1 /waI/ adverb, conjunction
1 for what reason: Why do you say that? | Why should we bother waiting any longer? | I can't think why he would do such a thing. | why ever...? (=used to add force to a question): Why ever would he come specially to visit us?
2 why not...?
a) used to make a suggestion: Why not make your own Christmas cards instead of buying them? | Why don't you contact Eric - he may be able to help?
b) used to show that you agree with a suggestion or idea: “It might be nice to see a film this afternoon.” “Yes, why not?”
3 why on earth...? spoken used to ask in a surprised way why something has happened: But why on earth didn't you ask me to help?
4 why the hell...? spoken used to ask in a very angry way why something has happened: Why the hell did you buy it in the first place?
5 why oh why...? spoken used to show that you very much regret something you did: Why oh why did I say those horrible things?
6 why me/her? spoken used to ask why something has been done, given etc to you or someone else: Why me? Why can't someone else drive you?
2 interjection especially AmE used to show that you are surprised or annoyed: Why, where on earth can Don have got to! 3 noun the why(s) and the wherefore(s) the reasons or explanations for something: I'm not interested in the whys and the wherefores, just tell me what it will cost.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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