Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Used as a modifier before a noun: his boots; his plans.
  • pro. Used to indicate the one or ones belonging to him: If you can't find your hat, take his.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • pro. Belonging to him.
  • pro. Used erroneously in place of ’s after a noun, especially a masculine noun ending in s, to express the possessive case.
  • pro. That which belongs to him; the possessive case of he, used without a following noun.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • pro. Belonging or pertaining to him; -- used as a pronominal adjective or adjective pronoun; ; formerly used also for its, but this use is now obsolete.
  • pro. The possessive of he.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • The possessive (genitive) masculine (and formerly also neuter) of he.
  • A perverted form of the genitive inflection -s, -'s, Middle English and early modern English -es, -is (see -es and -s), which was confused with the genitive pronoun his, and became common especially after nouns whose nominatives end in -S.
  • [The use naturally extended to the feminine gender and the plural number:

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old English his ("his, its"), from Proto-Germanic *hes (“of this”), genitive of *hiz (“this, this one”), from Proto-Indo-European *ḱe-, *ḱey- (“this”). Cognate with Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic hans ("his"). More at he. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That mother had no idea what Bailey had just been through, and his rugged appearance was only his  proud testament to his life at that moment.

    The Exhibit

  • And his eyes go what ye'd call twilight misty as his croppy boy goes running over the field,  his stick flickin at the grass seeds,  and the soft sunshine tripping off his boots.

    cyclops

  • For a lifetime he balanced the trickle of his love,  his thoughts, his hope ... his self ... into her ears, until she became his story.

    Spill

  • Not to disparage teh Shakespeer guy or anybuddy in his era, but it seems to me that if u wanted to hurt teh other guy u would bite *his* thumb, not ur own.

    Hey, - Lolcats 'n' Funny Pictures of Cats - I Can Has Cheezburger?

  • So they found little old William Jarvis crumpled on his bedroom floor, fully clothed also; and _his _cheeks were badly scratched; and he was just as dead as his fellow butler below.

    The Body Ricardo

  • Well, I think the Warren pick was a perfect issue to make a better connection with, not the base or his campaigners like us or * his* voters, but the electorate.

    Dems Not Likely To Move Any Time Soon On "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

  • First Edwards and his mudcat, now Obama and * his* staff ...

    Obama Issues New Statement Taking Full Responsibility For "Punjab" Screwup

  • This whole Rod Stewart thing is astounding, by the way — corroborated in Wikipedia in a paragraph that includes this hilarious line: “..his passion for the hobby has been blamed for contributing to the end of his second marriage.”

    Coyote Blog » Blog Archive » Coolest Stuff I Have Worked With In A While

  • Actually, the opponent, Dan Meuser, occasionally gives to politicians who are important to his company, but 91 percent of his  personal donations go to Republicans.

    Giving Till They're Blue?

  • To be honest, I was jealous of his going back to school while I stayed home working on *his* novels.

    Year 34 in Review

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