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Definition of "the" [the]

  • Used before singular or plural nouns and noun phrases that denote particular, specified persons or things: the baby; the dress I wore. (definite-article)
  • Used before a noun, and generally stressed, to emphasize one of a group or type as the most outstanding or prominent: considered Lake Shore Drive to be the neighborhood to live in these days. (definite-article)
  • Used to indicate uniqueness: the Prince of Wales; the moon. (definite-article)
  • Used before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass: the weather; a wind from the south. (definite-article)
  • Used as the equivalent of a possessive adjective before names of some parts of the body: grab him by the neck; an infection of the hand. (definite-article)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "the" in a sentence
  • "Also included in this information will be the filename of the files waiting to print, the login account name of the user who SPOOLed the file, the time that the file was SPOOLed, the size of the file in PRIMOS records, and the printer name where the file is to print."
  • "If, therefore, I wish to say “the small fires in the house”—and I can do this in one word—I must form the word “fire-in-the-house, ” to which elements corresponding to “small, ” our plural, and “the” are appended."
  • "He liked the stately monuments much more than he liked Gibbon or Ruskin; he loved their dignity; their unity; their scale; their lines; their lights and shadows; their decorative sculpture; but he was even less conscious than they of the force that created it all, —the Virgin, the Woman, —by whose genius “the stately monuments of superstition” were built, through which she was expressed."