that or those belonging to them: the possessive form of they, used without a following noun, often after of[that house is theirs; theirs are better; I am a friend of theirs]: often used with a singular antecedent (as everybody, somebody, everyone) to avoid the masculine implications of the traditional use of he without distinction as to gender, although this usage is objected to by some [she'll bring her husband if everyone else brings theirs]
Origin of theirsMiddle English theires from theyr (see their) + -es by analogy with his, his
pron.used with a sing. or pl. verb
- Used to indicate the one or ones belonging to them: The red house is theirs. If your car doesn't start, take theirs.
- Usage Problem His or hers: brought his own lunch and expected everybody else to bring theirs. See Usage Note at he1. See Usage Note at they.
Origin of theirsMiddle English from their their ; see their .
their +"Ž -'s