from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- pro. Used to refer to the ones previously mentioned or implied.
- pro. Usage Problem Used to refer to the one previously mentioned or implied, especially as a substitute for generic he: Every person has rights under the law, but they don't always know them. See Usage Note at he1.
- pro. Used to refer to people in general.
- pro. Used to refer to people in general as seen in a position of authority.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- pro. A group of people or objects previously mentioned.
- pro. People; some people; someone, excluding the speaker.
- those (used for people)
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- prep. The plural of he, she, or it. They is never used adjectively, but always as a pronoun proper, and sometimes refers to persons without an antecedent expressed.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- The plural pronoun of the third person. It stands for a plural noun or pronoun preceding, or in place of one not expressed when pointed out by the situation. It is without gender-forms.
- Poss. their. Of or belonging to them: now always preceding the noun, with the value of an attributive adjective.
- Poss. theirs. That which belongs to them: always used without the noun, and having the value of a nominative or an objective.
- Obj. (acc.), them.
- Obj. (dat.), them.
- Used for those.
- A Middle English variant of though.
Middle English, from Old Norse their, masculine pl. demonstrative and personal pron..(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English they, thei, from Old Norse þeir—nominative plural masculine of the demonstrative, which acted in Old Norse as a plural pronoun—from Proto-Germanic *þai (“those”), from Proto-Indo-European *to- (“that”). Gradually replaced Old English hī and hīe ("they"). (Wiktionary)