the-[t̸hə; before vowels t̸hē, t̸hi]
- The is defined as an article and is used before a noun to specify, or put emphasis on, that noun.
An example of "the" is saying that a particular bird is blue.
- that (one) being spoken of or already mentioned: the story ended that (one) which is present, close, nearby, etc., as distinguished from all others viewed as remote: the day just started, the heat is oppressive that (one) designated or identified, as by a title: the President (of the U.S.), the Mississippi (River) that (one) considered outstanding, most fashionable, etc.: usually italicized in print: that's the restaurant in town that (one) belonging to a person previously mentioned or understood: take me by the hand, rub into the face one specified period of time, esp. a decade: the Dark Ages, the seventiesInformal that (one) who has a specific family relationship to one: the wife, the kid sister
- an attributive adjective: the front door a relative clause: the man who answered a prepositional phrase: the hit of the week an infinitive phrase: the right to strike a participle: follow the directions given
- one taken as the representative of the entire genus or type: learn to use the typewriter, the cow is a domestic animal an adjective used as a noun: the good, the beautiful, the true
Origin of theMiddle English indeclinable article ; from Old English se (nom. masculine article) with th- ; from other case and amp; gender forms (thone, thæs, thære, thæm, thy): for Indo-European base see that; the meaning is controlled by the basic notion “previously recognized, noticed, or encountered” in distinction to a, an
- that much; to that extent: the better to see you with
- by how much . . . by that much; to what extent . . . to that extent: used in a correlative construction expressing comparison: the sooner the better
- a. Used before singular or plural nouns and noun phrases that denote particular, specified persons or things: the baby; the dress I wore.b. Used before a noun, and generally stressed, to emphasize one of a group or type as the most outstanding or prominent: considered Wicker Park to be the neighborhood to live in these days.c. Used to indicate uniqueness: the Prince of Wales; the moon.d. Used before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass: the weather; a wind from the south.e. Used as the equivalent of a possessive adjective before names of some parts of the body: grab him by the neck; an infection of the hand.f. Used before a noun specifying a field of endeavor: the law; the film industry; the stage.g. Used before a proper name, as of a monument or ship: the Alamo; the Titanic.h. Used before the plural form of a numeral denoting a specific decade of a century or of a lifespan: rural life in the Thirties.
- Used before a singular noun indicating that the noun is generic: The loggerhead turtle is an endangered species.
- a. Used before an adjective extending it to signify a class and giving it the function of a noun: the rich; the dead; the homeless.b. Used before an absolute adjective: the best we can offer.
- Used before a present participle, signifying the action in the abstract: the weaving of rugs.
- Used before a noun with the force of per: cherries at $1.50 the box.
Origin of theMiddle English, from Old English, alteration (influenced by , th-, oblique case stem of demonstrative pron.) of se, masculine demonstrative pron.; see so- in Indo-European roots.
- To that extent; by that much. Used before a comparative: the sooner the better.
- Beyond any other: enjoyed reading the most.
Origin of theMiddle English, from Old English th&ymacron;, thē, instrumental of thæt, neuter demonstrative pron.; see to- in Indo-European roots.
- Definite grammatical article that implies necessarily that an entity it articulates is presupposed; something already mentioned, or completely specified later in that same sentence, or assumed already completely specified. [from 10th c.]
- Iâ€™m reading the book. (Compare Iâ€™m reading a book.)
- The street in front of your house. (Compare A street in Paris.)
- The men and women watched the man give the birdseed to the bird.
- Used before an object considered to be unique, or of which there is only one at a time. [from 10th c.]
- No one knows how many galaxies there are in the universe.
- God save the Queen!
- With a superlative, it and that superlative refer to one object. [from 9th c.]
- That apple pie was the best.
- Introducing a term to be taken generically; preceding a name of something standing for a whole class. [from 9th c.]
- Used before an adjective, indicating all things (especially persons) described by that adjective. [from 9th c.]
- Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
- Used to indicate a certain example of (a noun) which is most usually of concern, or most common or familiar. [from 12th c.]
- No one in the whole country had seen it before.
- I don't think I'll get to it until the morning.
- Used before a body part (especially of someone previously mentioned), as an alternative to a possessive pronoun. [from 12th c.]
- A stone hit him on the head. (= â€œA stone hit him on his head.â€)
- When stressed, indicates that it describes an object which is considered to be best or exclusively worthy of attention. [from 18th c.]
- That is the hospital to go to for heart surgery.
The word the precedes proper nouns in a number of cases, although most proper nouns use no article. There are always exceptions. See also for more information.
From Middle English, from Old English Ã¾Ä“ (â€œthe, thatâ€, demonstrative pronoun), a late variant of sÄ“ (â€œthat, theâ€). Originally masculine nominative, in Middle English it superseded all previous Old English forms (sÄ“, sÄ“o, Ã¾Ã¦t, Ã¾Ä), from Proto-Germanic *sa (â€œthatâ€), from Proto-Indo-European *sÃ³, *to-, *tÃ³d (â€œdemonstrative pronounâ€). Cognate with West Frisian de, dy (â€œthe, thatâ€), Dutch de, die (â€œthe, thatâ€), Low German de, dat (â€œthe, thatâ€), German der, die, das (â€œthe, thatâ€), Danish den (â€œthe, thatâ€), Swedish den (â€œthe, thatâ€), Icelandic Ã¾aÃ° (â€œthatâ€).
- With a comparative or more and a verb phrase, establishes a parallel with one or more other such comparatives.
- The hotter, the better.
- The more I think about it, the weaker it looks.
- The more money donated, the more books purchased, and the more happy children.
- It looks weaker and weaker, the more I think about it.
- With a comparative, and often with for it, indicates a result more like said comparative. This can be negated with none.
- It was a difficult time, but Iâ€™m the wiser for it.
- It was a difficult time, and Iâ€™m none the wiser for it.
- I'm much the wiser for having had a difficult time like that.
From Middle English, from Old English Ã¾È³ (â€œby that, after that, wherebyâ€), originally the instrumental case of the demonstratives sÄ“ (masculine) and Ã¾Ã¦t (neuter). Cognate with Dutch des te ("the, the more"), German desto ("the, all the more"), Norwegian fordi ("because"), Icelandic Ã¾vÃ (â€œbecauseâ€).
Variant of theo-
Origin of theo-; from Classical Greek theos, god ; from uncertain or unknown; perhaps Indo-European an unverified form dhewes-, to storm, breathe from source Classical Latin furere, to rage