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’
    • ‘I'm too scared even to mention this to him, for he is sure to say it is impossible.’
    • ‘I asked him why and he mentioned that her car hadn't been at her place for a few nights.’
    • ‘Aberdeen are still on the trail of the culprit and the club has made an appeal for supporters to identify him.’
    • ‘He was very grateful for the meals that had previously been provided for him.’
    • ‘Flying in very high altitudes does weird things to him and can easily lead to an MS relapse.’
    • ‘I have heard him mention his son several times in interviews, but not his daughter.’
    • ‘I remember my grandmother talking about him and mentioning the spelling was wrong.’
    • ‘My friend recently mentioned charging him some rent, plus his share of the bills.’
    • ‘It was typical of him not to mention that his daughter, the lovely Candida, was engaged to one.’
    • ‘Berg himself is so above it all that even his wife refers to him, at least to the press, only by an honorific.’
    • ‘Allegations made against him previously in Lothian and Borders would have shown up.’
    • ‘George Ryan's work on the death penalty has brought him mention as a contender for the peace prize.’
    • ‘Nobody has mentioned him but he's playing well enough to figure and we know he loves it round Augusta.’
    • ‘Police have since been able to identify him, but have not yet released his name.’
    • ‘After you do this you can probably convince him more easily that he must consider others.’
    • ‘The last five minutes have seen him easily the most animated he's been all day.’
    • ‘So why go out of your way as an opposition leader to identify yourself with him.’
    • ‘Gosh, he must have been angry when the original programmes barely mentioned him.’
    • ‘I mention to him that in real life, he often says something and then apologises for it.’
    • ‘I could talk to him more easily than I could talk to dad, who was very much up on a pedestal.’
    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.