what if

what if
W w


    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [hwuht, hwot, wuht, wot if]
    • /ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt ɪf/
    • US Pronunciation
    • US IPA
    • [hwuht, hwot, wuht, wot if]
    • /ʰwʌt, ʰwɒt, wʌt, wɒt ɪf/

Definitions of what if words

  • adjective what if (used interrogatively before nouns): What news? What clothes shall I pack? 1
  • adjective what if whatever: Take what supplies you need. 1
  • noun what if the true nature or identity of something, or the sum of its characteristics: a lecture on the whats and hows of crop rotation. 1
  • adverb what if to what extent or degree? how much?: What does it matter? 1
  • adverb what if (used to introduce a prepositional phrase beginning with with): What with storms and all, their return was delayed. 1
  • adverb what if Obsolete. for what reason or purpose? why? 1

Information block about the term

Origin of what if

First appearance:

before 1980
One of the 1% newest English words
First recorded in 1980-85

Historical Comparancy

Parts of speech for What if


what if popularity

A pretty common term. Usually people know it’s meaning, but prefer to use a more spread out synonym. About 51% of English native speakers know the meaning and use word.
Most Europeans know this English word. The frequency of it’s usage is somewhere between "mom" and "screwdriver".

what if usage trend in Literature

This diagram is provided by Google Ngram Viewer

Synonyms for what if

conjunction what if

  • assuming — You use assuming or assuming that when you are considering a possible situation or event, so that you can think about the consequences.

See also

Matching words

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