Definition of we in US English:



  • 1Used by a speaker to refer to himself or herself and one or more other people considered together.

    ‘shall we have a drink?’
    • ‘Two weeks later Clare was moved to a children's home and we didn't see her any more.’
    • ‘We're hoping to do that this year.’
    1. 1.1 Used to refer to the speaker together with other people regarded in the same category.
      ‘nobody knows kids better than we teachers do’
      • ‘A problem also touched upon in Ben's comments is the fact that we ex-pats are not allowed to vote in our countries of residence either.’
      • ‘Can't we politicians all just get along?’
    2. 1.2 People in general.
      ‘we should eat as varied and well-balanced a diet as possible’
      • ‘We all need someone we can talk to.’
      • ‘We all have to die some day.’
  • 2Used in formal contexts for or by a royal person, or by a writer or editor, to refer to himself or herself.

    ‘in this section we discuss the reasons’
    • ‘Next we shall analyse the influence of economic status on various aspects of life, such as standard of living and education of children.’
    • ‘Still others say the queen was disposed to say ‘We are not amused’ whenever the conversation took a ribald turn.’
  • 3Used condescendingly to refer to the person being addressed.

    ‘how are we today?’
    • ‘‘Hello, Brian. How are we feeling today?’’
    • ‘Now are we going to get dressed and go to school?’
    • ‘‘My my, aren't we looking nice today,’ she said and got his attention.’


Old English, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch wij and German wir.