where +‎ by


  • enPR: wâr-bī', IPA(key): /wɛə(ɹ)ˈbaɪ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aɪ


whereby (not comparable)

  1. (interrogative, obsolete) By what, in which direction; how.
    Whereby goest thou?
  2. By which.
    • c. 1596-97, William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV scene i[1]:
      Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that:
      You take my house when you do take the prop
      That doth sustain my house; you take my life
      When you do take the means whereby I live.
    • 1990, Local management of schools, Kogan Page Ltd:
      Other heads saw devolution as a whole new way of life and adopted an approach whereby the power of devolution was used to enable the school to drive the curriculum.
  3. (nonstandard) Where, wherein, in which.
    • 1992, The hotel receptionist, Paige, Jane and Paige, Grace, Cassell Educational:
      This is an electronic system whereby executives are issued with small bleepers.

Usage notesEdit

Use of whereby as a formal equivalent of where is nonstandard and is avoided by careful speakers and writers, who use where or in which instead. The term typically fails readability and comprehension review so it is generally avoided in published works. The term is also avoided by speakers as it makes it difficult to understand the message one is trying to communicate.


See alsoEdit

Here-, there-, and where- words