General English

  • pronoun referring to a man or boy, and some animals


  • noun
    (written as HE)
    a projectile or other explosive ordnance containing high explosive
  • acronym forhigh explosive
    (written as HE)
  • noun a powerful explosive substance used in bombs, grenades, shells, etc.
  • noun a bomb or projectile containing high explosive.


  • acronym forHer Excellency
    (written as HE)
  • acronym forHis Excellency
    (written as HE)


  • chemical symbol forhelium
    (written as He)

Origin & History of “he”

He comes ultimately from a prehistoric Indo-European base *ki-, *ko-, which denoted in general terms ‘this, here’ (as opposed to ‘that, there’) and occurs in a number of modern English demonstrative pronouns and adverbs, such as here and hence. The most direct use of the demonstrative is for the ‘person or thing referred to’, and so *ki- has come down directly via Germanic *khi- as the third person singular pronoun he (of which him, his, she, her, and it are all derivatives).