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Meaning of THE

Pronunciation:  dhu or dhee

 
Webster's 1913 Dictionary
 
 Definition: 
  1. \The\, v. i.
    See {Thee}. [Obs.] --Chaucer. Milton.
    
    
  2. \The\ ([th][=e], when emphatic or alone; [th][-e], obscure
    before a vowel; [th]e, obscure before a consonant; 37),
    definite article. [AS. [eth]e, a later form for earlier nom.
    sing. masc. s[=e], formed under the influence of the oblique
    cases. See {That}, pron.]
    A word placed before nouns to limit or individualize their
    meaning.
    
    Note: The was originally a demonstrative pronoun, being a
          weakened form of that. When placed before adjectives
          and participles, it converts them into abstract nouns;
          as, the sublime and the beautiful. --Burke. The is used
          regularly before many proper names, as of rivers,
          oceans, ships, etc.; as, the Nile, the Atlantic, the
          Great Eastern, the West Indies, The Hague. The with an
          epithet or ordinal number often follows a proper name;
          as, Alexander the Great; Napoleon the Third. The may be
          employed to individualize a particular kind or species;
          as, the grasshopper shall be a burden. --Eccl. xii. 5.
    
    
  3. \The\, adv. [AS. [eth][=e], [eth][=y], instrumental case of
    s[=e], se['o], [eth][ae]t, the definite article. See 2d
    {The}.]
    By that; by how much; by so much; on that account; -- used
    before comparatives; as, the longer we continue in sin, the
    more difficult it is to reform. ``Yet not the more cease I.''
    --Milton.
    
          So much the rather thou, Celestial Light, Shine inward,
          and the mind through all her powers Irradiate.
                                                   --Milton.
    
    
 

 

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