Definition of ye determiner from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



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BrE BrE//jiː//
; NAmE NAmE//jiː//
a word meaning ‘the’, used in the names of pubs, shops, etc. to make them seem old Ye Olde Starre Inn
Word Origindeterminer graphic variant; in late Middle English þ (see thorn sense (3)) came to be written identically with y, so that the could be written ye. This spelling (usually ye) was kept as a convenient abbreviation in handwriting down to the 19th cent., and in printers' types during the 15th and 16th cents., but it was never pronounced as “ye”.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: ye