary

wherefore (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. (archaic) Why, for what reason, because of what.
    Job, Holy Bible [King James Version], 21:7:
    • Wherefore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in power?
    1595 Shakespeare, William, Romeo and Juliet:
    • Romeo, O Romeo. Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

A common misconception is that "wherefore" means "where", and has even been used in that sense in cartoon depictions of Romeo and Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, the context of "Wherefore art thou, Romeo?" is not "Where are you, Romeo?", as is depicted. Rather, it is "Why is your name Romeo?" or "Why do you exist, Romeo?".


  1. (archaic) Because of which.
    Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
    Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
    (Isaiah 30:12-13)

Definition from Wiktionary
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