whether - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    used when someone does not know which of two possibilities is true

    They asked us whether we were married.

    There is some doubt as to whether the illness is infectious.


    She doesn’t even know whether her daughter is dead or alive.

    whether or not:

    I still don’t know whether or not he’s planning to come.

     Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    used when someone can choose between two possibilities

    Employees are deciding whether to accept the offer.

    whether or not:

    There was a debate over whether or not to send troops.

     Synonyms and related words
  3. 3
    used for saying that it does not matter which of two possibilities is true, because the situation will be the same

    The journey, whether by road or rail, takes under four hours.

    whether...or not:

    Whether you like it or not, you’ll have to change your lifestyle.

    whether...or (whether):

    Whether we win or whether we lose, we shall respect the democratic process.

     Synonyms and related words