Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • pronoun Used to refer to the female person or animal previously mentioned or implied.
  • pronoun Used to refer to a person whose gender is unspecified or unknown.
  • pronoun Used in place of it to refer to certain inanimate things, such as ships and nations, traditionally perceived as female.
  • noun A female animal or person. Sometimes used in combination.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A female person; a woman: correlative to he, a man.
  • noun 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.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • pronoun 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.
  • pronoun rare A woman; a female; -- used substantively.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • pronoun personal A female person or animal.
  • pronoun personal A ship or country.
  • pronoun personal, affectionate Machinery such as cars and steam engines.
  • pronoun personal, nonstandard he/she. used arbitrarily with he for an indefinite person in order to be gender-neutral.
  • noun A female.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, probably alteration of Old English sēo, feminine demonstrative pron.; see so- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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  ("she"), Danish hun ("she"), Swedish hon ("she"). More at he.

Examples

Comments

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  • sHE

    May 2, 2008

  • she may not be a her. We dunno.

    July 7, 2008

  • She is, she is (a she. Is me)! Such a sticky nickname (stickinick? ..baskets?) from such a little pronoun.

    July 10, 2008

  • One of the reasons why I appreciated your username is that you thought of it while signing up. So simple, and still...

    July 10, 2008

  • Great movie, too--if you like pre-1940s schlock. "She Who Must Be Obeyed..."

    July 10, 2008

  • Oh, I do like pre-1940s schlock! And 1940s schlock (mostly Betty Grable musicals). She was just the product of deciding against using anything I might get tired of and going for the first word I half-wondered may not've been taken. I'm sure there are all sorts of nice little words wandering around with no claimants..

    July 11, 2008

  • I was going to say we could do a Schlock list, but most of mine are anyway :-(

    July 11, 2008

  • "She Who Must Be Obeyed..." - that's what we call my mother!

    *rock, rock, rock.*

    July 11, 2008

  • I don't know, bilby--a schlock list has a lot of appeal. Go for it!

    July 11, 2008

  • Mmn, schlocklist sounds like it has some relation to chocolate. (Dontcry, eerie that you'd say that now!)

    July 11, 2008