why etymology

Middle English word why comes from Proto-Indo-European *kʷ-, Proto-Indo-European *kʷe-, Proto-Indo-European *kʷo-, and later Proto-Germanic *hwī (How, with what, by what means;.)

Detailed word origin of why

Dictionary entryLanguageDefinition
*kʷ- Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*kʷe- Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*kʷo- Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*kʷód, kʷod Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro)
*hwī Proto-Germanic (gem-pro) How, with what, by what means;.
*kʷís Proto-Indo-European (ine-pro) Who, what (interrogative). Who, which, that (relative) Which, what.
*hwaz Proto-Germanic (gem-pro) (interrogative) who, what. (interrogative, in dative) whom. (interrogative, in genitive) whose. (interrogative, in instrumental) with whom, with what, how, in what way.
hwā Old English (ang)
hwī Old English (ang)
why Middle English (enm)

Words with the same origin as why

Descendants of *kʷ-
either hou how hu huo hwat hwo hwoa hwu hwulch iwhō quer quher quoten wedyr wether what whem whether whilk who whom whuch whæt ywhere
Descendants of *kʷe-
cognicion companion comper condescenden conformen consecucioun hwic wher whet whidir ȝehwa
Descendants of *kʷo-
whan when