[th eez]

pronoun, adjective

plural of this.


[th is]

pronoun, plural these [th eez] /ðiz/.

(used to indicate a person, thing, idea, state, event, time, remark, etc., as present, near, just mentioned or pointed out, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis): This is my coat.
(used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., referring to the one nearer in place, time, or thought; opposed to that): This is Liza and that is Amy.
(used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., implying a contrast or contradistinction; opposed to that): I'd take that instead of this.
what is about to follow: Now hear this! Watch this!

adjective, plural these [th eez] /ðiz/.

(used to indicate a person, place, thing, or degree as present, near, just indicated or mentioned, or as well-known or characteristic): These people are my friends. This problem has worried me for a long time.
(used to indicate the nearer in time, place, or thought of two persons, things, etc.; opposed to that).
(used to imply mere contradistinction; opposed to that).
(used in place of an indefinite article for emphasis): I was walking down the street when I heard this explosion.


(used with adjectives and adverbs of quantity or extent) to the extent or degree indicated: this far; this softly.

Origin of this

before 900; (pronoun and adj.) Middle English; Old English: nominative and accusative neuter singular of the demonstrative pronoun thes (masculine), thēos (feminine); cognate with German dies, Old Norse thissi; (adv.) Middle English, special use of the OE instrumental singular thȳs, thīs, accusative singular neuter this, perhaps by association with thus Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for these



  1. the form of this used before a plural nounthese men
  2. (as pronoun)I don't much care for these


determiner (used before a singular noun)

  1. used preceding a noun referring to something or someone that is closer: distinct from thatthis dress is cheaper than that one; look at this picture
  2. (as pronoun)this is Mary and that is her boyfriend; take this
  1. used preceding a noun that has just been mentioned or is understoodthis plan of yours won't work
  2. (as pronoun)I first saw this on Sunday
  1. used to refer to something about to be said, read, etcconsider this argument
  2. (as pronoun)listen to this
  1. the present or immediatethis time you'll know better
  2. (as pronoun)before this, I was mistaken
informal often used in storytelling, an emphatic form of a 1, the 1 I saw this big brown bear
this and that various unspecified and trivial actions, matters, objects, etc
this here US not standard an emphatic form of this (def. 1), this (def. 2), this (def. 3)
with this or at this after this; thereupon


used with adjectives and adverbs to specify a precise degree that is about to be mentionedgo just this fast and you'll be safe

Word Origin for this

Old English thēs, thēos, this (masculine, feminine, neuter singular); related to Old Saxon thit, Old High German diz, Old Norse thessi
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 these

Old English þæs, variant of þas, nominative and accusative plural of þes, þeos, þis "this" (see this).


Old English þis, neuter demonstrative pronoun and adjective (masc. þes, fem. þeos), probably from a North Sea Germanic pronoun formed by combining the base *þa- (see that) with -s, which is probably identical with Old English se "the" (representing here "a specific thing"), but it may be Old English seo, imperative of see (v.) "to behold." Cf. Old Saxon these, Old Norse þessi, Dutch deze, Old Frisian this, Old High German deser, German dieser.

Once fully inflected, with 10 distinct forms (see table below); the oblique cases and other genders gradually fell away by 15c. The Old English plural was þæs (nominative and accusative), which in Northern Middle English became thas, and in Midlands and Southern England became thos. The Southern form began to be used late 13c. as the plural of that (replacing Middle English tho, from Old English þa) and acquired an -e (apparently from the influence of Middle English adjective plurals in -e; cf. alle from all, summe from sum "some"), emerging early 14c. as modern those.

About 1175 thes (probably a variant of Old English þæs) began to be used as the plural of this, and by 1200 it had taken the form these, the final -e acquired via the same mechanism that gave one to those.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with these


see one of these days.


In addition to the idioms beginning with this

  • this and that
  • this is where I came in
  • this side of

also see:

  • at this point
  • at this rate
  • at this stage
  • from this day forward
  • in this day and age
  • out of this world
  • shuffle off (this mortal coil)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.