which BrE [wɪtʃ] NAmE [wɪtʃ] pronoun, determiner
1. used in questions to ask sb to be exact about one or more people or things from a limited number
. Which is better exercise— swimming or tennis?
. Which of the applicants has got the job?
. Which of the patients have recovered?
. Which way is the wind blowing?
2. used to be exact about the thing or things that you mean
. Houses which overlook the lake cost more.
. It was a crisis for which she was totally unprepared. That can be used instead of which in this meaning, but it is not used immediately after a preposition
. It was a crisis that she was totally unprepared for.
3. used to give more information about sth
. His best movie, which won several awards, was about the life of Gandhi.
. Your claim ought to succeed, in which case the damages will be substantial. That cannot be used instead of which in this meaning.
Idiom: which is which
[which] Old English hwilc, from the Germanic bases of who and alike.
Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
|1.||Of what sort or kind; what; what a; who.|
And which they weren and of what degree.
|2.||A interrogative pronoun, used both substantively and adjectively, and in direct and indirect questions, to ask for, or refer to, an individual person or thing among several of a class; as, which man is it? which woman was it? which is the house? he asked which route he should take; which is best, to live or to die? See the Note under What, pron., 1.|
Which of you convinceth me of sin?
|3.||A relative pronoun, used esp. in referring to an antecedent noun or clause, but sometimes with reference to what is specified or implied in a sentence, or to a following noun or clause (generally involving a reference, however, to something which has preceded). It is used in all numbers and genders, and was formerly used of persons.|
And when thou fail'st - as God forbid the hour! -
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!
God . . . rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
Our Father, which art in heaven.
The temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
|4.||A compound relative or indefinite pronoun, standing for any one which, whichever, that which, those which, the . . . which, and the like; as, take which you will.|
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
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