- ( personal ) The speakers/writers, or the speaker/writer and at least one other person .
- ( personal ) The speaker/writer alone. ( The use of we in the singular is the editorial we, used by writers and others, including royalty—the royal we—as a less personal substitute for I. The reflexive case of this sense of we is ourself. )
- IPA: /weː/
- We ( wē ), pron.; pl. of I. [Poss. Our ( our ) or Ours ( ourz ); obj. Us ( ŭs ). See I.] [As. wē; akin to OS. wī, OFries. & LG. wi, D. wij, G. wir, Icel. vēr, Sw. & Dan. vi, Goth. weis, Skr. vayam. √190.] The plural nominative case of the pronoun of the first person; the word with which a person in speaking or writing denotes a number or company of which he is one, as the subject of an action expressed by a verb.
☞ We is frequently used to express men in general, including the speaker. We is also often used by individuals, as authors, editors, etc., in speaking of themselves, in order to avoid the appearance of egotism in the too frequent repetition of the pronoun I. The plural style is also in use among kings and other sovereigns, and is said to have been begun by King John of England. Before that time, monarchs used the singular number in their edicts. The German and the French sovereigns followed the example of King John in a. d. 1200.
From Middle English, from Old English wē ( “we” ), from Proto-Germanic *wīz, *wiz ( “we” ), from Proto-Indo-European *wéy, *we- ( “first person dual and plural: pronoun” ). Cognate with West Frisian wy ( “we” ), Low German wi ( “we” ), Dutch we, wij ( “we” ), German wir ( “we” ), Danish, Swedish and Norwegian vi ( “we” ), Icelandic vér, við ( “we” ) .
From Proto-Germanic *wiz, from Proto-Indo-European *wes-, *wei-. Cognate with Old Frisian wi, Old Saxon wī ( Low German wi ), Old High German wir ( German wir ), Dutch wij, Old Norse vér ( Swedish vi ), Gothic ( weis ) .
By Wiktionary ( 2012/04/01 16:44 UTC Version )
Definition of we by GCIDE Dictionary