Etymology: Middle English, pronoun & adjective, from Old English thes (masculine), this (neuter); akin to Old High German dese this, Old English thæt that
Date: before 12th century
(1) the person, thing, or idea that is present or near in place, time, or thought or that has just been mentioned <these are my hands> (2) what is stated in the following phrase, clause, or discourse <I can only say this: it wasn't here yesterday> b. this time or place <expected to return before this> 2. a. the one nearer or more immediately under observation or discussion <this is iron and that is tin> b. the one more recently referred to II. adjective (plural these) Date: before 12th century 1. a. being the person, thing, or idea that is present or near in place, time, or thought or that has just been mentioned <this book is mine> <early this morning> b. constituting the immediately following part of the present discourse c. constituting the immediate past or future <friends all these years> d. being one not previously mentioned — used especially in narrative to give a sense of immediacy or vividness <then this guy runs in> <had this urge to go shopping> 2. being the nearer at hand or more immediately under observation or discussion <this car or that one> III. adverb Date: 15th century to the degree or extent indicated by something in the immediate context or situation <didn't expect to wait this long>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.