Meaning of “his” in the English Dictionary

"his" in British English

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uk strong /hɪz/ weak /ɪz/ us strong /hɪz/ weak /ɪz/

his determiner (MALE)

A1 belonging to or connected with a man, boy, or male animal that has just been mentioned or is known about:

"Jo's got a new boyfriend." "Oh really? What's his name?"
The bull tossed his horns.
formal Did Chris tell you about his winning some money in the lottery?

More examples

  • Paul clicked his fingers to attract the waiter's attention.
  • We can't stop Tom climbing out of his cot.
  • The officer commanded his men to shoot.
  • I don't know how he can afford a new car on his salary.
  • She sold the house even though it was against his wishes.

his determiner (EITHER GENDER)

belonging to or connected with a person or animal that has just been mentioned and whose sex is not known or not considered to be important. Many people consider this use to be offensive and prefer to use him or her or their instead, or its for an animal:

Anyone who drives his car at 100 miles an hour is asking for trouble.
What a cute dog! What's his name?
Note: Many people prefer to use their, and this can sometimes mean changing other words in the sentence: People who drive their cars at 100 miles an hour are asking for trouble.Its can be used for animals.


uk /hɪz/ us /hɪz/

(Definition of “his” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"his" in American English

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us /hɪz, ɪz/ male

belonging to or connected with the person mentioned; the possessive form of he, often used before a noun:

Joe left his car parked with the lights on.
Isn’t this Kevin’s umbrella? I think it’s his.

His is also used to refer to a person whose sex is not known:

Anyone who drives his car that fast is asking for trouble.
Note: Some people find this use of his to be offensive.

(Definition of “his” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)