[ thair; unstressed ther ]
See synonyms for: theretherertherest on

  1. in or at that place (opposed to here): She is there now.

  2. at that point in an action, speech, etc.: He stopped there for applause.

  1. in that matter, particular, or respect: His anger was justified there.

  2. into or to that place; thither: We went there last year.

  3. (used by way of calling attention to something or someone): There they go.

  4. in or at that place where you are: Well, hi there.

  1. (used to introduce a sentence or clause in which the verb comes before its subject or has no complement): There is no hope.

  1. that place: He comes from there, too.

  2. that point, state, condition, etc.: I'll introduce you to her, but you're on your own from there on.

  1. (used for emphasis, especially after a noun modified by a demonstrative adjective): Ask that man there.

  1. (used to express satisfaction, relief, encouragement, approval, consolation, etc.): There! It's done.

Idioms about there

  1. been there, done that, Informal. (used to say that you have experienced or are familiar with something and now think it is boring or of little worth): A big house in the suburbs? Been there, done that.

  2. there is / are, (used to indicate the existence or occurrence of something or someone): There is some bark missing near the base of the tree.However, there are still ways to be healthy even while having a busy schedule.

Origin of there

First recorded before 900; Middle English (adverb), Old English thǣr, thēr, cognate with Dutch daar, Old High German dār; akin to Gothic, Old Norse thar; cf. that

Grammar notes for there

7. The verb following there is singular or plural according to the number of the subject that follows the verb: There is a message for you. There are patients in the waiting room. With compound subjects in which all the coordinate words are singular, a singular verb often occurs, although the plural may also be used: There was (or were ) a horse and a cow in the pasture. When a compound subject contains both singular and plural words, the verb usually agrees with the subject closest to the verb, although a plural verb sometimes occurs regardless, especially if the compound has more than two elements: There were staff meetings and a press conference daily. There was (or were ) a glass, two plates, two cups, and a teapot on the shelf.

usage note For there

10. It is nonstandard usage to place there between a demonstrative adjective and the noun it modifies: that there car. The same is true of here: these here nails. Placed after the noun, both there and here are entirely standard: that car there; these nails here.

Words that may be confused with there

Other definitions for -there (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form meaning “wild animal, beast,” used in the formation of compound words, usually denoting extinct mammals, as adaptions of zoological taxa ending in -therium or -theria: baluchithere.

Origin of -there

<New Latin -therium (singular), -theria (plural) <Greek thēríon, derivative of thḗr beast of prey; akin to feral1, fierce Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use there in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for there


/ (ðɛə) /

  1. in, at, or to that place, point, case, or respect: we never go there; I'm afraid I disagree with you there

  1. used as a grammatical subject with some verbs, esp be, when the true subject is an indefinite or mass noun phrase following the verb as complement: there is a girl in that office; there doesn't seem to be any water left

  1. (postpositive) who or which is in that place or position: that boy there did it

  2. all there (predicative) having his or her wits about him or her; of normal intelligence

  1. so there an exclamation that usually follows a declaration of refusal or defiance: you can't have any more, so there!

  2. there and then or then and there on the spot; immediately; instantly

  3. there it is that is the state of affairs

  4. there you are

    • an expression used when handing a person something requested or desired

    • an exclamation of triumph: there you are, I knew that would happen!

  1. that place: near there; from there

  1. an expression of sympathy, as in consoling a child

Origin of there

Old English thǣr; related to Old Frisian thēr, Old Saxon, Old High German thār, Old Norse, Gothic thar

usage For there

In correct usage, the verb should agree with the number of the subject in such constructions as there is a man waiting and there are several people waiting. However, where the subject is compound, it is common in speech to use the singular as in there's a police car and an ambulance outside

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with there


In addition to the idioms beginning with there

  • there but for the grace of God go I

also see:

  • all there
  • get there
  • hang in (there)
  • here and there
  • here, there, and everywhere
  • in there pitching
  • neither here nor there
  • no smoke without (where there's smoke there's) fire
  • nothing to it (there's)
  • somebody up there loves me
  • take it from here (there)
  • then and there
  • where there's a will
  • while there's life there's hope

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.