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[hiz; unstressed iz] /hɪz; unstressed ɪz/
the possessive form of he1. (used as an attributive or predicative adjective):
His coat is the brown one. This brown coat is his. Do you mind his speaking first?
that or those belonging to him:
His was the cleverest remark of all. I borrowed a tie of his.
Origin of his
before 900; Middle English, Old English, genitive of he1
Usage note
See he1, me.




[hee; unstressed ee] /hi; unstressed i/
pronoun, nominative he, possessive his, objective him; plural nominative they, possessive their or theirs, objective them.
the male person or animal being discussed or last mentioned; that male.
anyone (without reference to sex); that person:
He who hesitates is lost.
noun, plural hes.
any male person or animal; a man:
hes and shes.
male (usually used in combination):
a he-goat.
before 900; Middle English, Old English (masculine nominative singular); cognate with Dutch hij, Old Saxon hē, Old High German her he; see his, him, she, her, it1
Usage note
Traditionally, the masculine singular pronouns he1, his, and him have been used generically to refer to indefinite pronouns like anyone, everyone, and someone (Everyone who agrees should raise his right hand) and to singular nouns that can be applied to either sex (painter, parent, person, teacher, writer, etc.): Every writer knows that his first book is not likely to be a bestseller. This generic use is often criticized as sexist, although many speakers and writers continue the practice.
Those who object to the generic use of he have developed various ways of avoiding it. One is to use he/she or she/he (or he or she or she or he) or the appropriate case forms of these pairs: Everyone who agrees should raise his or her (or her or his or his/her or her/his) right hand. Forms blending the feminine and masculine pronouns, as s/he, have not been widely adopted, probably because of confusion over how to say them.
Another solution is to change the antecedent pronoun or noun from singular to plural so that the plural pronouns they, their, and them can be used: All who agree should raise their right hands. All writers know that their first books are not likely to be bestsellers. See also they. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for his
  • It does not mention the scandal that damaged his once-stellar reputation and stunned his colleagues in the field.
  • He is acclaimed for his advocacy of web standards, books and a sometimes prickly manner.
  • Computer executive posts statement to quell questions on his condition.
  • his only consolation was that he had helped postpone it till now.
  • He shops at the market even on his days off, drawn by the consistent quality and the vendors' specialty knowledge.
  • He is the author of three books and at work on his fourth.
  • Picture a college student appealing for a higher grade in his professor's office.
  • The surgeon fixes his broken hands by delegating the task to another surgeon.
  • He runs his fingers through his hair, rolls his shoulders, and blinks rapidly.
  • The painter's appearance and attire was as distinctive as his artwork.
British Dictionary definitions for his


/hɪz; unstressed ɪz/
  1. of, belonging to, or associated with him: his own fault, his knee, I don't like his being out so late
  2. as pronoun: his is on the left, that book is his
his and hers, (of paired objects) for a man and woman respectively
of his, belonging to or associated with him
Word Origin
Old English his, genitive of he1 and of hitit


/hiː; unstressed /
pronoun (subjective)
refers to a male person or animal: he looks interesting, he's a fine stallion
refers to an indefinite antecedent such as one, whoever, or anybody: everybody can do as he likes in this country
refers to a person or animal of unknown or unspecified sex: a member of the party may vote as he sees fit
  1. a male person or animal
  2. (in combination): he-goat
  1. a children's game in which one player chases the others in an attempt to touch one of them, who then becomes the chaser Compare tag2
  2. the person chasing Compare it1 (sense 7)
Word Origin
Old English hē; related to Old Saxon hie, Old High German her he, Old Slavonic this, Latin cis on this side


/heɪ; Hebrew he/
the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet (ה), transliterated as h


/hiː; heɪ/
an expression of amusement or derision Also he-he!, hee-hee!


Chemical symbol


high explosive
His Eminence
His (or Her) Excellency
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for his

Old English his (genitive of he), from Proto-Germanic *khisa (cf. Gothic is, German es). Originally also the neuter possessive pronoun, but replaced in that sense c.1600 by its. In Middle English, hisis was tried for the absolute pronoun (cf. her/hers), but it failed to stick. For dialectal his'n, see her.



Old English he (see paradigm of Old English third person pronoun below), from Proto-Germanic *hi- (cf. Old Saxon, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch he, hi, Dutch hy, Old High German he), from PIE *ki-, variant of *ko-, the "this, here" (as opposed to "that, there") root (cf. Hittite ki "this," Greek ekeinos "that person," Old Church Slavonic si, Lithuanian šis "this"), and thus the source of the third person pronouns in Old English. The feminine, hio, was replaced in early Middle English by forms from other stems (see she), while the h- wore off Old English neuter hit to make modern it. The Proto-Germanic root also is the source of the first element in German heute "today," literally "the day" (cf. Old English heodæg).

- masc. neut. fem. (all genders)
nom. he hit heo, hio hie, hi
acc. hine hit hie, hi hie, hi
gen. his his hire hira, heora
dat. him him hire him, heom

Pleonastic use with the noun ("Mistah Kurtz, he dead") is attested from late Old English. With animal words, meaning "male" (he-goat, etc.) from c.1300.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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his in Medicine

His abbr.

His (hĭs), Wilhelm. 1863-1934.

German anatomist known for his investigations of the heart. He described (1893) the atrioventricular trunk, also called the His bundle.

The symbol for the element helium.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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his in Science
The symbol for helium.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Related Abbreviations for his


high resolution interferometer spectrometer






  1. Her (or His) Excellency
  2. high explosive
  3. His (or Her) Eminence
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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