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pro- +‎ noun, modeled on Middle French pronom, from Latin pronomen, itself a calque of Ancient Greek ᾰ̓ντωνῠμῐ́ᾱ (antōnumíā).



pronoun (plural pronouns)

  1. (grammar) A type of word that refers anaphorically to a noun or noun phrase, but which cannot ordinarily be preceded by a determiner and rarely takes an attributive adjective. English examples include I, you, him, who, me, my, each other.
    • 1789, Jean Baptiste A grammar of the French tongue, page 193:
      The possessive conjunctive pronoun is always repeated before a substantive, and after a conjunction; as my brothers and sisters, mes frères & mes sœurs; []
    • 2013, Nicholas Brownless, “Spoken Discourse in Early English Newspapers”, in Joad Raymond, editor, News Networks in Seventeenth Century Britain and Europe, page 72:
      As here the possessive pronoun 'our' has inclusive reference in that it a priori includes both the editor and reader, its presence amounts to a kind of pronominal bonding between writer and reader.
    1. (chiefly in the plural) Any of the pronouns by which a person prefers to be described, typically reflecting gender identity.
      My pronouns are she/her.


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