When (?), adv. [OE. when, whan, whenne, whanne, AS. hwaenne, hwanne, hwonne; akin to OS. hwan, OD. wan, OHG. wanne, G. wann when, wenn if, when, Goth. hwan when, and to E. who. . See Who.]


At what time; -- used interrogatively.

When shall these things be? Matt. xxiv. 3.

⇒ See the Note under What, pron., 1.


At what time; at, during, or after the time that; at or just after, the moment that; -- used relatively.

Kings may Take their advantage when and how they list. Daniel.

Book lore ne'er served, when trial came, Nor gifts, when faith was dead. J. H. Newman.


While; whereas; although; -- used in the manner of a conjunction to introduce a dependent adverbial sentence or clause, having a causal, conditional, or adversative relation to the principal proposition; as, he chose to turn highwayman when he might have continued an honest man; he removed the tree when it was the best in the grounds.


Which time; then; -- used elliptically as a noun.

I was adopted heir by his consent; Since when, his oath is broke. Shak.

When was formerly used as an exclamation of surprise or impatience, like what!

Come hither; mend my ruff: Here, when! thou art such a tedious lady! J. Webster.

When as, When that, at the time that; when. [Obs.]

When as sacred light began to dawn. Milton.

When that mine eye is famished for a look. Shak.


© Webster 1913.

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