us [uhs] Word Origin pronoun

  1. the objective case of we, used as a direct or indirect object: They took us to the circus. She asked us the way.
  2. Informal. (used in place of the pronoun we in the predicate after the verb to be): It’s us!
  3. Informal. (used instead of the pronoun our before a gerund): She graciously forgave us spilling the gravy on the tablecloth.

Origin of us before 900; Middle English, Old English; cognate with German, Gothic uns Usage note 2, 3. See me. US

  1. United States.
  2. United States highway (used with a number): US 66.

U, u [yoo] noun, plural U’s or Us, u’s or us.

  1. the 21st letter of the English alphabet, a vowel.
  2. any spoken sound represented by the letter U or u, as in music, rule, curious, put, or jug.
  3. something having the shape of a U.
  4. a written or printed representation of the letter U or u.
  5. a device, as a printer’s type, for reproducing the letter U or u.

we [wee] plural pronoun, possessive our or ours, objective us.

  1. nominative plural of I.
  2. (used to denote oneself and another or others): We have two children. In this block we all own our own houses.
  3. (used to denote people in general): the marvels of science that we take for granted.
  4. (used to indicate a particular profession, nationality, political party, etc., that includes the speaker or writer): We in the medical profession have moral responsibilities.
  5. Also called the royal we. (used by a sovereign, or by other high officials and dignitaries, in place of I in formal speech): We do not wear this crown without humility.
  6. Also called the editorial we. (used by editors, writers, etc., to avoid the too personal or specific I or to represent a collective viewpoint): As for this column, we will have nothing to do with shady politicians.
  7. you (used familiarly, often with mild condescension or sarcasm, as in addressing a child, a patient, etc.): We know that’s naughty, don’t we? It’s time we took our medicine.
  8. (used in the predicate following a copulative verb): It is we who should thank you.
  9. (used in apposition with a noun, especially for emphasis): We Americans are a sturdy lot.

Origin of we before 900; Middle English, Old English wē; cognate with Dutch wij, German wir, Old Norse vēr, Gothic weis U [oo] noun

  1. a Burmese title of respect applicable to a man: used before the proper name.

I [ahy] pronoun, nominative I, possessive my or mine, objective me; plural nominative we, possessive our or ours, objective us.

  1. the nominative singular pronoun, used by a speaker in referring to himself or herself.

noun, plural I’s.

  1. (used to denote the narrator of a literary work written in the first person singular).
  2. Metaphysics. the ego.

Origin of I before 900; Middle English ik, ich, i; Old English ic, ih; cognate with German ich, Old Norse ek, Latin ego, Greek egṓ, OCS azŭ, Lithuanian aš, Sanskrit ahám Can be confusedaye eye IUsage note See me. u.s. 1

  1. where mentioned above.

Origin of u.s. 1From the Latin word ubi suprā u.s. 2

  1. as above: a formula in judicial acts, directing that what precedes be reviewed.

Origin of u.s. 2From the Latin word ut suprā U.S.

  1. Uncle Sam.
  2. United Service.
  3. United States.

Related Words for us America, Columbia, U.S., U.S.A., US, USA British Dictionary definitions for us us 1 pronoun (objective)

  1. refers to the speaker or writer and another person or other peopledon’t hurt us; to decide among us
  2. refers to all people or people in generalthis table shows us the tides
  3. an informal word for me 1 give us a kiss!
  4. when used by editors, monarches, etc, a formal word for me 1
  5. mainly US a dialect word for ourselves we ought to get us a car

Word Origin for us Old English ūs; related to Old High German uns, Old Norse oss, Latin nōs, Sanskrit nas wexref See me 1 us 2 the internet domain name for

  1. United States

US U.S. abbreviation for

  1. United States

i I noun plural i’s, I’s or Is

  1. the ninth letter and third vowel of the modern English alphabet
  2. any of several speech sounds represented by this letter, in English as in bite or hit
    1. something shaped like an I
    2. (in combination)an I-beam
  3. dot the i’s and cross the t’s to pay meticulous attention to detail

i symbol for

  1. the imaginary number √–1Also called: j

u U noun plural u’s, U’s or Us

  1. the 21st letter and fifth vowel of the modern English alphabet
  2. any of several speech sounds represented by this letter, in English as in mute, cut, hurt, sure, pull, or minus
    1. something shaped like a U
    2. (in combination)a U-bolt; a U-turn

u.s. abbreviation for

  1. ubi supra
  2. ut supra

we pronoun (subjective)

  1. refers to the speaker or writer and another person or other peoplewe should go now
  2. refers to all people or people in generalthe planet on which we live
    1. when used by editors or other writers, and formerly by monarchs, a formal word for I 1
    2. (as noun)he uses the royal we in his pompous moods
  3. informal used instead of you with a tone of persuasiveness, condescension, or sarcasmhow are we today?

