whether


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(whether) by accident or design

Intentionally or not. Whether by accident or design, those high school kids have really created a solid, sustainable business.
See also: accident, by, design

don't know whether to eat it or rub it on

Don't know what something is or how to use it. This phrase is typically used to describe unrecognizable food. What's this purple mess in the pot here? I don't know whether to eat it or rub it on.
See also: eat, know, on, rub, to

not know if (one) is coming or going

To be in a state of confusion or chaos, especially due to being very busy or overwhelmed. I have so many appointments today, I don't know if I'm coming or going anymore. Lisa has been so busy getting everything ready for the party, she doesn't know if she's coming or going.
See also: coming, going, if, know, not

not know whether (one) is coming or going

To be in a state of confusion or chaos, especially due to being very busy or overwhelmed. Lisa has been so busy getting everything ready for the party, she doesn't know whether she's coming or going. I have so many appointments today, I don't know whether I'm coming or going anymore.
See also: coming, going, know, not

not know whether to laugh or (to) cry

To be in an acute state of shock, exasperation, or disbelief due to an unexpected tragic or unfortunate event. When the team lost the championship in the final seconds of the game, we didn't know whether to laugh or to cry. I just found out all of my applications were rejected. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
See also: cry, know, laugh, not, to

whether or no

Regardless of whether (something happens or is the case). Whether or no you're a member, you still have to pay admission for the special exhibit. I'm going whether or no you come with me.
See also: no

whether or not

Regardless of whether (something happens or is the case). Whether or not you're a member, you still have to pay admission for the special exhibit. I'm going whether or not you come with me.
See also: not

wonder whether (something)

Used to form a polite request for something. I wonder whether I could trouble you for a pen and some paper. I would like to write a letter to my family back home. A: "Good evening, sir. You rang the call bell?" B: "Yes. I was wondering whether you would mind carrying these bags up to our room for us."
See also: wonder
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

don't know whether to eat it or rub it on

Rur. do not know what to do with something. (Used to describe a kind of food one does not recognize or that looks unusual.) (Also with doesn't. Don't used with all persons is folksy.) That sure was a fancy dessert Mary served. I didn't know whether to eat it or rub it on. What kind of sauce is this? I don't know whether to eat it or rub it on!
See also: eat, know, on, rub, to

not know whether one is coming or going and not know if one is coming or going

Fig. to be very confused. I'm so busy that I don't know if I'm coming or going. You look as if you don't know whether you're coming or going.
See also: and, coming, going, if, know, not, one

whether or not

either if something is the case or if something is not the case; one way or the other. I'll drive to New York tomorrow whether or not it rains. I'm going to the mall whether you come with me or not.
See also: not
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

not know whether one is coming or going

see under coming or going.
See also: coming, going, know, not, one

whether or not

Also, whether or no. Regardless of whether, no matter if. For example, Whether or not it rains, we're going to walk to the theater, or She plans to sing at the wedding, whether or no anyone asks her to. The negative element in these constructions may also follow the subject and verb, as in I have to attend, whether I want to or not. [c. 1600]
See also: not
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.

not know whether you are coming or going

SPOKEN
If you don't know whether you are coming or going, you feel very confused and are unable to think clearly. We worked 16 hours a day. By the end of the week we didn't know whether we were coming or going. The truth is I'm so excited that I hardly know whether I'm coming or going.
See also: coming, going, know, not
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not know whether you’re ˈcoming or ˈgoing

(informal) be confused about what you are doing, because you are doing too many things at the same time: I’ve got so much work to do that I don’t know whether I’m coming or going.
See also: coming, going, know, not

not know whether to ˈlaugh or ˈcry

(informal) be unable to decide how to react to a bad or unfortunate situation: Can you believe she said that to me? I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!
See also: cry, know, laugh, not, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

whether or no

Regardless of circumstances.
See also: no
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.

laugh or cry, don't know whether to

I am amused and upset at the same time. This expression is a modern version of several much earlier sayings. Chaucer wrote, “She ys fals [is false]; and ever laughynge, with oon eye, and that other wepynge,” indicating more hypocrisy rather than being torn by conflicting feelings. This version became a proverb, “Cry with one eye and laugh with the other” (in Ray’s 1678 and Fuller’s 1732 collections). Another version, “to laugh and cry both with a breath”—that is, to laugh and cry at the same time—was so put by Shakespeare (in Venus and Adonis) and also recorded in the above-named proverb collections. The modern cliché dates from the nineteenth century.
See also: know, laugh, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
Or, in spite of the opinion of the many, and in spite of consequences whether better or worse, shall we insist on the truth of what was then said, that injustice is always an evil and dishonour to him who acts unjustly?
CRITO: Well, I will not dispute with you; but please to tell me, Socrates, whether you are not acting out of regard to me and your other friends: are you not afraid that if you escape from prison we may get into trouble with the informers for having stolen you away, and lose either the whole or a great part of our property; or that even a worse evil may happen to us?
SOCRATES: Dear Crito, your zeal is invaluable, if a right one; but if wrong, the greater the zeal the greater the danger; and therefore we ought to consider whether I shall or shall not do as you say.
Further, one may ask whether the author has a deliberately formed theory of life; and if so how it shows itself, and, of course, how sound it is.
Largely a matter of Emotion is the Personal Sympathy of the author for his characters, while Intellect has a large share in Dramatic Sympathy, whereby the author enters truly into the situations and feelings of any character, whether he personally likes him or not.
He then desired to know, "What arts were practised in electing those whom I called commoners: whether a stranger, with a strong purse, might not influence the vulgar voters to choose him before their own landlord, or the most considerable gentleman in the neighbourhood?
And he desired to know, "Whether such zealous gentlemen could have any views of refunding themselves for the charges and trouble they were at by sacrificing the public good to the designs of a weak and vicious prince, in conjunction with a corrupted ministry?" He multiplied his questions, and sifted me thoroughly upon every part of this head, proposing numberless inquiries and objections, which I think it not prudent or convenient to repeat.
And about knowledge and ignorance in general; see whether you think that any man who has knowledge ever would wish to have the choice of saying or doing more than another man who has knowledge.
I know, I said, that such was your position; but what I would further consider is, whether this power which is possessed by the superior state can exist or be exercised without justice.
He said he would give me the horses of the noble son of Peleus and his bronze-bedizened chariot; he bade me go through the darkness of the flying night, get close to the enemy, and find out whether the ships are still guarded as heretofore, or whether, now that we have beaten them, the Achaeans design to fly, and through sheer exhaustion are neglecting to keep their watches."
He was doubting whether to take the chariot in which the king's armour was lying, and draw it out by the pole, or to lift the armour out and carry it off; or whether again, he should not kill some more Thracians.
I am certain that if you were to ask any Athenian whether virtue was natural or acquired, he would laugh in your face, and say: 'Stranger, you have far too good an opinion of me, if you think that I can answer your question.
And they say--mark, now, and see whether their words are true--they say that the soul of man is immortal, and at one time has an end, which is termed dying, and at another time is born again, but is never destroyed.
Green's park-gates, she 'wondered whether he was at home--great stupid blockhead'; as Lady Meltham's carriage passed us, she 'wondered what Mr.
Whether she intended to torment me, or merely to amuse herself, I could not tell--and did not much care; but I thought of the poor man and his one lamb, and the rich man with his thousand flocks; and I dreaded I knew not what for Mr.