pronoun, plural these [theez] .
(used to indicate a person, thing, idea, state, event, time, remark, etc., as present, near, just mentioned or pointed out, supposed to be understood, or by way of emphasis): This is my coat.
(used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., referring to the one nearer in place, time, or thought; opposed to that ): This is Liza and that is Amy.
(used to indicate one of two or more persons, things, etc., implying a contrast or contradistinction; opposed to that ): I'd take that instead of this.
what is about to follow: Now hear this! Watch this!
adjective, plural these [theez] .
(used to indicate a person, place, thing, or degree as present, near, just indicated or mentioned, or as well-known or characteristic): These people are my friends. This problem has worried me for a long time.
(used to indicate the nearer in time, place, or thought of two persons, things, etc.; opposed to that ).
(used to imply mere contradistinction; opposed to that ).
(used in place of an indefinite article for emphasis): I was walking down the street when I heard this explosion.
(used with adjectives and adverbs of quantity or extent) to the extent or degree indicated: this far; this softly.
with this, following this; hereupon: With this, he threw down his glass and left the table.

before 900; (pronoun and adj.) Middle English; Old English: nominative and accusative neuter singular of the demonstrative pronoun thes (masculine), thēos (feminine); cognate with German dies, Old Norse thissi; (adv.) Middle English, special use of the OE instrumental singular thȳs, thīs, accusative singular neuter this, perhaps by association with thus Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
this (ðɪs)
1.  a.  used preceding a noun referring to something or someone that is closer: distinct from that: this dress is cheaper than that one; look at this picture
 b.  (as pronoun): this is Mary and that is her boyfriend; take this
2.  a.  used preceding a noun that has just been mentioned or is understood: this plan of yours won't work
 b.  (as pronoun): I first saw this on Sunday
3.  a.  used to refer to something about to be said, read, etc: consider this argument
 b.  (as pronoun): listen to this
4.  a.  the present or immediate: this time you'll know better
 b.  (as pronoun): before this, I was mistaken
5.  informal a often used in storytelling, an emphatic form of the : I saw this big brown bear
6.  this and that various unspecified and trivial actions, matters, objects, etc
7.  not standard (US) this here this this an emphatic form of this
8.  with this, at this after this; thereupon
9.  used with adjectives and adverbs to specify a precise degree that is about to be mentioned: go just this fast and you'll be safe
[Old English thēs, thēos, this (masculine, feminine, neuter singular); related to Old Saxon thit, Old High German diz, Old Norse thessi]

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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Word Origin & History

O.E. þis, neuter demonstrative pronoun and adj. (masc. þes, fem. þeos), probably from a North Sea Gmc. pronoun formed by combining the base *þa- (see that) with -s, which is probably identical with O.E. se "the" (representing here "a specific thing"),
but it may be O.E. seo, imperative of see (v.) "to behold." Cf. O.S. these, O.N. þessi, Du. deze, O.Fris. this, O.H.G. deser, Ger. dieser. Once fully inflected, with 10 distinct forms (see table below); the oblique cases and other genders gradually fell away by 15c. The O.E. plural was þæs (nom. and acc.), which in Northern M.E. became thas, and in Midlands and Southern England became thos. The Southern form began to be used late 13c. as the plural of that (replacing M.E. tho, from O.E. þa) and acquired an -e (apparently from the influence of M.E. adj. plurals in -e; cf. alle from all, summe from sum "some"), emerging early 14c. as modern those. About 1175 thes (probably a variant of O.E. þæs) began to be used as the plural of this, and by 1200 it had taken the form these, the final -e acquired via the same mechanism that gave one to those.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with this, also see at this point; at this rate; at this stage; from this day forward; in this day and age; out of this world; shuffle off (this mortal coil).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for this
The glint of light off water is a commonplace effect of this.
He is the reincarnation of buck, but no one in the family ever realizes this.
In one sense, there is no limit to how long he might wish to continue in this.
Some reports had suggested the danes had secretly agreed to this.
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