From Middle High German warumme, war umme, warumbe, war umbe, from Old High German wār umbe. Equivalent to wo (“where”) + um (“in order to, for the purpose of”), thus “for what purpose”. Doublet of worum, but with the older vocalism preserved. Compare Dutch waarom, which has both meanings.
- IPA(key): /vaˈʁʊm/ (usual)
- IPA(key): /ˈvaː.ʁʊm/ (never in isolation, but sometimes triggered by the intonation of a sentence)
- Rhymes: -ʊm
- why; for what reason
- “warum” in Duden online