see also: He, HE
  • (British) enPR: hē, IPA: /ˈhiː/, (unstressed) IPA: /hi/, /i/
  • (America) enPR: hē, IPA: /hi/, [hi], [çi]
  1. (personal) A male person or animal already known or implied.
    • July 18 2012, Scott Tobias, AV Club The Dark Knight Rises[http://www.avclub.com/articles/the-dark-knight-rises-review-batman,82624/]
      Though Bane’s sing-song voice gives his pronouncements a funny lilt, he doesn’t have any of the Joker’s deranged wit, and Nolan isn’t interested in undercutting his seriousness for the sake of a breezier entertainment.
  2. (personal, sometimes proscribed, see usage notes) A person whose gender is unknown or irrelevant.
    The rulebook clearly states that "if any student is caught cheating, he will be expelled", and you were caught cheating, were you not, Anna?
  3. (personal) An animal whose gender is unknown.
  4. A genderless object regarded as masculine, such as certain stars (e.g. Sun, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter) or certain ships.
    Antonyms: she, it
    • 1770, A Mathematical Miscellany in Four Parts, 3rd edition, p. 125:
      JUPITER is the largest of all the Planets, his Orbit lies between the Orbits of the Earth and Mars, and at the cast Distance of 426 Millions of Miles from the Sun, he goes round him in 11 Years, 314 Days and 12 Hours; […]
  • (person whose gender is unknown) one, you (indefinite, colloquial); he or she, he/she, they, s/he, or these other third-person pronouns (see "Combined forms", "Invented pronouns")
  • (animal whose gender is unknown) it
  1. (AAVE) Synonym of his#English|his


  1. (uncountable) The game of tag, or it, in which the player attempting to catch the others is called "he".
  2. The player attempting to catch the others in this game.
  3. (informal) A male.
    Is your cat a he or a she?
Pronunciation Noun


  1. The name of the fifth letter of many Semitic alphabets (Phoenician, Aramaic, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic and others).
    • 1658, Thomas Browne, The Garden of Cyrus, Folio Society 2007, page 210:
      The same number in the Hebrew mysteries and Cabalistical accounts was the character of Generation; declared by the Letter He, the fifth in their Alphabet.
    • 1988, Christina Pribićević-Zorić, translating Milorad Pavić, Dictionary of the Khazars, Vintage 1989, p. 7:
      This Nehama claimed that in his own hand he recognized the consonant “he” of his Hebrew language, and in the letter “vav” his own male soul.
  2. The name of the first letter of the Old South Arabian abjad.
  1. (uncommon, usually, reduplicated) An expression of laughter.
    Synonyms: ha, hehe (more common)
    • 1897, Charles Dudley Warner, Hamilton Wright Mabie, Charles Henry Warner, Lucia Isabella Gilbert Runkle, Library of the World's Best Literature: A-Z, page 1791:
      If e'er he went into excess, / 'Twas from a somewhat lively thirst; / But he who would his subjects bless, / Odd's fish!—must wet his whistle first; / And so from every cask they got, / Our king did to himself allot / At least a pot. / Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he! / That's the kind of king for me.
    • 1921, Norman Davey, The Pilgrim of a Smile, page 247:
      "Well, what is your next tale?" said Sumner, a little brusquely. "He, he! he, he! . . . he, he!" chuckled the bottle, "the text tale I'm going to tell you in a very funny one. It will make you laugh. There's a lady in it—he, he!—a very comic affair."

  1. Honorific alternative letter-case form of he, sometimes used when referring to God or another important figure who is understood from context.
    I love the Lord for He is Great and Holy.
Proper noun
  1. Surname



  1. Initialism of high explosive
  2. Initialism of higher education#English|higher education.
  3. Initialism of health#English|health education#English|education.
  4. Initialism of His Excellency, Her Excellency.
  5. Initialism of His Eminence.
  6. Initialism of home#English|home entertainment#English|entertainment.
  7. Initialism of human#English|human era#English|era (“current epoch”).
Proper noun
  1. Abbreviation of Hesse#English|Hesse, a federal state of Germany.

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