\ 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, "Solution: ‘How to Find Simple Treasures in Complex Numbers’," 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, "Ultimate Arizona bucket list: 14 things to do in Pinal County," 18 Feb. 2015 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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, "People Have Invented More Than 200 Gender-Neutral Pronouns. Here's Why 'They' Is Here to Stay," 17 Jan. 2020 Others accused the vegetarians of being hypocrites and holier-than-thou. Adrienne Bitar, Time, "The Turkey Has Been the Subject of Thanksgiving-Day Arguments for Longer Than You Probably Think," 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, "Why the ending of Game of Thrones elevated the worst of fan culture," 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, "Jealousy at Ivy League level: How a law professor views Tenth Commandment," 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, "Man charged with raping, kidnapping woman he met on Tinder, demanding sex for money," 26 Nov. 2019 This book is mostly free of the holier-than-thou attitude of some zealous naturalistas. Washington Post, "3 of the year’s best wine books for holiday gift-giving," 22 Nov. 2019 When the Buffs pass Wither thou goest Steven Montez? Matt Schubert, The Denver Post, "CU Buffs vs. USC scouting report: Who has the edge, predictions and 3 things to watch," 24 Oct. 2019 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. Karl Ove Knausgaard, The New Yorker, "The Slowness of Literature and the Shadow of Knowledge," 6 Nov. 2019

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.

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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

Time Traveler

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

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Cite this Entry

“Thou.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Mar. 2020.

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More Definitions for thou


How to pronounce thou (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of thou

 (Entry 1 of 2)

old-fashioned + literary used as a singular form of "you" when it is the subject of a verb


How to pronounce thou (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of thou (Entry 2 of 2)

US, informal : a thousand dollars


\ 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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on thou

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thou

Spanish Central: Translation of thou

Nglish: Translation of thou for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thou for Arabic Speakers

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