- enPR: hwĕns, IPA(key): /ʍɛns/
- (in accents with the wine-whine merger) enPR: wĕns, IPA(key): /wɛns/
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- Rhymes: -ɛns
whence (not comparable)
- (archaic, formal or literary) From where; from which place or source.
- Whence came I?
- "Pork" comes from French, whence we get most of our modern cooking terms.
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], OCLC 964384981, John 8:14, column 1:
- 1881–1882, Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Sea Chest”, in Treasure Island, London; Paris: Cassell & Company, published 14 November 1883, OCLC 702939134, part I (The Old Buccaneer), page 29:
- [W]hat greatly encouraged me, it was in an opposite direction from that whence the blind man had made his appearance, and whither he had presumably returned.
- 1885, Richard F[rancis] Burton, transl. and editor, “The Seventh Voyage of Sindbad the Seaman”, in A Plain and Literal Translation of the Arabian Nights’ Entertainments, now Entituled The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night […], volume VI, Shammar edition, [London]: […] Burton Club […], OCLC 939632161, page 71:
- […] But when I had bestridden the plank, quoth I to myself, "Thou deservest all that betideth thee. All this is decreed to me of Allah (whose name be exalted!), to turn me from my greed of gain, whence ariseth all that I endure, for I have wealth galore."
- 1898, J. Meade Falkner, “A Discovery”, in Moonfleet, London; Toronto, Ont.: Jonathan Cape, published 1934, page 47:
- At first I could not tell what this new sound was, nor whence it came, and now it seemed a little noise close by, and now a great noise in the distance. And then it grew nearer and more defined, and in a moment I knew it was the sound of voices talking.
- This word is uncommon in contemporary usage; from where is now usually substituted (as in the example sentence: Where did I come from? or From where did I come?). Whence is now mainly encountered in older works and in poetic or literary writing.
- From whence has a strong literary precedent, appearing in Wyclif's Bible translation, Shakespeare and the King James Bible, as well as in the writings of numerous Victorian-era writers. In recent times, however, it has been criticized as redundant by usage commentators.
Terms derived from whence
from where; from which place or source
- (literary, poetic) Used for introducing the result of a fact that has just been stated; thence
- The work is slow and dangerous, whence the high costs.
- I scored more than you in the exam, whence we can conclude that I am better at the subject than you are.
- 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.
Translations to be checked