definite article


: the word the used in English to refer to a person or thing that is identified or specified
also : a word that is used in a similar way in another language

Did you know?

What are the definite and indefinite articles?

The most common of all adjectives are the two (or three) articles. An article always comes before the noun it describes and before any other adjectives that also describe the noun. Articles are used to show whether or not the noun refers to a specific person or thing.

The indefinite article is a; it identifies a single, but not specific, person or thing. An is used instead of a whenever the word following it begins with a vowel sound.

Are you going to buy a house?

The smile is a universal sign of pleasure.

It's an honor to have been invited.

I've got an uncle in Miami.

The definite article is the; it is used to refer to identified or specified people or things, both singular and plural.

Will you be painting the house this summer?

He's the uncle I was telling you about.

Please put the dishes away.

Examples of definite article in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But this drive doesn’t need a nickname or definite article. Dieter Kurtenbach, The Mercury News, 21 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'definite article.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near definite article

Cite this Entry

“Definite article.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on definite article

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!