1300–50; Middle English hirs, equivalent to hire her + -s 's1

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[hur; unstressed her, er]
the objective case of she: We saw her this morning. Give this book to her.
the possessive case of she (used as an attributive adjective): Her coat is the one on the chair. I'm sorry about her leaving. Compare hers.
the dative case of she: I gave her the book.
Informal. (used instead of the pronoun she in the predicate after the verb to be ): It's her. It isn't her.
Slang. a female: Is the new baby a her or a him?

before 900; Middle English her(e), Old English hire, genitive and dative of hēo she (feminine of he1)

See he1, me.


pronoun, singular nominative she, possessive her or hers, objective her; plural nominative they, possessive their or theirs, objective them.
the female person or animal being discussed or last mentioned; that female.
the woman: She who listens learns.
anything considered, as by personification, to be feminine: spring, with all the memories she conjures up.
noun, plural shes.
a female person or animal.
an object or device considered as female or feminine.

1125–75; Middle English, alteration of Old English sēo, sīo, sīe, feminine of se the1; replacing Old English hēo, hīo, feminine personal pronoun; see he1, her

See he1, me, they.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
her (hɜː, (unstressed) hə, ə)
1.  refers to a female person or animal: he loves her; they sold her a bag; something odd about her; lucky her!
2.  refers to things personified as feminine or traditionally to ships and nations
3.  chiefly (US) a dialect word for herself : she needs to get her a better job
4.  of, belonging to, or associated with her: her silly ideas; her hair; her smoking annoys me

hers (hɜːz)
1.  something or someone belonging to or associated with her: hers is the nicest dress; that cat is hers
2.  of hers belonging to or associated with her
[C14 hires; see her]

she (ʃiː)
1.  refers to a female person or animal: she is a doctor; she's a fine mare
2.  refers to things personified as feminine, such as cars, ships, and nations
3.  (Austral), (NZ) an informal word for it : she's apples; she'll be right
4.  a.  a female person or animal
 b.  (in combination): she-cat

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hire, third pers. sing. fem. dat. pronoun, which beginning in 10c. replaced acc. hie (see he). Cognate with O.Fris. hiri, M.Du. hore, Du. haar, O.H.G. iru, Ger. ihr.

O.E. hire, third pers. sing. fem. gen. form of heo "she."

c.1300, hires, from her, a double possessive. Possessive pronouns in Mod. Eng. consist of the predicative (mine, thine, his, ours, yours, theirs) that come after the subject, and the attributive (my, thy, his, her, our, your, their) that come before it. In O.E. and early M.E., they were identical. To
keep speech fluid, speakers began to affix an -n to the end of my and thy before words that began with vowels. This began late 13c. in the north of England, and by 1500 was standard. Then the predicative and attributive pronouns split, and the pronouns in that class usually took up -s (the regular affix of possession). But the non-standard speech of the Midlands and south of England extended -n throughout (hisn, hern, yourn), a habit attested from 14c. and more regular than the standard speech, which mixes -s and -n.

c.1154, probably evolved from O.E. seo, sio (acc. sie), fem. of demonstrative pronoun se "the." The O.E. word for "she" was heo, hio, however by 13c. the pronunciation of this had converged by phonetic evolution with he "he," so the fem. demonstrative pronoun probably was used in its place (cf. similar
development in Du. zij, Ger. sie, Gk. he, etc.). The original h- survives in her. A relic of the O.E. pronoun is in Manchester-area dial. oo "she." She-devil "difficult woman" first recorded 1840.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
Hercules (constellation)
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Of all the local-eating guides and tales that have been published this year,
  hers is still my favorite.
But then again, who knows what's happening in that little mind of hers.
The omission reverses her meaning to make it sound as if their philosophy is
When they don't react as hers would, she attacks them.
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