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ze

or zie

[ zee ]
/ zi /
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pronoun

(occasionally used with a singular indefinite pronoun or singular noun antecedent in place of the definite masculine he or the definite feminine she): My friend didn't want to go to the party, but ze ended up having a great time!

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QUIZ YOURSELF ON "WAS" VS. "WERE"!

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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of ze

First recorded in 1970–75; based on the German pronoun sie

usage note for ze

Gender-neutral pronouns have been proposed as far back as the mid-19th century, especially in connection with progressive ideas about women’s rights. More recently, the coinage and use of ze and other gender-neutral pronouns has been motivated by discussions about gender identity. Many gay, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals do not identify as male or female or do not want to be identified as either gender. Even so, use of ze as a gender-neutral singular third-person pronoun is quite limited, partly because of a general resistance toward replacing English pronouns. Pronouns belong to a small, closed class of words whose membership is relatively fixed. See also they.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

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