\ ˈt͟hau̇ How to pronounce thou (audio) \

Definition of thou

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: the one addressed thou shalt have no other gods before me — Exodus 20:3 (King James Version) used especially in ecclesiastical or literary language and by Friends as the universal form of address to one person — compare thee, thine, thy, ye, you


thoued; thouing; thous

Definition of thou (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

: to address as thou


\ ˈthau̇ How to pronounce thou (audio) \
plural thou

Definition of thou (Entry 3 of 3)

: a thousand of something (such as dollars) paid 25 thou for the car

Examples of thou in a Sentence

Noun She earns more than a hundred thou a year.
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now must thou return to the gallows and walk to the pine counting thy steps. Quanta Magazine, 22 Mar. 2019 Arizona Renaissance Festival Would thou wish to partake in a giant, greasy turkey leg whilst watching a live jousting tournament? Sonja Haller, azcentral, 18 Feb. 2015 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun If thou wishest to make it to the final rose ceremony, thou shalt have wavy ombré hair and be a white woman named Lauren. Anabel Pasarow,, 10 Mar. 2020 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? Madeleine Kearns, National Review, 29 Feb. 2020 Eventually non-royal individuals started to see it as a respectful way to refer to one another as well, and despite much booing and hooing among those who would preserve thou, the practice took. Time, 17 Jan. 2020 Others accused the vegetarians of being hypocrites and holier-than-thou. Adrienne Bitar, Time, 28 Nov. 2019 And the flaws within this oppressive, holier-than-thou type of fandom can also help explain just why Game of Thrones itself was such a disappointment to many in its final two seasons. Aja Romano, Vox, 20 July 2019 Of all the things thou shalt not covet under the Tenth Commandment, thy brother’s bankruptcy theory may be the least of your temptations. Mary Beth Mccauley, The Christian Science Monitor, 23 Dec. 2019 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Andrew Theen | The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 26 Nov. 2019 This book is mostly free of the holier-than-thou attitude of some zealous naturalistas. Washington Post, 22 Nov. 2019 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thou.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of thou


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above


15th century, in the meaning defined above


1867, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thou


Middle English, from Old English thū; akin to Old High German thou, Latin tu, Greek sy


short for thousand

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Time Traveler for thou

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The first known use of thou was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near thou

those were the days



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Cite this Entry

“Thou.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More Definitions for thou


\ ˈt͟hau̇ How to pronounce thou (audio) \

Kids Definition of thou

: you "But can thou do a true enchantment?"— Jon Scieszka, Knights of the Kitchen Table
Hint: Thou is a very old word that still appears in books and sayings from long ago. People also use it to imitate that old way of speaking.

More from Merriam-Webster on thou

Nglish: Translation of thou for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thou for Arabic Speakers

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