what if

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what if

1. An expression used to speculate about something. What if I was able to drive you there. Would that change anything? What if aliens did exist? What would that mean for society?
2. A speculative scenario; a speculation about an outcome that cannot yet be known or ascertained. There is a possibility that we could write off some of these losses, but it's still a big what if at this point.
See also: if, what
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

What if...?

What would be the result if something were true? What if you had all the money you want? What if everyone thought you were great?
See also: what
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

what if

Suppose that, as in What if the speaker doesn't get here in time? This expression is in effect a shortening of "what would happen if." It was first recorded about 1420.
See also: if, what
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

what if...?


1 what would happen if ...?: What if the car breaks down?
2 why should I care if ...? what does it matter if ...?: ‘You’ll fail the exam if you don’t work harder, Carol.’ ‘What if I do? It’s not the end of the world.’
See also: what
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

what if

1. What would occur if; suppose that: What if we were rich?
2. What does it matter if: What if he gets angry?—I don't care.
See also: if, what
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
We have found that answering complex what-if questions is a challenging and time-consuming endeavour, and we believe Complexica's What-if Simulator & Optimiser can provide us with a platform for scenario analysis that will improve our decision-making in the future.
Contemporary culture utilizes the what-if question to predict the future.
To sufficiently present information about medical device kits, companies must understand possible "what-if" scenarios.
But at least the view outside the asphalt is lovely as I lay down the cash to keep the what-ifs at bay.
After a normal descent and with the traditional landing picture in view, I descended the last few hundred feet when the what-if scenario met the law of unintended consequences.
Follow along as I demonstrate how Scenario PivotTable can make your analysis of even the most complex what-if projects more efficient and effective.
The last option--a review of a "What-If" analysis--allows the insurance executive to study the sensitivity of the proposed rate-level changes to various ratemaking assumptions, and in doing so, focus on the reasonableness of such assumptions.
* The ability to do "what-if" scenario planning, to see how specific transactions would be taxed for better tax planning and cash management.
It is a great chance to review roles and responsibilities by discussing what-if scenarios, like a fall at a climbing site or a whitewater kayaking drowning.
Specifically, SCAW Version 4.0 includes an embedded multi-dimensional analysis module that allows customers to perform analysis to understand both past and present situations, as well as perform the "what-if" analysis for determining future business strategies and tactics.
Euan Macdonald's drawings and paintings tend to fall into a few basic categories: There's the twist on reality; the obvious but unconsidered; the unexpected occurrence; the capturing of the elusive; the answer to a what-if question.
But an ASP that is not prepared for the "what-if" scenarios is a data-retrieval time bomb.
Managers and subject-matter experts should meet and discuss "what-if" scenarios, suggesting resolutions that comply with current laws, protocols, and policies.
A collection of familiar and new what-if scenarios of uneven insight by a group of historians What if Charles I had avoided civil war?
Both couples like the "what-if" scenarios and the way the software prompts you for information.