[ yee ]
/ yi /
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Archaic, except in some elevated or ecclesiastical prose Literary, or British Dialect.
  1. (used nominatively as the plural of thou especially in rhetorical, didactic, or poetic contexts, in addressing a group of persons or things): O ye of little faith; ye brooks and hills.
  2. (used nominatively for the second person singular, especially in polite address): Do ye not know me?
  3. (used objectively in the second person singular or plural): I have something to tell ye. Arise, the enemy is upon ye!
(used with mock seriousness in an invocation, mild oath, or the like): Ye gods and little fishes!
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Origin of ye

before 900; Middle English; Old English gē; cognate with Dutch gij,German ihr,Old Norse ēr,Gothic jus

Other definitions for ye (2 of 2)

[ thee; spelling pronunciation yee ]
/ ði; spelling pronunciation yi /

definite article Archaic.

usage note for ye

The word ye2 , as in Ye Olde Booke Shoppe, is simply an archaic spelling of the definite article the. The use of the letter Y was a printer's adaptation of the thorn, þ, the character in the Old English alphabet representing the th- sounds (th) and (th̸) in Modern English; Y was the closest symbol in the Roman alphabet. Originally, the form would have been rendered as or ye. The pronunciation [yee] /yi/ today is a spelling pronunciation.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ye in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ye (1 of 3)

/ (jiː, unstressed ) /

archaic, or dialect refers to more than one person including the person addressed but not including the speaker
Also: ee () dialect refers to one person addressedI tell ye

Word Origin for ye

Old English gē; related to Dutch gij, Old Norse ēr, Gothic jus

British Dictionary definitions for ye (2 of 3)

/ (ðiː, spelling pron jiː) /

a form of the, used in conjunction with other putative archaic spellingsye olde oake

Word Origin for ye

from a misinterpretation of the as written in some Middle English texts. The runic letter thorn (Þ, representing th) was incorrectly transcribed as y because of a resemblance in their shapes

British Dictionary definitions for ye (3 of 3)


the internet domain name for
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