Find the word definition

The Collaborative International Dictionary

Th \Th\ In Old English, the article the, when the following word began with a vowel, was often written with elision as if a part of the word. Thus in Chaucer, the forms thabsence, tharray, thegle, thend, thingot, etc., are found for the absence, the array, the eagle, the end, etc.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

A sound found chiefly in words of Old English, Old Norse or Greek origin, unpronounceable by Normans and many other Europeans. In Greek, the sound corresponds etymologically to Sanskrit -dh- and English -d-; and it was represented graphically by -TH- and at first pronounced as a true aspirate (as still in English outhouse, shithead, etc.). But by 2c. B.C.E. the Greek letter theta was in universal use and had the modern "-th-" sound. Latin had neither the letter nor the sound, however, and the Romans represented Greek theta by -TH-, which they generally pronounced, at least in Late Latin, as simple "-t-" (passed down to Romanic languages, as in Spanish termal "thermal," teoria "theory," teatro "theater").\n

\nIn Germanic languages it represents PIE *-t- and was common at the start of words or after stressed vowels. To represent it, Old English and Old Norse used the characters ð "eth" (a modified form of -d-) and þ "thorn," which originally was a rune. Old English, unlike Old Norse, seems never to have standardized which of the two versions of the sound ("hard" and "soft") was represented by which of the two letters.\n

\nThe digraph -th- sometimes appears in early Old English, on the Roman model, and it returned in Middle English with the French scribes, driving out eth by c.1250, but thorn persisted, especially in demonstratives (þat, þe, þis, etc.), even as other words were being spelled with -th-. The advent of printing dealt its death-blow, however, as types were imported from continental founders, who had no thorn. For a time y was used in its place (especially in Scotland), because it had a similar shape, hence ye for the in historical tourist trap Ye Olde _______ Shoppe (it never was pronounced "ye," only spelled that way).\n

\nThe awareness that some Latin words in t- were from Greek th- encouraged over-correction in English and created unetymological forms such as Thames and author, while some words borrowed from Romanic languages preserve, on the Roman model, the Greek -th- spelling but the simple Latin "t" pronunciation (as in Thomas and thyme).


Th or TH may refer to:

Th (digraph)

Th is a digraph in the Latin script. It was originally introduced into Latin to transliterate Greek loan words. In modern languages that use the Latin alphabet, it represents a number of different sounds. It is the most common digraph in order of frequency in the English language.

Usage examples of "th".

Darby that no one need ever be afeared of ghosts if he only had the courage to face thim.

Bedad, he done that same very well, for he made a round av it for to kape thim in suspince.

Sure, I gave her a bunch of flowers wid poppies in it, and daisies, and furze-blossom, and foxglove, and forgit-me-not, and midowsweet, and sez I to her, which of thim was the finest coloured.

I speculated that, prior to my arrival for the final demonstration, Galvadon had felt the latest object on the Thim shelf or altar or whatever it was, and reported to Munt on its shape and attributes.

It was the great day thin, for they do say all the witches brought their rayports at thim saysons fur to show him phat they done.

It Culpepper, whose father and grandfather had both started out in G Co --th Infantry as shavetails and risen to command the Company and then the Battalion and then the Regiment, was not happy.

It sound tike a go th, n ad mitt to himlf, butte had absolutely no proof.

Huts, as if ye owned thim, and I love ye as I did my own brother, before I left the county Leitrim--paice to his sowl!

Darby that no one need ever be afeared of ghosts if he only had the courage to face thim.

Around the favors of thim same three wishes is a bog of thricks an' cajoleries and conditions that'll defayt the wisest.

In answer to appaled cries of protest the voice says thta the plane have been on public display in the planning office in Alpha Centauri for ten years, so it's far too late to start making a fuss now.

It may be observed that Quenya t, p, c descend from Primitive Elvish consonants that were certainly not aspirated, for in the primitive language they contrasted with distinct aspirated sounds: primitive th, ph, kh, which later became s, f, h in Quenya.

         We may also consider the primitive aspirated consonants kh, th, ph, pronounced more or less as in as in backhand, outhouse, scrap-heap (to borrow my own examples from Lesson One).

We thought that the lad here left the danged counthry for good, an' sarves thim danged yellow-legs that boss the Company right for not knowin' a man whin they see wan.