Words related to which

also *kwi-, Proto-Indo-European root, stem of relative and interrogative pronouns.

It forms all or part of: cheese (n.2) "a big thing;" cue (n.1) "stage direction;" either; hidalgo; how; kickshaw; neither; neuter; qua; quality; quandary; quantity; quasar; quasi; quasi-; query; quib; quibble; quiddity; quidnunc; quip; quodlibet; quondam; quorum; quote; quotidian; quotient; ubi; ubiquity; what; when; whence; where; whether; which; whither; who; whoever; whom; whose; why.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit kah "who, which;" Avestan ko, Hittite kuish "who;" Latin quis/quid "in what respect, to what extent; how, why," qua "where, which way," qui/quae/quod "who, which;" Lithuanian kas "who;" Old Church Slavonic kuto, Russian kto "who;" Old Irish ce, Welsh pwy "who;" Old English hwa, hwæt, hwær, etc.
like (adj.)

"having the same characteristics or qualities" (as another), c. 1200, lik, shortening of y-lik, from Old English gelic "like, similar," from Proto-Germanic *(ga)leika- "having the same form," literally "with a corresponding body" (source also of Old Saxon gilik, Dutch gelijk, German gleich, Gothic galeiks "equally, like").

This is a compound of *ga- "with, together" + the Germanic root *lik- "body, form; like, same" (source also of Old English lic "body, corpse;" see lich). Etymologically analogous to Latin conform. The modern form (rather than *lich) may be from a northern descendant of the Old English word's Norse cognate, glikr.

Formerly with comparative liker and superlative likest (still in use 17c.). The preposition (c. 1200) and the adverb (c. 1300) both are from the adjective. As a conjunction, first attested early 16c., short for like as, like unto. Colloquial like to "almost, nearly" ("I like to died laughing") is 17c., short for was like to/had like to "come near to, was likely." To feel like "want to, be in the mood for" is 1863, originally American English. Proverbial pattern as in like father, like son is recorded from 1540s.

Meaning "such as" ("A Town Like Alice") attested from 1886. The word has been used as a postponed filler ("going really fast, like") from 1778; as a presumed emphatic ("going, like, really fast") from 1950, originally in counterculture slang and bop talk. Phrase more like it "closer to what is desired" is from 1888.


Old English ælc (n., pron., adj.) "any, all, every, each (one)," short for a-gelic "ever alike," from a "ever" (see aye (adv.)) + gelic "alike" (see like (adj.)). From a common West Germanic expression *aina-galīk (source also of Dutch elk, Old Frisian ellik, Old High German iogilih, German jeglich "each, every"). Originally used as we now use every (which is a compound of each) or all; modern use is by influence of Latin quisque. Modern spelling appeared late 1500s. Also see ilk, such, which.

ilk (adj.)
Old English ilca "the same" (pron.), from Proto-Germanic *ij-lik (compare German eilen), in which the first element is from the PIE demonstrative particle *i- (see yon) and the second is that in Old English -lic "form" (see like (adj.)). Of similar formation are each, which and such, but this word disappeared except in Scottish and thus did not undergo the usual southern sound changes. Phrase of that ilk implies coincidence of name and estate, as in Lundie of Lundie; it was applied usually to families, so that by c. 1790 ilk began to be used with the meaning "family," then broadening to "type, sort."
whichever (pron.)
late 14c., from which + ever. Emphatic extended form whichsoever attested from mid-15c.