From Middle English whatever; equivalent to what +‎ ever.


Unusually, the /t/ in whatever may be flapped in certain dialects, despite preceding a stressed syllable.



  1. no matter what; for any
    Whatever choice you make, there will be consequences.
  2. (relative) Anything that.
    Whatever reasons you have for doing this are unimportant to me.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page viii:
      Whatever utility the work may have outside of its stated boundaries will be largely because of such a nonprovincial approach.

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.



  1. No matter what; for any
    Whatever he does, he will still lose the game.
  2. (relative) Anything; sometimes used to indicate that the speaker does not care about options.
    I’ll do whatever I can.
    • 1733, [Alexander Pope], An Essay on Man. [], epistle I, London: Printed for J[ohn] Wilford, [], OCLC 960856019, lines 280–281, page 16:
      And ſpight of Pride, and in thy Reaſon's ſpight, / One truth is clear; "Whatever Is, is Right."
    • 2013 September-October, Henry Petroski, “The Evolution of Eyeglasses”, in American Scientist[1]:
      The ability of a segment of a glass sphere to magnify whatever is placed before it was known around the year 1000, when the spherical segment was called a reading stone, essentially what today we might term a frameless magnifying glass or plain glass paperweight.
  3. This term needs a definition. Please help out and add a definition, then remove the text {{rfdef}}.




  1. (colloquial, dismissive) A holophrastic expression used discourteously to indicate that the speaker does not consider the matter worthy of further discussion.
    Go brush your teeth. –Whatever!

Usage notesEdit

  • Tone of voice is particularly important here in playing up or playing down the dismissive quality of the word.




whatever (comparative more whatever, superlative most whatever)

  1. (colloquial) Unexceptional or unimportant; blah.
    • 1996, Mathias, “Lake Placid Comments”, in rec.music.phish, Usenet:
      All in all, I guess I shouldn't be complaining, but the rest of the show, imho, was very whatever-ish.
    • 2007, Avril Lavigne (lyrics and music), “Girlfriend”, in The Best Damn Thing:
      She's like so whatever / You can do so much better
  2. (dated, postpositive) At all, absolutely, whatsoever.
    There is no point whatever in going on with this discussion.
    • 1864, Charles Piazzi Smyth, Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (page 207)
      So then arose the horrible confusion perpetuated ever since, of perversely different kinds of weights, jostling each other in Britain; Troy weight and Avoirdupois weight and Apothecaries' weight, wherein or whereamongst every one is at sea with regard to testing them, and no one whatever is satisfied.
    • 1910, Emerson Hough, “The Purchase Price”, in The Purchase Price: Or The Cause of Compromise, Indianapolis, Ind.: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, OCLC 639762314:
      Serene, smiling, enigmatic, she faced him with no fear whatever showing in her dark eyes. The clear light of the bright autumn morning had no terrors for youth and health like hers.


whatever (plural whatevers)

  1. (colloquial) Something whose exact kind or nature is unimportant; a thingy.
    • 2003, David Soubly, Santa, CEO (page 91)
      How would you feel if you're a plant elf, and your daily bonus is tied to the number of whatevers you produce, and then this big clumsy thing barges in and knocks your rate back for the whole week?

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