1used to indicate a person or thing that has already been mentioned or seen or is clearly understood from the situation

used to refer to things or people that are common in daily life

used to refer to things that occur in nature

used to refer to a particular unit or period of time

Britishused to indicate the day on which something happened or will happen

used before the name of a specific person, place, event, work of art, etc.

used to indicate which person or thing you are referring to or discussing

used in titles after a person’s name

used before an ordinal number

used before a singular noun to refer in a general way to people or things of a particular kind

used to indicate the type of musical instrument someone plays

used before an adjective that is being used as a noun to refer to all of the people or things that have a particular quality

used before a plural noun to indicate that every person or thing of the kind specified is included

used before the plural form of a person’s last name to indicate that all the members of the family are included

used to indicate that a person or thing is the best of its kind

used to indicate the most famous person having a particular name

◊ This sense of the is emphasized in speech.

used to refer in a general way to a specific type of activity


used to refer to a part of your body or clothing

informalused before a noun that refers to a person’s family, job, health, etc.