from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- pro. Used to refer to the woman or girl previously mentioned or implied. See Usage Note at I1.
- pro. Used to refer to a female animal.
- pro. Used in place of it to refer to certain inanimate things, such as ships and nations, traditionally perceived as female: "The sea is mother-death and she is a mighty female” ( Anne Sexton).
- n. A female animal or person: Is the cat a she?
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- pro. A female person or animal.
- pro. A ship or country.
- pro. Machinery such as cars and steam engines.
- pro. he/she. used arbitrarily with he for an indefinite person in order to be gender-neutral.
- n. A female.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- pro. This or that female; the woman understood or referred to; the animal of the female sex, or object personified as feminine, which was spoken of.
- pro. A woman; a female; -- used substantively.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- 3d pers. fem., possessive her or hers, objective her; nom. pl. they, possessive their or theirs, objective them. The nominative feminine of the pronoun of the third person, used as a substitute for the name of a female, or of something personified in the feminine. Compare he, especially for the forms her, hers.
- She is often used by people of small education or of comparatively secluded lives for the female that is chief in importance to the speaker, especially a wife; in this case it has a peculiar emphasis, separating the person referred to from all other women: as, “Sit down, she 'll be here in a minute.” Compare the similar use of he.
- She was formerly and is still dialectally sometimes used as an indeclinable form.
- In the English of the Scotch Highlanders she is commonly used for he; so her for his.
- n. A female person; a woman: correlative to he, a man.
- n. A female animal; a beast, bird, or fish of the female sex: correlative to he, a male animal: hence used attributively or as an adjective prefix, signifying ‘female,’ with names of animals, or, in occasional or humorous use, of other beings: as, a she-bear, a she-cat, a she-devil, etc. See he, n., 2.
Middle English, probably alteration of Old English sēo, feminine demonstrative pron.; see so- in Indo-European roots.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English sche, hye ("she"), from earlier scho, hyo, ȝho ("she"), a phonetic development of Old English hēo, hīo ("she"), from Proto-Germanic *hijō (“this, this one”), from Proto-Indo-European *k'e-, *k'ey- (“this, here”). Cognate with English dialectal hoo ("she"), Scots scho, shu ("she"), West Frisian hja ("she"), North Frisian jü ("she"), Danish hun ("she"), Swedish hon ("she"). More at he. (Wiktionary)