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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Whence \Whence\, adv. [OE. whennes, whens (with adverbial s, properly a genitive ending; -- see -wards), also whenne, whanene, AS. hwanan, hwanon, hwonan, hwanone; akin to D. when. See When, and cf. Hence, Thence.] [1913 Webster] 1. From what place; hence, from what or which source, origin, antecedent, premise, or the like; how; -- used interrogatively. [1913 Webster] Whence hath this man this wisdom? --Matt. xiii. 54. [1913 Webster] Whence and what art thou? --Milton. [1913 Webster] 2. From what or which place, source, material, cause, etc.; the place, source, etc., from which; -- used relatively. [1913 Webster] Grateful to acknowledge whence his good Descends. --Milton. [1913 Webster] Note: All the words of this class, whence, where, whither, whereabouts, etc., are occasionally used as pronouns by a harsh construction. [1913 Webster] O, how unlike the place from whence they fell? --Milton. [1913 Webster] Note: From whence, though a pleonasm, is fully authorized by the use of good writers. [1913 Webster] From whence come wars and fightings among you? --James iv. 1. [1913 Webster] Of whence, also a pleonasm, has become obsolete. [1913 Webster]