Word Origin for we Old English wē, related to Old Saxon wī, Old High German wir, Old Norse vēr, Danish, Swedish vi, Sanskrit vayam I 1 pronoun

  1. (subjective) refers to the speaker or writer

Word Origin for I C12: reduced form of Old English ic; compare Old Saxon ik, Old High German ih, Sanskrit ahám I 2 symbol for

  1. chem iodine
  2. physics current
  3. physics isospin
  4. logic a particular affirmative categorial statement, such as some men are married, often symbolized as SiPCompare A, E, O 1
  5. (Roman numeral) oneSee Roman numerals

abbreviation for

  1. Italy (international car registration)

Word Origin for I (for sense 4) from Latin (aff) i (rmo) I affirm U 1 symbol for

  1. united
  2. unionist
  3. university
  4. (in Britain)
    1. universal (used to describe a category of film certified as suitable for viewing by anyone)
    2. (as modifier)a U film
  5. chem uranium
  6. biochem uracil

abbreviation for

  1. text messaging you


  1. British old-fashioned, informal (esp of language habits) characteristic of or appropriate to the upper classCompare non-U

U 2 noun

  1. a Burmese title of respect for men, equivalent to Mr

Word Origin and History for us pron.

Old English us (cognate with Old Saxon, Old Frisian us, Old Norse, Swedish oss), accusative and dative plural of we, from PIE *ns- (cf. Sanskrit nas, Avestan na, Hittite nash “us;” Greek no “we two;” Latin nos “we, us;” Old Church Slavonic ny “us,” nasu “our;” Old Irish ni, Welsh ni “we, us”). The -n- is preserved in Germanic in Dutch ons, German uns.

I pron.

12c. shortening of Old English ic, first person singular nominative pronoun, from Proto-Germanic *ekan (cf. Old Frisian ik, Old Norse ek, Norwegian eg, Danish jeg, Old High German ih, German ich, Gothic ik), from PIE *eg-, nominative form of the first person singular pronoun (cf. Sanskrit aham, Hittite uk, Latin ego (source of French Je), Greek ego, Russian ja, Lithuanian aš). Reduced to i by mid-12c. in northern England, it began to be capitalized mid-13c. to mark it as a distinct word and avoid misreading in handwritten manuscripts.

The reason for writing I is … the orthographic habit in the middle ages of using a ‘long i’ (that is, j or I) whenever the letter was isolated or formed the last letter of a group; the numeral ‘one’ was written j or I (and three iij, etc.), just as much as the pronoun. [Otto Jespersen, “Growth and Structure of the English Language,” p.233]

The form ich or ik, especially before vowels, lingered in northern England until c.1400 and survived in southern dialects until 18c. The dot on the “small” letter -i- began to appear in 11c. Latin manuscripts, to distinguish the letter from the stroke of another letter (such as -m- or -n-). Originally a diacritic, it was reduced to a dot with the introduction of Roman type fonts.


for historical evolution, see V. Used punningly for you by 1588 [“Love’s Labour’s Lost,” V.i.60], not long after the pronunciation shift that made the vowel a homonym of the pronoun. As a simple shorthand (without intentional word-play), it is recorded from 1862. Common in business abbreviations since 1923 (e.g. U-Haul, attested from 1951).


abbreviation for United States, attested from 1834.

we pron.

Old English we, from Proto-Germanic *wiz (cf. Old Saxon wi, Old Norse ver, Danish vi, Old Frisian wi, Dutch wij, Old High German and German wir, Gothic weis “we”), from PIE *wei- (cf. Sanskrit vayam, Old Persian vayam, Hittite wesh “we,” Old Church Slavonic ve “we two,” Lithuanian vedu “we two”).

The “royal we” (use of plural pronoun to denote oneself) is at least as old as “Beowulf” (c.725); use by writers to establish an impersonal style is also from Old English; it was especially common 19c. in unsigned editorials, to suggest staff consensus, and was lampooned as such since at least 1853 (cf. also wegotism).

us in Medicine I

  1. The symbol for the elementiodine
  2. i The symbol forcurrent


  1. The symbol for the elementuranium

us in Science U

  1. Abbreviation of uracil
  2. The symbol for uranium.

i [ī]

  1. The number whose square is equal to -1. Numbers expressed in terms of i are called imaginary or complex numbers.


  1. The symbol for electric current.
  2. The symbol for iodine.

Idioms and Phrases with us i

see dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

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