From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishwhat if ...?what if ...?a)IFused to ask what you should do or what the result will be if something happens, especially something unpleasantWhat if this plan of yours fails, what then?‘What if it rains tomorrow?’ ‘We’ll just have to postpone it.’b)SUGGESTused to make a suggestionWhat if we moved the sofa over here? Would that look better? →what
Examples from the Corpus
what if ...?• What if your plan doesn't work?what-ifˈwhat-if noun [countable usually plural] informalsomething that could happen in the future or could have happened in the pastIf I thought about all of the what-ifs in my life, I would go crazy.From Longman Business Dictionarywhat-ifˈwhat-if adjectivewhat-if? question/analysis etc a way of examining a situation by deciding what you would do if something happened to change itA risk management consultant can kick-start the process by providing a few, objective what-if? questions.