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her

[hur; unstressed her, er]
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pronoun
  1. the objective case of she: We saw her this morning. Give this book to her.
  2. the possessive case of she (used as an attributive adjective): Her coat is the one on the chair. I'm sorry about her leaving.Compare hers.
  3. the dative case of she: I gave her the book.
  4. Informal. (used instead of the pronoun she in the predicate after the verb to be): It's her. It isn't her.
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noun
  1. Slang. a female: Is the new baby a her or a him?
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Origin of her

before 900; Middle English her(e), Old English hire, genitive and dative of hēo she (feminine of he1)

Usage note

See he1, me.

she

[shee]
pronoun, singular nominative she, possessive her or hers, objective her; plural nominative they, possessive their or theirs, objective them.
  1. the female person or animal being discussed or last mentioned; that female.
  2. the woman: She who listens learns.
  3. anything considered, as by personification, to be feminine: spring, with all the memories she conjures up.
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noun, plural shes.
  1. a female person or animal.
  2. an object or device considered as female or feminine.
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Origin of she

1125–75; Middle English, alteration of Old English sēo, sīo, sīe, feminine of se the1; replacing Old English hēo, hīo, feminine personal pronoun; see he1, her

Usage note

See he1, me, they.

her.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for her

her

pronoun (objective)
  1. refers to a female person or animalhe loves her; they sold her a bag; something odd about her; lucky her!
  2. refers to things personified as feminine or traditionally to ships and nations
  3. mainly US a dialect word for herself she needs to get her a better job
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determiner
  1. of, belonging to, or associated with herher silly ideas; her hair; her smoking annoys me
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Word Origin

Old English hire, genitive and dative of hēo she, feminine of hēo he 1; related to Old High German ira, Gothic izōs, Middle Dutch hare

xref

See me 1

her.

abbreviation for
  1. heraldic
  2. heraldry
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she

pronoun (subjective)
  1. refers to a female person or animalshe is a doctor; she's a fine mare
  2. refers to things personified as feminine, such as cars, ships, and nations
  3. Australian and NZ an informal word for it 1 (def. 3) she's apples; she'll be right
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noun
    1. a female person or animal
    2. (in combination)she-cat
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Word Origin

Old English sīe, accusative of sēo, feminine demonstrative pronoun

xref

See me 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for her

objective case

Old English hire, third person singular feminine dative pronoun, which beginning in 10c. replaced accusative hie (see he). Cognate with Old Frisian hiri, Middle Dutch hore, Dutch haar, Old High German iru, German ihr.

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possessive case

Old English hire, third person singular feminine genitive form of heo "she" (see she).

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she

pron.

mid-12c., probably evolving from Old English seo, sio (accusative sie), fem. of demonstrative pronoun se "the," from PIE root *so- "this, that" (see the). The Old English word for "she" was heo, hio, however by 13c. the pronunciation of this had converged by phonetic evolution with he "he," which apparently led to the fem. demonstrative pronoun being used in place of the pronoun (cf. similar development in Dutch zij, German sie, Greek he, etc.). The original h- survives in her. A relic of the Old English pronoun is in Manchester-area dialectal oo "she." As a noun meaning "a female," she is attested from 1530s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper