Webster 1913 Edition



: cf. F.
, L.
. See
A word used instead of a noun or name, to avoid the repetition of it. The personal pronouns in English are I, thou or you, he, she, it, we, ye, and they.

Webster 1828 Edition



[L. pronomen; pro, for, and nomen,name.]
In grammar, a word used instead of a noun or name, to prevent the repetition of it. The personal pronouns in English, are I, thou or you,he, she, we, ye and they. The last is used for the name of things, as well as for that of persons. Other words are used for the names of persons, things, sentences, phrases and for adjectives; and when they stand for sentences, phrases and adjectives, they are not strictly pronouns, but relatives, substitutes or representatives of such sentences. Thus we say, 'the jury found the prisoner guilty, and the court pronounced sentence on him. This or that gave great joy to the spectators.' In these sentences, this or that represents the whole preceding sentence, which is the proper antecedent. We also say, 'the jury pronounced the man guilty, this or that or which he could not be, for he proved an alibi.' In which sentence, this or that or which refers immediately to guilty, as its antecedent.

Definition 2023





pronoun (plural pronouns)

  1. (grammar) A type of noun that refers anaphorically to another noun or noun phrase, but which cannot ordinarily be preceded by a determiner and rarely takes an attributive adjective. English examples include I, you, him, who, me, my, each other.
    2013, Nicholas Brownless, Spoken Discourse in Early English Newspapers. In: Joad Raymond (ed.), News Networks in Seventeenth Century Britain and Europe, p.72
    As here the possessive pronoun 'our' has inclusive reference in that it a priori includes both the editor and reader, its presense amounts to a kind of pronominal bonding between writer and reader.
    2014, N. M. Gwynne, Gwynne's Latin: The Ultimate Introduction to Latin Including the Latin in Everyday English, Random House (ebook without page numbers) [the italic words were originally bold]
    Meus and tuus are called adjectival pronouns – or alternatively possessive adjectives.
    2015, Murray Shukyn & Achim K. Krull & Dale E. Shuttleworth, Cliffsnotes GED Test Cram Plan, 2nd edition, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, p.140
    Pronouns must agree with the nouns they replace. If a pronoun replaces a singular noun, it should itself be singular. For example:
    I brought my fishing rod.
    My and I are both singular and agree with each other. If the subject were plural, it would read: We brought our fishing rods. The plural pronoun our agrees with the plural we.


Derived terms

Related terms


See also

  • Wikisaurus:pronoun