Definition of their in English:


possessive determiner

  • 1Belonging to or associated with the people or things previously mentioned or easily identified.

    ‘parents keen to help their children’
    • ‘You walk out of a bar in daylight, and you see people on their way to work, or jogging.’
    • ‘The surprised look on their faces was a joy to see as I ushered them to the front door.’
    • ‘It would not bring their victim back to life and there would just be one more death to mourn.’
    • ‘One group told me that they had been asked to provide their own brooms to sweep the stage.’
    • ‘It is ghastly for those who tried so hard to make the model work and who have now lost their jobs.’
    • ‘In our society many are crying out to be understood but we fail to hear their voices.’
    • ‘Nothing gets to me more than people who make a big song and dance about having their own way.’
    • ‘What they get up to in the privacy of their own kitchens is entirely their own business.’
    • ‘They often feel less attachment to the city as a whole than to their own little corner of it.’
    • ‘The feedback we get from buyers is that people now have less and less time on their hands.’
    • ‘At the end of the day, he says, their defence teams just did not fight a very good case.’
    • ‘All I can do is carry on giving my all for my club and let others make their minds up.’
    • ‘Some veterans have chosen to deal with what they saw by closing it out of their minds.’
    • ‘It was a new form of game show and people were on the edge of their seats, even if it seemed trivial.’
    • ‘After their visit, the team decided to go back again to try to do more for the country.’
    • ‘Problems came to a head on Friday when a can of spray paint was thrown at their front door.’
    • ‘If they win, they will just go on to the next bet and so on until they've lost all their money.’
    • ‘People came out because they felt the power to change the world was in their own hands.’
    • ‘They all wanted to show their grief for the loss of a girl whose life touched so many.’
    • ‘People spend a lot of time making sure their holiday is what they want and is good value.’
    • ‘At times it was so cold that they could see their equipment frosting up in front of them.’
    • ‘Gone are the days when he could read five books and file away their contents in his brain.’
    1. 1.1Belonging to or associated with a person of unspecified sex.
      ‘she heard someone blow their nose loudly’
      • ‘If your mum clicked with their mum then you would have a new friend whether you liked it or not!’
      • ‘Everybody goes to have a look before making up their own mind where they want to shop.’
      • ‘I am once again reminded, how wrong it is to judge a person by the colour of their skin.’
      • ‘The winner with the most votes gets to spend an hour in the stocks for their humility.’
      • ‘Why would anyone for the sake of their ego want to change the structure of what is going on?’
      • ‘Anyone who wants to voice their displeasure over that lot has to do a lot of voicing.’
  • 2Used in titles.

    ‘a double portrait of Their Majesties’
    • ‘Their Royal Highnesses arrived shortly after 3.30pm and were introduced to several prominent Members of Parliament, local councillors and leaders.’
    • ‘Their Majesties were welcomed by Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh at the Grand Entrance to Buckingham Palace in London.’
    • ‘We were privileged and delighted to receive Their Royal Highnesses The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall as official guests on Thursday 24 July.’


1 Do not confuse their and there: their is a possessive determiner, used for example in they all tried to hide their faces and said nothing, while there is an adverb of place or position, as in I took a trip up there last week, and is used in phrases such as there is/are: we are aware there are problems. 2 On the use of their in the singular to mean ‘his or her’, see they


Middle English: from Old Norse their(r)a of them, genitive plural of the demonstrative sá; related to them and they.