the editorial we

we

[wee]
plural pronoun, possessive our or ours, objective us.
1.
nominative plural of I.
2.
(used to denote oneself and another or others): We have two children. In this block we all own our own houses.
3.
(used to denote people in general): the marvels of science that we take for granted.
4.
(used to indicate a particular profession, nationality, political party, etc., that includes the speaker or writer): We in the medical profession have moral responsibilities.
5.
Also called the royal we. (used by a sovereign, or by other high officials and dignitaries, in place of I in formal speech): We do not wear this crown without humility.
6.
Also called the editorial we. (used by editors, writers, etc., to avoid the too personal or specific I or to represent a collective viewpoint): As for this column, we will have nothing to do with shady politicians.
7.
you (used familiarly, often with mild condescension or sarcasm, as in addressing a child, a patient, etc.): We know that's naughty, don't we? It's time we took our medicine.
8.
(used in the predicate following a copulative verb): It is we who should thank you.
9.
(used in apposition with a noun, especially for emphasis): We Americans are a sturdy lot.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English, Old English wē; cognate with Dutch wij, German wir, Old Norse vēr, Gothic weis

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
we (wiː)
 
pron
1.  refers to the speaker or writer and another person or other people: we should go now
2.  refers to all people or people in general: the planet on which we live
3.  a.  when used by editors or other writers, and formerly by monarchs, a formal word for I
 b.  (as noun): he uses the royal we in his pompous moods
4.  informal used instead of you with a tone of persuasiveness, condescension, or sarcasm: how are we today?
 
[Old English wē, related to Old Saxon wī, Old High German wir, Old Norse vēr, Danish, Swedish vi, Sanskrit vayam]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

we
O.E. we, from P.Gmc. *wiz (cf. O.S. wi, O.N. ver, Dan. vi, O.Fris. wi, Du. wij, O.H.G., Ger. wir, Goth. weis "we"), from PIE *wei- (cf. Skt. vayam, O.Pers. vayam, Hitt. wesh "we," O.C.S. ve "we two," Lith. vedu "we two"). The "royal we" (use of plural pronoun to denote oneself) is at least as old as
"Beowulf" (c.725); use by writers to establish an impersonal style is also from O.E.; it was especially common 19c. in unsigned editorials, to suggest staff consensus, and was lampooned as such since at least 1853 (cf. also wegotism).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

I

  1. The symbol for the element iodine.

  2. iThe symbol for current.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
i   (ī)  Pronunciation Key 
The number whose square is equal to -1. Numbers expressed in terms of i are called imaginary or complex numbers.
I  
  1. The symbol for electric current.

  2. The symbol for iodine.


The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
We
Wednesday
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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