whence [ -vcwfm ] name ...

For each name, indicate how it would be interpreted if used as a command name.

Option Description


Produce a more verbose report.


Print the results in a csh-like format. This takes precedence over -v.


For each name, print name: word where word is one of alias, builtin, command, functions, reserved or none, according as name corresponds to an alias, a built-in command, an external command, a shell function, a reserved word, or is not recognised. This takes precedence over -v and -c.


Causes the contents of a shell function to be displayed, which would otherwise not happen unless the -c flag were used.


The arguments are taken as patterns (should be quoted), and the information is displayed for each command matching one of these patterns.

Note: Due to capability limitations of Zsh, external commands are not recognised by the whence command and its derivatives.