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Main Entry: 1the
Pronunciation: th(especially before consonant sounds and sometimes vowel sounds in Southern speech),th(before vowel sounds); 1e is oftenth
Function: definite article 1 a -- used to indicate that a following noun or term functioning as a noun has been already made known by context or by circumstance <put the cat out> b -- used to indicate that a following noun or term functioning as a noun is a unique or a particular member of its class <the President> <the sun> c -- used before nouns that designate natural phenomena or points of the compass <the night is cold> <wind came from the east> d -- used before a noun denoting time to indicate reference to what is present or immediate or is under consideration <in the future> e -- used before names of some parts of the body or of the clothing as an equivalent of a possessive adjective <how's the arm today> <grabbed me by the collar> f -- used before the name of a branch of human activity <the law> g -- used in prepositional phrases to indicate that the noun in the phrase serves as a basis for calculation <sold by the dozen> h -- used before a proper name (as of a ship or a well-known building) <the Mayflower> i -- used before a proper name to indicate the distinctive characteristics of a person or thing <the John Doe that we know wouldn't lie> j -- used before the plural form of a surname to indicate all the members of a family <the Johnsons> k -- used before the plural form of a numeral that is a multiple of ten to denote a particular decade of a century or of a person's life <life in the twenties> l -- used before the name of something used in daily life to indicate reference to the individual thing, part, or supply thought of as at hand <talked on the telephone> m -- used to designate one of a class as the best, most typical, best known, or most worth singling out <this is the life> <was the player in today's game> 2 a -- used with a modified noun to limit the application of the noun to that specified by the modifier <the right answer> <Peter the Great> b -- used before an absolute adjective or an ordinal number <nothing but the best> <payment is due on the first> c -- used before a noun to limit its application to that specified by a following element in the sentence <the poet Wordsworth> <didn't have the time to write> d -- used after a person's name to indicate a characteristic trait or notorious activity specified by the following noun <Jack the Ripper> 3 a -- used before a singular noun to indicate that the noun is to be understood as representative of a whole class <good advice for the beginner> b -- used before an adjective functioning as a noun to indicate an abstract idea <an essay on the sublime> 4 -- used before a noun or an adjective functioning as a noun to indicate reference to a group as a whole <the rich> <the homeless>