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.

Nearby words

  1. hdrv,
  2. hdtp,
  3. hdtv,
  4. hdw.,
  5. hdwd,
  6. he that is not with me is against me,
  7. he who hesitates is lost,
  8. he who laughs last, laughs best,
  9. he'd,
  10. he'll

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.

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

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

Examples from the Web for hes


British Dictionary definitions for hes

He

the chemical symbol for

helium

HE

abbreviation for

high explosive
His Eminence
His (or Her) Excellency

he's

/ (hiːz) /

contraction of

he is or he has

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

he

2
/ (heɪ, Hebrew he) /

noun

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

he

3
/ (hiː, heɪ) /

interjection

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

he

pron.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for hes

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 hes

He

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