[ hee; unstressed ee ]
/ hi; unstressed i /
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pronoun, nominative he,possessive his,objective him;plural nominative they,possessive their or theirs,objective them.
the male person or animal being discussed or last mentioned; that male.
anyone (without reference to gender); that person: He who hesitates is lost.
noun, plural hes.
any male person or animal; a man: hes and shes.
male (usually used in combination): a he-goat.
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Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can’t figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of he

before 900; Middle English, Old English (masculine nominative singular); cognate with Dutch hij,Old Saxon hē,Old High German her he; see his, him, she, her, it1

grammar notes for he

Traditionally, the masculine singular pronouns he, his, and him have been used generically to refer to indefinite pronouns like anyone, everyone, and someone ( Everyone who agrees should raise his right hand ) and to singular nouns that can be applied to either gender ( painter, parent, person, teacher, writer, etc.): Every writer knows that his first book is not likely to be a bestseller. This generic use is often criticized as sexist, although many speakers and writers continue the practice.
Those who object to the generic use of he have developed various ways of avoiding it. One is to use he/she or she/he (or he or she or she or he ) or the appropriate case forms of these pairs: Everyone who agrees should raise his or her (or her or his or his/her or her/his ) right hand. Forms blending the feminine and masculine pronouns, as s/he, have not been widely adopted, probably because of confusion over how to say them.
Another solution is to change the antecedent pronoun or noun from singular to plural so that the plural pronouns they, their, and them can be used: All who agree should raise their right hands. All writers know that their first books are not likely to be bestsellers. See also they.

Other definitions for he (2 of 5)


or heh

[ hey ]
/ heɪ /

the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
any of the sounds represented by this letter.

Origin of he

From the Hebrew word hēʾ

Other definitions for he (3 of 5)


Symbol, Chemistry.

Other definitions for he (4 of 5)


or H.E.

high explosive.

Other definitions for he (5 of 5)


high explosive.Also HE
His Eminence.
His Excellency; Her Excellency.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use he in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for he (1 of 5)

/ (hiː, unstressed ) /

pronoun (subjective)
refers to a male person or animalhe looks interesting; he's a fine stallion
refers to an indefinite antecedent such as one, whoever, or anybodyeverybody can do as he likes in this country
refers to a person or animal of unknown or unspecified sexa member of the party may vote as he sees fit
  1. a male person or animal
  2. (in combination)he-goat
  1. a children's game in which one player chases the others in an attempt to touch one of them, who then becomes the chaserCompare tag 2
  2. the person chasingCompare it 1 (def. 7)

Word Origin for he

Old English hē; related to Old Saxon hie, Old High German her he, Old Slavonic this, Latin cis on this side

British Dictionary definitions for he (2 of 5)

/ (heɪ, Hebrew he) /

the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet (ה), transliterated as h

British Dictionary definitions for he (3 of 5)

/ (hiː, heɪ) /

an expression of amusement or derisionAlso: he-he!, hee-hee!

British Dictionary definitions for he (4 of 5)


the chemical symbol for

British Dictionary definitions for he (5 of 5)


abbreviation for
high explosive
His Eminence
His (or Her) Excellency
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

Scientific definitions for he


The symbol for helium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.