Main definitions of him in English

: him1HIM2

him1

pronoun

  • 1third person singular Used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a male person or animal previously mentioned or easily identified.

    ‘his wife survived him’
    Compare with he
    ‘he took the children with him’
    • ‘George Ryan's work on the death penalty has brought him mention as a contender for the peace prize.’
    • ‘It was typical of him not to mention that his daughter, the lovely Candida, was engaged to one.’
    • ‘Aberdeen are still on the trail of the culprit and the club has made an appeal for supporters to identify him.’
    • ‘My friend recently mentioned charging him some rent, plus his share of the bills.’
    • ‘Berg himself is so above it all that even his wife refers to him, at least to the press, only by an honorific.’
    • ‘I remember my grandmother talking about him and mentioning the spelling was wrong.’
    • ‘After you do this you can probably convince him more easily that he must consider others.’
    • ‘I could talk to him more easily than I could talk to dad, who was very much up on a pedestal.’
    • ‘Gosh, he must have been angry when the original programmes barely mentioned him.’
    • ‘I'm too scared even to mention this to him, for he is sure to say it is impossible.’
    • ‘Nobody has mentioned him but he's playing well enough to figure and we know he loves it round Augusta.’
    • ‘Flying in very high altitudes does weird things to him and can easily lead to an MS relapse.’
    • ‘I asked him why and he mentioned that her car hadn't been at her place for a few nights.’
    • ‘I mention to him that in real life, he often says something and then apologises for it.’
    • ‘So why go out of your way as an opposition leader to identify yourself with him.’
    • ‘Allegations made against him previously in Lothian and Borders would have shown up.’
    • ‘I have heard him mention his son several times in interviews, but not his daughter.’
    • ‘The last five minutes have seen him easily the most animated he's been all day.’
    • ‘Police have since been able to identify him, but have not yet released his name.’
    • ‘He was very grateful for the meals that had previously been provided for him.’
    1. 1.1 Referring to a person or animal of unspecified sex.
      ‘withdrawing your child from school to educate him at home may seem drastic’
      • ‘It could even be educational: give it to a child and watch him grow up to be the next John Bonham.’
      • ‘I don't know who the new Tory leader will be but education will figure highly with him.’
    2. 1.2 Used after the verb ‘to be’ and after ‘than’ or ‘as’
      ‘that's him all right’
      ‘I could never be as good as him’
      • ‘Suddenly Ammu hoped that it had been him that Rahel saw in the march.’
      • ‘I'll try to be faster than him, of course, but I don't even know him yet.’
    3. 1.3West Indian He.
      ‘him was a tall, bow-legged man’
  • 2North American dialect, archaic third person singular Himself.

    ‘in the depths of him, he too didn't want to go’

Usage

Why do people tell us that it is wrong to say I could never be as good as him (rather than I could never be as good as he)? If they are right, why does he in this context sound so odd? For a discussion of this issue, see personal pronoun

Origin

Old English, dative singular form of he, hē ‘he’ and hit ‘it’.

Pronunciation

him

/hɪm/

Main definitions of him in English

: him1HIM2

HIM2

British
  • Her or His Imperial Majesty.