Meaning of WHENCE in English

I. ˈhwen(t)s also ˈwe- adverb

Etymology: Middle English whennes, whannes, from whenne, whanne whence (from Old English hwanon, hwanone ) + -s, gen. singular noun ending functioning adverbially; akin to Old Saxon hwanan whence, Old High German hwanān, hwanana whence, Old English hwā who — more at who , -s


a. : from what place

are the pigments imported and, if so, whence — Notes & Queries on Anthropology

— often used with from

asks from whence these lines come — New York Times Book Review

b. : from what source, origin, antecedent, or cause

whence do these questionings well up — S.C.Pepper

— often used with from

from whence could this possibility issue — F.S.Haserot

2. : from or out of which place, source or cause

a native of Europe, whence it was introduced into many parts of the world — Jane Nickerson

sketches the lawless society whence the ballads sprang — DeLancey Ferguson

— often used with from

3. : upon which ground : by reason of or in consequence of which fact or circumstance : wherefore

came a whacking header onto my arms and nose and nothing broke — whence I infer that my bones are not yet chalky — O.W.Holmes †1935

II. noun

( -s )

: a place or source from which someone or something springs : antecedent

deals only with the momentary what, neglecting the whence — J.P.M.Somerville

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.