pronoun[third person singular]
Middle English: probably a phonetic development of the Old English feminine personal pronoun hēo, hīe
1 For a discussion of whether to say I am older than she or I am older than her, see personal pronoun (usage) and than2 The use of the pronoun he to refer to a person of unspecified sex, once quite acceptable, has become problematic in recent years and is now usually regarded as old-fashioned or sexist. One of the responses to this has been to use she in the way that he has been used, as in only include your child if you know she won’t distract you. In some types of writing, for example books on childcare or child psychology, this use of she has become quite common. In most contexts, however, it is likely to be distracting in the same way that he now is, and alternatives such as ‘he or she’ or ‘they’ are preferable. See he (usage) and they.