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Webster 1913 Edition


The

The

(thē)
,
Verb.
I.
See
Thee
.
[Obs.]
Chaucer.
Milton.

The

(thē, when emphatic or alone; thē̍, obscure before a vowel; the, obscure before a consonant; 37)
,
definite arti
cle.
[AS.
ðē
, a later form for earlier nom. sing. masc.
sē
, formed under the influence of the oblique cases. See
That
, pron.]
A word placed before nouns to limit or individualize their meaning.
The
was originally a demonstrative pronoun, being a weakened form of
that
. When placed before adjectives and participles, it converts them into abstract nouns; as,
the
sublime and
the
beautiful.
Burke.
The
is used regularly before many proper names, as of rivers, oceans, ships, etc.; as,
the
Nile,
the
Atlantic,
the
Great Eastern,
the
West Indies,
The
Hague.
The
with an epithet or ordinal number often follows a proper name; as, Alexander
the
Great; Napoleon
the
Third.
The
may be employed to individualize a particular kind or species; as,
the
grasshopper shall be a burden.
Eccl. xii. 5.

The

,
adv.
[AS.
ðē
,
ðȳ
, instrumental case of
sē
,
seó
,
ðæt
, the definite article. See 2d
The
.]
By that; by how much; by so much; on that account; – used before comparatives;
as,
the
longer we continue in sin,
the
more difficult it is to reform
.
“Yet not the more cease I.”
Milton.
So much
the
rather thou, Celestial Light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
Irradiate.
Milton.

Webster 1828 Edition


The

THE

, an adjective or definitive adjective.
1.
This adjective is used as a definitive, that is, before nouns which are specific or understood; or it is used to limit their signification to a specific thing or things, or to describe them; as the laws of the twelve tables. The independent tribunals of justice in our country, are the security or private rights,and the best bulwark against arbitrary power. The sun is the source of light and heat.
This he calls the preaching of the cross.
2.
The is also used rhetorically before a noun in the singular number, to denote a species by way of distinction; a single thing representing the whole. The fig tree putteth forth her green figs; the almond tree shall flourish; the grasshopper shall be a burden.
3.
In poetry, the sometimes loses the final vowel before another vowel.
Th' adorning thee with so much art,
Is but a barb'rous skill.
4.
The is used before adjectives in the comparative and superlative degree. The longer we continue in sin, the more difficult it is to reform. The most strenuous exertions will be used to emancipate Greece. The most we can do is to submit; the best we can do; the worst that can happen.

Definition 2021


the

the

See also: thé, thè, thế, thể, the-, and þe

English

Alternative forms

  • þe (obsolete), e (obsolete), ẏe (archaic): variant spelling of the.
  • ye (archaic)
  • de (eye dialect, AAVE)
  • da, teh, le (informal)
  • t' (Northern England)

Article

the

  1. 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.]
    I’m reading the book. (Compare I’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.
  2. 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!
  3. With a superlative, it and that superlative refer to one object. [from 9th c.]
    That apple pie was the best.
  4. Introducing a term to be taken generically; preceding a name of something standing for a whole class. [from 9th c.]
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, page 536:
      Stern and God-fearing, the Afrikaner takes his religion seriously.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. (= “A stone hit him on his head.”)
  8. 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.
    • 2012 May 27, Nathan Rabin, “TV: Review: THE SIMPSONS (CLASSIC): “New Kid On The Block” (season 4, episode 8; originally aired 11/12/1992)”, in The Onion AV Club:
      “New Kid On The Block” doubles as a terrific showcase for the Sea Captain who, in the grand tradition of Simpsons supporting characters, quickly goes from being a stereotype to an archetype, from being a crusty sea-captain character to the crusty sea-captain character.
Quotations
  • For usage examples of this term, see Citations:the.
Usage notes
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English the, thy, thi, from Old English þȳ (by that, after that, whereby), originally the instrumental case of the demonstratives (masculine) and þæt (neuter). Cognate with Dutch des te ("the, the more"), German desto ("the, all the more"), Norwegian fordi ("because"), Icelandic því (the; because), Faroese , Swedish ty.

Adverb

the (not comparable)

  1. 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.
  2. 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 I’m the wiser for it.
    It was a difficult time, and I’m none the wiser for it.
    I'm much the wiser for having had a difficult time like that.
Translations

See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: #1: the · of · and · to

Anagrams


Crimean Gothic

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *sa, *sō, *þat.

Article

the

  1. the
    • 1562, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq:
      omnibus vero dictionibus praeponebat articulum tho aut the

Usage notes

While it is likely that Crimean Gothic retained grammatical gender, de Busbecq's letter does not mention which articles are used with which words, making it impossible to reconstruct their gender.


Danish

Noun

the c

  1. Archaic spelling of te. ("tea")

Interlingua

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /te/

Noun

the (plural thes)

  1. tea

Irish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [hɛ]

Adjective

the

  1. Lenited form of te.

Mutation

Irish mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
te the dte
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Murrinh-Patha

Noun

the

  1. ear

See also

  • ye (incorporated noun)

References

  • 2003, Mark Abley, Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages.

Old Saxon

Etymology

Replaced the original masculine and feminine nominative forms from Proto-Germanic *sa, by analogy with the adjective inflection. Compare also Old High German ther, der where the same process occurred.

Determiner

thē m

  1. that, that one
    them uuīha uuīsa lēstean: To obey that holy wise.

Declension


Descendants

  • Low German: de

Scots

Determiner

the

  1. the

Serbo-Croatian

Etymology

From English the, which sounds similar to Serbo-Croatian da.

Conjunction

the (no known Cyrillic variant)

  1. (Internet slang) Alternative spelling of da
    neki kreten the ih drka emotivno
    some jerk to **** with them emotionally
    the ovo okačim na fb wall, garant ne bih opstala od borKINJa za ženska prava
    if I posted this on FB wall, I surelly wouldn't survive the women rights fighters

Swedish

Noun

the n

  1. Alternative spelling of te (tea)

Welsh

Noun

the

  1. Aspirate mutation of te.

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
te de nhe the
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.