- the objective case of thou1: With this ring, I thee wed. I shall bring thee a mighty army.
- thou (now used chiefly by the Friends).
Origin of thee
- Archaic except in some elevated or ecclesiastical prose. the personal pronoun of the second person singular in the nominative case (used to denote the person or thing addressed): Thou shalt not kill.
- (used by the Friends) a familiar form of address of the second person singular.
- to address as “thou.”
- to use “thou” in discourse.
Origin of thou1
Examples from the Web for thee
Contemporary Examples of thee
Progressives in the grip of one of their signature moral crusades routinely embrace money in politics for me, but not for thee.Money and Guns: How We Escape Our Existential Dread
April 18, 2014
Go forth of the ark, thou, and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons' wives with thee.The Story of Noah's Ark From the Bible’s Book of Genesis
The Daily Beast
March 24, 2014
Set to the tune of "I Vow to Thee My Country," it finds the Royalist on the verge of patriotic tears.Live Blogging Thatcher’s London Funeral
April 17, 2013
And it notably signals his independence from his mother: “Woman, what have I to do with thee?”What Mary Thought: ‘The Testament of Mary’ by Colm Tóibín
November 18, 2012
You could title this speech: Entitlements for Me, Not for Thee.Paul Ryan Declares Generational War
August 16, 2012
Historical Examples of thee
I have sought for thee throughout the world, and at last I believed thee dead.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
Headley is a well-reported, God-fearing man, and will do well by thee.
“Yet mayhap he might do something for thee, friend Ambrose,” added the armourer.
One fragrant breath of thee is as a waft of the joys of my youth!
I would I were my brother, your honour,” said Ambrose, “then would I climb the thee.
- the objective form of thou 1
- (subjective) rare refers to the person addressed: used mainly by members of the Society of Friends
Word Origin for thee
- archaic, dialect refers to the person addressed: used mainly in familiar address or to a younger person or inferior
- (usually capital) refers to God when addressed in prayer, etc
Word Origin for thou
- one thousandth of an inch. 1 thou is equal to 0.0254 millimetre
- informal short for thousand
Old English þe (accusative and dative singular of þu "thou"), from Proto-Germanic *theke (cf. Old Frisian thi, Middle Dutch di, Old High German dih, German dich, Old Norse þik, Norwegian deg, Gothic þuk), from PIE *tege-. A brief history of the second person pronoun in English can be found here. The verb meaning "to use the pronoun 'thee' to someone" is recorded from 1662, from the rise of Quakerism (see thou).
This was the Bottom upon which the Quakers first set up, to run down all worldly Honour ...; to Thee and Thou; to call no Man Master, or Lord, and not to take off their Hats, or Bow to any. [Charles Leslie, "The Snake in the Grass," 1696]
2nd nominative singular personal pronoun, Old English þu, from Proto-Germanic *thu (cf. Old Frisian thu, Middle Dutch and Middle Low German du, Old High German and German du, Old Norse þu, Gothic þu), from PIE *tu-, second person singular pronoun (cf. Latin tu, Irish tu, Welsh ti, Greek su, Lithuanian tu, Old Church Slavonic ty, Sanskrit twa-m).
Superseded in Middle English by plural form you (from a different root), but retained in certain dialects (e.g. Philadelphia Quakers). The plural at first was used in addressing superior individuals, later also (to err on the side of propriety) strangers, and ultimately all equals. By c.1450 the use of thou to address inferiors gave it a tinge of insult unless addressed by parents to children, or intimates to one another. Hence the verb meaning "to use 'thou' to a person" (mid-15c.).
Avaunt, caitiff, dost thou thou me! I am come of good kin, I tell thee! ["Hickscorner," c.1530]
A brief history of the second person pronoun in English can be found here.