[ thou ]
See synonyms for: yoursyouryou on

pronoun,singular, nominative thou;possessive thy or thine;objective thee;plural, nominative you or ye;possessive your or yours;objective you or ye.
  1. Archaic except in some elevated or ecclesiastical prose. the second person singular subject pronoun, equivalent to modern you (used to denote the person or thing addressed): Thou shalt not kill.

  2. (used by Quakers) a familiar form of address of the second person singular: Thou needn’t apologize.

verb (used with object)
  1. to address as “thou,” especially during an era of historical English when “thou” was distinguished as an informal form of you: It would have been scandalous for household staff to thou the lord of the manor.

verb (used without object)
  1. to use “thou” in discourse: There are still Quakers who thou as a matter of custom.

Origin of thou

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English thū; cognate with German, Middle Dutch du, Old Norse thū, Gothic thu, Old Irish tú, Welsh, Cornish ti, Latin tū, Doric Greek tý, Lithuanian tù, Old Church Slavonic ty; akin to Sanskrit tvam; (verb) late Middle English thowen, derivative of the pronoun

Words Nearby thou

Other definitions for thou (2 of 2)

[ thou ]

noun,plural thous, (as after a numeral) thou.Slang.
  1. one thousand dollars, pounds, etc.

Origin of thou

First recorded in 1865–70; by shortening Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use thou in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for thou (1 of 2)


/ (ðaʊ) /

  1. archaic, dialect refers to the person addressed: used mainly in familiar address or to a younger person or inferior

  2. (usually capital) refers to God when addressed in prayer, etc

Origin of thou

Old English thū; related to Old Saxon thū, Old High German du, Old Norse thū, Latin tū, Doric Greek tu

British Dictionary definitions for thou (2 of 2)


/ (θaʊ) /

nounplural thous or thou
  1. one thousandth of an inch. 1 thou is equal to 0.0254 millimetre

  2. informal short for thousand

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