use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

there (thâr)
Share:
adv.
1. At or in that place: sit over there.
2. To, into, or toward that place: wouldn't go there again.
3. At that stage, moment, or point: Stop there before you make any more mistakes.
4. In that matter: I can't agree with him there.
5. In a readily accessible or discoverable state: The answer is out there. All we have to do is look for it.
pron.
1. Used to introduce a clause or sentence: There are numerous items. There must be another exit.
2. Used to indicate an unspecified person in direct address: Hello there.
adj.
1. Used especially for emphasis after the demonstrative pronoun that or those, or after a noun modified by the demonstrative adjective that or those: That person there ought to know the directions to town.
2. Nonstandard Used for emphasis between a demonstrative adjective meaning "that" or "those" and a noun: "You see them there handles?" (Cormac McCarthy)."I tell you ... that you buried paving-stones and earth in that there coffin" (Charles Dickens).
n.
That place or point: stopped and went on from there.
interj.
Used to express feelings such as relief, satisfaction, sympathy, or anger: There, now I can have some peace!
Idioms:
be there for (someone)
To be available to provide help or comfort to someone in a time of difficulty.
out there
Extremely unconventional or eccentric.

[Middle English ther, from Old English thǣr, thēr; see to- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

Usage Note: According to the traditional rule, when there precedes a verb such as be, seem, or appear, the verb agrees in number with the following grammatical subject: There is a great Italian deli across the street. There are some boats in the harbor. There appears to be a mistake. There seem to be several problems with the car. In spoken English, however, people often use there's instead of there are with a plural subject, as in There's two slices of pizza left. The Usage Panel dislikes this construction. In our 2014 survey, only 17 percent accepted the sentence There's only three things you need to know about this book (down slightly from 21 percent in 1995). But the results are very different when there's is followed by a compound subject whose first element is singular: 89 percent accepted the sentence In each of us there's a dreamer and a realist. Even more, 95 percent, accepted the sentence When you get to the stop light, there's a gas station on the left and a grocery store on the right. In these sentences, it's possible that the noun phrase following is is considered elliptical: there's a gas station on the left and [there's] a grocery store on the right. The Panel also accepted, but with far more ambivalence (58 percent), a singular verb when the subject is grammatically singular but notionally plural: There's a large number of broken windows in the building.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.