he

1
[ hee; unstressed ee ]
/ hi; unstressed i /

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.

adjective

male (usually used in combination): a he-goat.

Origin of he

1
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

Usage note

Traditionally, the masculine singular pronouns he1 , 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.

Definition for he (2 of 6)

he

2

or heh

[ hey ]
/ heɪ /

noun

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

Origin of he

2
From the Hebrew word hēʾ

Definition for he (3 of 6)

He


Symbol, Chemistry.

Definition for he (4 of 6)

HE

or H.E.


high explosive.

Definition for he (5 of 6)

H.E.


high explosive.Also HE
His Eminence.
His Excellency; Her Excellency.

Definition for he (6 of 6)

he's

[ heez; unstressed eez ]
/ hiz; unstressed iz /

contraction of he is.
contraction of he has.

Usage note

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for he (1 of 6)

he

1
/ (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

noun

  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 6)

he

2
/ (heɪ, Hebrew he) /

noun

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

British Dictionary definitions for he (3 of 6)

he

3
/ (hiː, heɪ) /

interjection

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

British Dictionary definitions for he (4 of 6)

He


the chemical symbol for

helium

British Dictionary definitions for he (5 of 6)

HE


abbreviation for

high explosive
His Eminence
His (or Her) Excellency

British Dictionary definitions for he (6 of 6)

he's

/ (hiːz) /

contraction of

he is or he has
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 he

he


pron.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for he

He


The symbol for the elementhelium
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for he (1 of 2)

He


The symbol for helium.

Science definitions for he (2 of 2)

helium

[ hēlē-əm ]

He

A very lightweight, colorless, odorless element in the noble gas group. Helium occurs in natural gas, in radioactive ores, and in small amounts in the atmosphere. It has the lowest boiling point of any substance and is the second most abundant element in the universe. Helium is used to provide lift for balloons and blimps and to create artificial air that will not react chemically. Atomic number 2; atomic weight 4.0026; boiling point -268.9°C; density at 0°C 0.1785 gram per liter. See Periodic Table.

Word History

The second most abundant element in the universe after hydrogen, Helium (symbol He) is a colorless, odorless, nonmetallic gas that is produced abundantly by the nuclear fusion in all stars and is found in smaller amounts on Earth. It was discovered by the British scientist-and founding editor of the journal Nature-Joseph Norman Lockyer in 1868, while he was studying a solar eclipse with a spectroscope, an instrument that breaks light up into a spectrum. If an element is heated up enough to glow, the emitted light produces a unique spectrum when refracted through a prism. Lockyer noticed that the spectrum of the Sun's corona, which is visible only during a solar eclipse, contained lines produced by an unknown element. He named the element helium from helios, the Greek word for “sun.” Helios gives us many other words pertaining to the Sun, such as heliocentric and perihelion.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.