[ yoo; unstressed yoo, yuh ]
See synonyms for: youyoursyour on

pronoun,possessive your or yours,objective you,plural you.
  1. the pronoun of the second person singular or plural, used of the person or persons being addressed, in the nominative or objective case: You are the highest bidder. It is you who are to blame. We can't help you. This package came for you. Did she give you the book?

  2. one; anyone; people in general: a tiny animal you can't even see.

  1. (used in apposition with the subject of a sentence, sometimes repeated for emphasis following the subject): You children pay attention. You rascal, you!

  2. Informal. (used in place of the pronoun your before a gerund): There's no sense in you getting upset.

  3. Archaic.

    • yourself; yourselves: Get you home. Make you ready.

    • a plural form of the pronoun ye1.

noun,plural yous.
  1. something or someone closely identified with or resembling the person addressed: Don't buy the bright red shirt—it just isn't you. It was like seeing another you.

  2. the nature or character of the person addressed: Try to discover the hidden you.

Origin of you

First recorded before 900; Middle English; Old English ēow (dative, accusative of ye1); cognate with Old Frisian ju, Old Saxon iu, Dutch u, Old High German iu, eu

usage note For you

In American English the pronoun you has been supplemented by additional forms to make clear the distinction between singular and plural. You-all is a widespread spoken form in the South Midland and Southern United States. A closely related monosyllabic form is written y'all and is used both in and outside of the South Midland and Southern United States, evoking a familiar and informal tone rather than indicating a regional identity. The possessive forms for these are often you-all's and y'all's, respectively, rather than your. You-uns (from you + ones ) is a South Midland form most often found in nonstandard speech; it is being replaced by you-all or y'all. Youse ( you + the plural -s ending of nouns), probably of Irish-American origin, is most common in the North, especially in urban centers like Boston, New York, and Chicago. It is rare in educated speech. You guys is a common informal expression used for plural you. It does not have a strong regional or dialectal association, but its usage is in flux among some populations of speakers. People who adopted plural you guys in the 1980s and 90s may use it as a gender-neutral plural, referring to any group without regard to sex or even a group of women only. Younger speakers and politically progressive speakers are more likely to perceive you guys as gendered and problematically noninclusive of trans and nonbinary people, and as such tend to avoid its use. See also me.

Words that may be confused with you

Words Nearby you Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use you in a sentence

  • The "Pay-as-you-Go" system has reflected favorably on the state's financial reputation.

  • "I beg of you, I appeal to you-my friend," she urged, with that ardour of the counsel who pleads a bad cause.

  • "I wish t' hell, stranger, you-all hadn't edged off south," chattered Alfred.

    Blazed Trail Stories | Stewart Edward White
  • But wildcats is purty heavy, an' you-all can hit 'em with a shotgun.

    The Ghost Breaker | Charles Goddard
  • "I just stepped over to inquire what you-all'd like for breakfast this mornin'," he said with a grin.

    Hidden Gold | Wilder Anthony

British Dictionary definitions for you


/ (juː, unstressed ) /

pronoun(subjective or objective)
  1. refers to the person addressed or to more than one person including the person or persons addressed but not including the speaker: you know better; the culprit is among you

  2. Also: one refers to an unspecified person or people in general: you can't tell the boys from the girls

  1. mainly US a dialect word for yourself or yourselves: you should get you a wife now See yourself

  1. informal the personality of the person being addressed or something that expresses it: that hat isn't really you

  2. you know what or you know who a thing or person that the speaker cannot or does not want to specify

Origin of you

Old English ēow, dative and accusative of ye 1; related to Old Saxon eu, Old High German iu, Gothic izwis


See me 1

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with you


In addition to the idioms beginning with you

  • you better believe it
  • you bet your ass
  • you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink
  • you can say that again
  • you can't take it with you
  • you can't win
  • you can't win 'em all
  • you could cut it with a knife
  • you don't say
  • you get what you pay for
  • you just don't get it
  • you know
  • you know something?
  • you name it
  • you never can tell
  • young at heart
  • you said it
  • you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours

also see:

  • all right for you
  • as you please
  • before you can say Jack Robinson
  • before you know it
  • between you and me
  • bite the hand that feeds you
  • do you read me
  • for shame (on you)
  • fuck you
  • good for (you)
  • how does that grab you
  • how do you do
  • if you can't beat them, join them
  • I'll be seeing you
  • I told you so
  • look before you leap
  • my heart bleeds for you
  • no matter how you slice it
  • not if you paid me
  • now you're talking
  • pay as you go
  • practice what you preach
  • quit while you're ahead
  • same to you
  • says who (you)
  • screw you
  • that's ___ for you
  • what do you know
  • what do you take me for
  • what have you
  • what of it (what's it to you)
  • what's eating you

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.