or zie

[ zee ]
See synonyms for ze on Thesaurus.com
  1. the person being discussed or last mentioned (used as a neopronoun in place of the gendered pronouns he and she): My friend didn't want to go to the party, but ze got up and danced when hir favorite song came on!

  2. Rare. a generic or unspecified person previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context (used as a neopronoun):If any employee has questions, ze should contact HR.

Origin of ze

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

usage note For ze

Gender-neutral pronouns were proposed as far back as the mid-1800s, 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. Some individuals, such as nonbinary, genderqueer, and gender-nonconforming people, feel uncomfortable being referred to as he or she. Even so, use of ze as a gender-neutral singular third-person pronoun is quite limited, partly because of a general resistance to replacing English pronouns. Pronouns belong to a small, closed class of words whose membership is relatively fixed. See also they.

Words Nearby ze

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ze in a sentence

  • Much-loved artist/humorist/speaker ze Frank offered the keynote at Yahoo!

    Best of Internet Week 2010 | Lauren Streib | June 9, 2010 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • ze under lip rather retires, and this adds to the receding effect of the chin, you see.

    Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
  • There's one called ze, on top of a hill shaped almost like a horn; she showed me a picture of it.

  • His surprise was still greater when the latter took the yoke-lines and gave the order to "Pull you to ze ship!"

    The Dreadnought of the Air | Percy F. Westerman
  • You tink I haf not imparted ze instruction to ze midsheepmens before, eh?

    The Dreadnought of the Air | Percy F. Westerman
  • One should give only from ze happiness of ze heart, Madeline.

    Tabitha at Ivy Hall | Ruth Alberta Brown