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  1. Definite grammatical article that implies necessarily that the entity it articulates is presupposed; something already mentioned, or completely specified later in the same sentence, or assumed already completely specified. Compare I’m reading a book with I’m reading the book.
    The street in front of your house. (But compare a street in Paris)
    The men and women watched the man give the birdseed to the bird.
  2. When stressed, indicates that the object in question is considered to be best or exclusively worthy of attention.
    That is the hospital to go to for heart surgery.
  3. With a superlative, it refers to the same thing which the superlative applies to.
    That apple pie was the best.
  4. When before a body part, it can be an alternative to a possessive pronoun.
    A stone hit him on the head. ( = “A stone hit him on his head.”)
  5. When before an adjectival noun, it indicates all persons within that grouping.
    Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.
  6. When before the name of a member of a class, it indicates all things in that class.
    The cat is a solitary creature. ( = “All cats are solitary creatures.”)

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