When (?), adv. [OE. when, whan, whenne, whanne, AS. hwaenne, hwanne, hwonne; akin to OS. hwan, OD. wan, OHG. wanne, G. wann when, wenn if, when, Goth. hwan when, and to E. who. . See Who.]
At what time; -- used interrogatively.
When shall these things be?
Matt. xxiv. 3.
⇒ See the Note under What, pron., 1.
At what time; at, during, or after the time that; at or just after, the moment that; -- used relatively.
Take their advantage when and how they list.
Book lore ne'er served, when trial came,
Nor gifts, when faith was dead.
J. H. Newman.
While; whereas; although; -- used in the manner of a conjunction to introduce a dependent adverbial sentence or clause, having a causal, conditional, or adversative relation to the principal proposition; as, he chose to turn highwayman when he might have continued an honest man; he removed the tree when it was the best in the grounds.
Which time; then; -- used elliptically as a noun.
I was adopted heir by his consent;
Since when, his oath is broke.
⇒ When was formerly used as an exclamation of surprise or impatience, like what!
Come hither; mend my ruff:
Here, when! thou art such a tedious lady!
When as, When that, at the time that; when. [Obs.]
When as sacred light began to dawn.
When that mine eye is famished for a look.
© Webster 1913.