pronoun

[ proh-noun ]
/ ˈproʊˌnaʊn /

noun Grammar.

any member of a small class of words found in many languages that are used as replacements or substitutes for nouns and noun phrases, and that have very general reference, as I, you, he, this, it, who, what. Pronouns are sometimes formally distinguished from nouns, as in English by the existence of special objective forms, as him for he or me for I, and by nonoccurrence with an article or adjective.

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It's totally cool if someone doesn't identify as a he or a she and wants to be a they. If you really want to be an ally, consider asking what pronoun someone prefers.

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Origin of pronoun

First recorded in 1520–30; from Middle French pronom, from Latin prōnōmen (stem prōnōmin- ). See pro-1, noun

grammar notes for pronoun

Although not generally accepted as good usage, between you and I is heard occasionally in the speech of educated persons. By the traditional rules of grammar, when a pronoun is the object of a preposition, that pronoun should be in the objective case: between you and me; between her and them. The use of the nominative form ( I, he, she, they, etc.) arises partly as overcorrection, the reasoning being that if it is correct at the end of a sentence like It is I, it must also be correct at the end of the phrase between you and …. The choice of pronoun also owes something to the tendency for the final pronoun in a compound object to be in the nominative case after a verb: It was kind of you to invite my wife and I. This too is not generally regarded as good usage.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for pronoun

British Dictionary definitions for pronoun

pronoun
/ (ˈprəʊˌnaʊn) /

noun

one of a class of words that serves to replace a noun phrase that has already been or is about to be mentioned in the sentence or contextAbbreviation: pron

Word Origin for pronoun

C16: from Latin prōnōmen, from pro- 1 + nōmen noun
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

Cultural definitions for pronoun

pronoun

A word that takes the place of a noun. She, herself, it, and this are examples of pronouns. If we substituted pronouns for the nouns in the sentence “Please give the present to Karen,” it would read “Please give it to her.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.