Definition of them in English:


Pronunciation /ðɛm//ðəm/


  • 1third person plural Used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to two or more people or things previously mentioned or easily identified.

    ‘I bathed the kids and read them stories’
    Compare with they
    ‘rows of doors, most of them locked’
    • ‘She was wise enough to realize that most of them were interested only in what they could get out of her.’
    • ‘Many of them feel excluded from a number of opportunities that the rest of us take for granted.’
    • ‘She sews a piece of coloured cotton on the tops of her socks so she can match them easily.’
    • ‘She left a note telling her parents and friends how much she loved them.’
    • ‘Some of them are difficult to read though as the sun has bleached them over the years.’
    • ‘I made a trip to Edinburgh to visit a couple of friends to talk to them about my ideas.’
    • ‘After the class she left with a girl friend and was on her way to a games lesson when the boy and one of his friends joined them.’
    • ‘One ought to indulge them, because all in all I reckon they do a pretty good job.’
    • ‘Reading aloud to children at a young age can give them a lifelong love of literature.’
    • ‘She has insisted she is never soft on her friends when interviewing them on television.’
    • ‘The smart way is to identify easier questions, and attempt as many of them as you can.’
    • ‘The problem is that Lee actually likes some of these boys, and wants to remain friends with them.’
    • ‘She had met many film stars of the era and regaled us with stories of her time with them.’
    • ‘Many of us, if we are honest, will skip these lists, or at least read them very quickly!’
    • ‘How many of you, as kids, read these insane stories and believed them to be true?’
    • ‘At the same time teenagers do want boundaries of some sort and they do want us to love them.’
    • ‘They have all grown up into nice people and I'm confident they love me as much as I love them.’
    • ‘So put those dates in your diary or pass them on to friends or relatives who visit at that time.’
    • ‘She admitted using the cards on 19 occasions saying she had been given them by a friend.’
    • ‘About half of them cannot read, so all teaching is verbal or from diagrams scratched in the sand.’
    1. 1.1 Used after the verb ‘to be’ and after ‘than’ or ‘as’
      ‘you reckon that's them?’
      ‘we're better than them’
      • ‘We're better than them.’
      • ‘And if I made as much money as them I would buy a huge house too.’
      • ‘Should women be offended when men dress up as them for Halloween?’
      • ‘Managing someone while getting paid the same as them and staying at the same rank as them is already trying enough as it is.’
      • ‘I knew it was them!’
    2. 1.2singular Referring to a person of unspecified sex.
      ‘how well do you have to know someone before you call them a friend?’
      • ‘When you have a child, you have this unconditional love for them.’
      • ‘Telling someone you love them is not enough; you have to act in such a way to back that up else it simply isn't true.’
      • ‘When a child has gone out into the world without quite the right tools to deal with it, you love them even more.’
      • ‘We feel strongly that a child does not have to be genetically ours for us to be able to love them.’
      • ‘Can you ever believe someone who stole from you and cheated you after you gave them your love?’
      • ‘It is not uncommon for the sibling of a child with autism to simply feel their parents do not love them as much.’
  • 2archaic third person plural Themselves.

    ‘they bethought them of a new expedient’


informal, dialect
  • Those.

    ‘look at them eyes’
    • ‘I feel sorry for them dogs and I hope it never happens to mine!’
    • ‘He is a man; you can't just blame her, because if he really wanted to he would see them kids no matter how far away they live.’


On the use of them in the singular to mean ‘him or her’, see they


Middle English: from Old Norse theim ‘to those, to them’, dative plural of sá; related to their and they.