We(w), pron.; pl. of I. [Poss. Our (our) or Ours (ourz); obj. Us (s). See I.] [As. w; akin to OS. w, OFries. & LG. wi, D. wij, G. wir, Icel. vr, Sw. & Dan. vi, Goth. weis, Skr. vayam. 190.] The plural nominative case of the pronoun of the first person; the word with which a person in speaking or writing denotes a number or company of which he is one, as the subject of an action expressed by a verb.
We is frequently used to express men in general, including the speaker. We is also often used by individuals, as authors, editors, etc., in speaking of themselves, in order to avoid the appearance of egotism in the too frequent repetition of the pronoun I. The plural style is also in use among kings and other sovereigns, and is said to have been begun by King John of England. Before that time, monarchs used the singular number in their edicts. The German and the French sovereigns followed the example of King John in
a. d. 1200.
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