Main definitions of thou in English

: thou1thou2

thou1

pronoun

  • ‘thou art fair, O my beloved’
    Compare with thee
    archaic or dialect form of you, as the singular subject of a verb
    • ‘Since thou hast spurned the grace of God and made thyself unworthy of the office of preaching, we rightly deprive you of this office.’
    • ‘In Solomon's Song the interrogators ask the bride, ‘What is thy beloved more than another beloved, O thou fairest among women?’’
    • ‘The concept is anticipated in the Gospels: ‘And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?’’
    • ‘However, a scripture I had learned as a child took on a whole new meaning: ‘What is man that thou art mindful of him?’’
    • ‘But curb thou the high spirit in thy breast, for gentle ways are best, and keep aloof from sharp contentions.’

Usage

In modern English, the personal pronoun you (together with the possessives your and yours) covers a number of uses: it is both singular and plural, both objective and subjective, and both formal and familiar. This has not always been the case. In Old English and Middle English some of these different functions of you were supplied by different words. Thus, thou was at one time the singular subjective case (thou art a beast), while thee was the singular objective case (he cares not for thee). In addition, the form thy (modern equivalent your) was the singular possessive determiner and thine (modern equivalent yours) the singular possessive pronoun, both corresponding to thee. The forms you and ye, on the other hand, were at one time reserved for plural uses. By the 19th century these forms were universal in standard English for both singular and plural, polite and familiar. In present-day use thou, thee, thy, and thine survive in some traditional dialects but otherwise are found only in archaic contexts

Origin

Old English thu, of Germanic origin; related to German du, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin tu.

Pronunciation:

thou

/ðaʊ/

Main definitions of thou in English

: thou1thou2

thou2

noun

informal
  • 1A thousand:

    ‘two hundred thou’
    • ‘But a few thou to the school library each year seemed to shut the administration up.’
    • ‘Over 500 thous people used to serve in the division.’
    • ‘The 6th Guards Army alone lost up to 30 thous of killed and wounded at Kursk.’
    • ‘The enemy lost about 500 thous men, 1,500 tanks including the latest Tigers, Panthers, and Ferdinands; 3 thous artillery pieces and over 3,700 airplanes.’
    • ‘I would give my sister and brother an amount, a couple of thou I guess, because I'm sure they would give me some if they won.’
    • ‘He will give us a hundred thou just for bringing her in alive!’
    • ‘‘I only got two hundred thou,’ he growled as he slapped a chit card on the bar.’
    • ‘I hated to see it go, but it's not like I can't find another beater for under a thou.’
    • ‘It was close to ten o'clock when I reached the house I wanted: mid-range for this neighborhood, less than three hundred thou, but they'd added a pool since.’
    • ‘A couple hundred thou would make a lot of my problems easier to handle.’
    • ‘Right now, it comes to $314,742.92, although, being the loving and generous parent that I am, I'll call it an even three hundred thou.’
    • ‘I've got about a hundred sixty thou split out in three CD's and another twenty-five in a mutual fund.’
    1. 1.1 One thousandth of an inch.

Origin

Mid 19th century: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

thou

/ðaʊ/