- they [thā]pron.sing. he, she, it [ME thei < ON thei-r, nom. masc. pl. of the demonstrative pron.; like THEIR & THEM (ME theim), also < the ON demonstrative forms, thei replaced earlier ME he (hi) because the native pronouns were phonetically confused with the forms of the pers. pron. (ME he, hire, hem, him, etc.): cf. THEIR, THEM, SHE]1. the persons, animals, or things previously mentioned: personal pronoun in the third person plural: they is the nominative form, them the objective, theirs the possessive, and themselves the reflexive and intensive; their is the possessive pronominal adjective2. people [they say it's so]3. the person or group just mentioned: used sometimes as a generic form with a collective antecedent such as everyone, somebody, or no one to avoid the masculine implications of generic he [everyone thinks they are right about this issue]
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.