He (?), pron. [nom. He; poss. His (?); obj. Him (?); pl. nom. They (?); poss. Their or Theirs (); obj. Them (?).] [AS. h, masc., heo, fem., hit, neut.; pl. hi, or hie, hig; akin to Ofries. hi, D. hij, OS. he, hi, G. heute to-day, Goth. himma, dat. masc., this, hina, accus. masc., and hita, accus. neut., and prob. to L. his this. &root;183. Cf. It.]
The man or male being (or object personified to which the masculine gender is assigned), previously designated; a pronoun of the masculine gender, usually referring to a specified subject already indicated.
Thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.
Gen. iii. 16.
Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God; him shalt thou serve.
Deut. x. 20.
Any one; the man or person; -- used indefinitely, and usually followed by a relative pronoun.
He that walketh with wise men shall be wise.
Prov. xiii. 20.
Man; a male; any male person; -- in this sense used substantively.
I stand to answer thee,
Or any he, the proudest of thy sort.
⇒ When a collective noun or a class is referred to, he is of common gender. In early English, he referred to a feminine or neuter noun, or to one in the plural, as well as to noun in the masculine singular. In composition, he denotes a male animal; as, a he-goat.
© Webster 1913.