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Webster 1913 Edition


Their

Their

,
p
ron.
&
Adj.
[OE.
thair
, fr. Icel.
þeirra
,
þeira
, of them, but properly gen. pl. of the definite article; akin to AS.
ðāra
,
ðǣra
, gen. pl. of the definite article, or fr. AS.
ðǣra
, influenced by the Scandinavian use. See
That
.]
The possessive case of the personal pronoun they;
as,
their
houses;
their
country
.
☞ The possessive takes the form theirs ([GREEK]) when the noun to which it refers is not expressed, but implied or understood; as, our land is richest, but theirs is best cultivated.
Nothing but the name of zeal appears
’Twixt our best actions and the worst of
theirs
.
Denham.

Webster 1828 Edition


Their

THEIR

, a pronom.
1.
Their has the sense of a pronominal adjective, denoting of them, or the possession of two or more; as their voices; their garments; their houses; their land; their country.
2.
Theirs is used as a substitute for the adjective and the noun to which it refers, and in this case, it may be the nominative to a verb. 'Our land is the most extensive, but theirs is the best cultivated.' Here theirs stands as the representative of their land, and is the nominative to is.
Nothing but the name of zeal appears
'Twixt our best actions and the worst of theirs.
In this use, theirs is not in the possessive case, for then there would be a double possessive.

Definition 2021


their

their

See also: þeir

English

Determiner

their

  1. Belonging to, from, of, or relating to, them (plural).
    • 2012 May 5, Phil McNulty, Chelsea 2-1 Liverpool”, in BBC Sport:
      For Liverpool, their season will now be regarded as a relative disappointment after failure to add the FA Cup to the Carling Cup and not mounting a challenge to reach the Champions League places.
    • 2013 July 20, The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of [] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
    they will meet tomorrow at their convenience;  this is probably their cat
  2. Belonging to someone (one person, singular).
    • 1594, Shakespeare, William, The Comedy of Errors, act IV, scene 3, line 1172:
      There's not a man I meet but doth salute me
      As if I were their well-acquainted friend []
    • 2006, St. John Ambulance, First on the Scene: Student Reference Guide, ISBN 1-894070-56-9, Lesson 2, page 3:
      Place the casualty on their back with feet and legs raised—this is called the shock position. [emphasis in original] Once the casualty is positioned, cover them to preserve body heat, but do not overheat.
    • 2007, Rowling, J. K., Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, (quoted edition: London: Bloomsbury, 2008, ISBN 978 0 7475 9586 1, page 93):
      ‘I mean ... if somebody made a mistake,’ Harry went on, ‘and let something slip, I know they didn’t mean to do it. It’s not their fault,’ he repeated, again a little louder than he would usually have spoken.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:their.

Usage notes

  • Regarding the use of singular their, see they.
  • Distinguish “their” from “there” and “they’re”. “Their” signifies ownership. “There” designates a place (compare here). “They’re” means “they are”.
  • This word is an exception of the "I before E, except after C" rule, as the combination of "ei" in the middle of the word is not after a "c".

Related terms

  • they, them (personal pronouns, subject and object case)
  • theirs (possessive pronoun)

Translations

See also

Adverb

their

  1. Misspelling of there.

Contraction

their

  1. Misspelling of they’re.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: my · were · are · #37: their · one · so · me

Scottish Gaelic

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /heːr/

Verb

their

  1. Future tense of abair

Usage notes