Definition for THAT

THAT, a. [or pron. an adjective, pronoun or substitute. Sax. thæt, that; Goth. thata; D. dat; G. das; Dan. det; Sw. det. Qu. Gr. ταυτος. This word is called in Saxon and German, an article, for it sometimes signifies the. It is called also in Saxon a pronoun, equivalent to id, istud, in Latin. In Swedish and Danish it is called a pronoun of the neuter gender. But these distinctions are groundless and of no use. It is probably from the sense of setting.]

  1. That is a word used as a definitive adjective, pointing to a certain person or thing before mentioned, or supposed to be understood. “Here is that book we have been seeking, this hour.” “Here goes that man we were talking of.” It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. Matth. x.
  2. That is used definitively, to designate a specific thing or person emphatically. The woman was made whole from that hour. Matth. ix. In these cases, that is an adjective. In the two first examples, the may be substituted for it. “Here is the book we have been seeking.” “Here goes the man we were talking of.” But in other cases, the can not supply its place, and that may be considered as more emphatically definitive than the.
  3. That is used as the representative of a noun, either a person or a thing. In this use it is often a pronoun and a relative. When it refers to persons, it is equivalent to who, and when it refers to a thing, it is equivalent to which. In this use, it represents either the singular number or the plural. He that reproveth a scorner, getteth to himself shame. Prov. ix. They that hate me without a cause, are more than the hairs of my head. Ps. lxiii. A judgment that is equal and impartial, must incline to the greater probabilities. Wilkins. They shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend. Matth. xiii.
  4. That is also the representative of a sentence or part of a sentence, and often of a series of sentences. In this case, that is not strictly a pronoun, a word standing for a noun; but is, so to speak, a pro-sentence, the substitute for a sentence, to save the repetition of it. And when Moses heard that, he was content. Lev. x. That here stands for the whole of what Aaron had said, or the whole of the preceding verse. I will know your business, that I will. Shak. Ye defraud, and that your brethren. 1 Cor. vi. That sometimes in this use, precedes the sentence or clause to which it refers. That be far from thee, to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked. Gen. xviii. That here represents the clause in italics.
  5. That sometimes is the substitute for an adjective. You alledge that the man is innocent; that he is not.
  6. That, in the following use, has been called a conjunction. “I heard that the Greeks had defeated the Turks.” But in this case, that has the same character as in No. 4. It is the representative of the part of the sentence which follows, as may be seen by inverting the order of the clauses. “The Greeks had defeated the Turks; I heard that.” “It is not that I love you less.” That here refers to the latter clause of the sentence, as a kind of demonstrative.
  7. That was formerly used for that which, like what. We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen. John iii. [This use is no longer held legitimate.]
  8. That is used in opposition to this, or by way of distinction. If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that. James iv.
  9. When this and that refer to foregoing words, this, like the Latin hic, and French ceci, refers to the latter, and that to the former. It is the same with these and those. Self-lore and reason to one end aspire, / Pain their aversion, pleasure their desire; / But greedy that, its object would devour, / This taste the honey, and not wound the flow'r. Pope.
  10. That sometimes introduces an explanation of something going before. “Religion consists in living up to those principles; that is, in acting in conformity to them.” Here that refers to the whole first clause of the sentence.
  11. “Things are preached, not in that they are taught, but in that they are published.” Here that refers to the words which follow it. So when that begins a sentence. “That we may fully understand the subject, let us consider the following propositions.” That denotes purpose, or rather introduces the clause expressing purpose, as will appear by restoring the sentence to its natural order. “Let us consider the following propositions, that, [for the purpose expressed in the following clause,] we may fully understand the subject.” “Attend that you may receive instruction.” Here also that expresses purpose elliptically; “Attend for the purpose that, you may receive instruction;” that referring to the last number. This elliptical use of that is very frequent; the preposition for being understood. “A man travels that he may regain his health.” He travels for that purpose, he may regain his health. The French often retains the preposition in such cases, pour que. “Do all things without murmurings and disputings, that ye may be blameless and harmless.” Phil. ii, 14. Do all things without murmurings, for that purpose; to that effect, ye may be blameless. In that, a phrase denoting consequence, cause or reason; that referring to the following sentence.

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