Origin: OE. This, thes, AS. Oes, masc, oeos, fem, ois, neut.; akin to OS. These, D. Deze, G. Dieser, OHG. Diser, deser, Icel. Oessi; originally from the definite article _ a particle -se, -si; cf. Goth. Sai behold. See The, That, and cf. These, Those.
1. As a demonstrative pronoun, this denotes something that is present or near in place or time, or something just mentioned, or that is just about to be mentioned. When they heard this, they were pricked in their heart. (acts II. 37) But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched. (Matt. Xxiv. 43)
This may be used as opposed or correlative to that, and sometimes as opposed to other or to a second this. See the note under That. This way and that wavering sails they bend. (pope) A body of this or that denomination is produced. (boyle) Their judgment in this we may not, and in that we need not, follow. (hooker) Consider the arguments which the author had to write this, or to design the other, before you arraign him. (Dryden) Thy crimes . . . Soon by this or this will end. (Addison)
This, like a, every, that, etc, may refer to a number, as of years, persons, etc, taken collectively or as a whole. This twenty years have I been with thee. (gen. Xxxi. 38) I have not wept this years; but now My mother comes afresh into my eyes. (Dryden)