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1

the

play
definite article \before consonants usually thə, before vowels usually thē, sometime before vowels also thə; for emphasis before titles and names or to suggest uniqueness often ˈthē\

Simple Definition of the

  • —used to indicate a person or thing that has already been mentioned or seen or is clearly understood from the situation

  • —used to refer to things or people that are common in daily life

  • —used to refer to things that occur in nature

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of the

  1. 1a —used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is definite or has been previously specified by context or by circumstance <put the cat out>b —used as a function word to indicate that a following noun or noun equivalent is a unique or a particular member of its class <the President> <the Lord>c —used as a function word before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass <the night is cold>d —used as a function word before a noun denoting time to indicate reference to what is present or immediate or is under consideration <in the future>e —used as a function word before names of some parts of the body or of the clothing as an equivalent of a possessive adjective <how's the arm today>f —used as a function word before the name of a branch of human endeavor or proficiency <the law>g —used as a function word in prepositional phrases to indicate that the noun in the phrase serves as a basis for computation <sold by the dozen>h —used as a function word before a proper name (as of a ship or a well-known building) <the Mayflower>i —used as a function word before a proper name to indicate the distinctive characteristics of a person or thing <the John Doe that we know wouldn't lie>j —used as a function word before the plural form of a surname to indicate all the members of a family <the Johnsons>k —used as a function word before the plural form of a numeral that is a multiple of ten to denote a particular decade of a century or of a person's life <life in the twenties>l —used as a function word before the name of a commodity or any familiar appurtenance of daily life to indicate reference to the individual thing, part, or supply thought of as at hand <talked on the telephone>m —used as a function word to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out <this is the life> <the pill> ; sometimes used before a personal name to denote the most prominent bearer of that name

  2. 2a (1) —used as a function word with a noun modified by an adjective or by an attributive noun to limit the application of the modified noun to that specified by the adjective or by the attributive noun <the right answer> <Peter the Great> (2) —used as a function word before an absolute adjective or an ordinal number <nothing but the best> <due on the first>b (1) —used as a function word before a noun to limit its application to that specified by a succeeding element in the sentence <the poet Wordsworth> <the days of our youth> <didn't have the time to write> (2) —used as a function word after a person's name to indicate a characteristic trait or notorious activity specified by the succeeding noun <Jack the Ripper>

  3. 3a —used as a function word before a singular noun to indicate that the noun is to be understood generically <the dog is a domestic animal>b —used as a function word before a singular substantivized adjective to indicate an abstract idea <an essay on the sublime>

  4. 4 —used as a function word before a noun or a substantivized adjective to indicate reference to a group as a whole <the elite>

Origin and Etymology of the

Middle English, from Old English thē, masculine demonstrative pron. & definite article, alteration (influenced by oblique cases — as thæs, genitive — & neuter, thæt) of sē; akin to Greek ho, masculine demonstrative pron. & definite article — more at that


First Known Use: before 12th century


2

the

adverb

Definition of the

  1. 1 :  than before :  than otherwise —used before a comparative <none the wiser for attending>

  2. 2a :  to what extent <the sooner the better>b :  to that extent <the sooner the better>

  3. 3 :  beyond all others <likes this the best>



Origin and Etymology of the

Middle English, from Old English thȳ by that, instrumental of thæt that


First Known Use: before 12th century


3

the

preposition

Definition of the

  1. :  per 2 <a dollar the dozen>



Origin and Etymology of the

1the


First Known Use: 15th century

Rhymes with the

b, be, bee, c, cay, cee, Cree, d, dee, Dee, dree, e, fee, flea, flee, free, g, gee, ghee, glee, gree, he, key, Key, knee, lea, lee, me, mi, p, pea, pee, plea, pree, quay, re, Rhee, scree, sea, see, she, si, ski, spree, sri, t, tea, tee, thee, three, ti, tree, twee, Twi, v, vee, we, wee, whee, ye, z, zee


the-

combining form

Definition of the-

  1. :  god :  God <theism> <theocentric>



Variants of the-

or

theo-

Origin and Etymology of the-

Middle English theo-, from Latin, from Greek the-, theo-, from theos


THE Defined for Kids

1

the

play
definite article \especially before consonant sounds thə, before vowel sounds thē, 4 is often ˈthē\

Definition of the for Students

  1. 1 :  that or those mentioned, seen, or clearly understood <Put the cat out.> <I'll take the red one.>

  2. 2 :  that or those near in space, time, or thought <What's the news?>

  3. 3 :  1each <There are 40 cookies to the box.>

  4. 4 :  that or those considered best, most typical, or most worth singling out <She is the person for this job.>

  5. 5 :  any one typical of or standing for the entire class named <Here are useful tips for the beginner.>

  6. 6 :  all those that are <the British>




2

the

play
adverb

Definition of the for Students

  1. 1 :  than before <I feel none the wiser for asking.>

  2. 2 :  to what extent :  by how much <The faster you go, the sooner you'll finish.>

  3. 3 :  to that extent :  by that much <The more you think, the more you'll learn.>




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