Ze is a gender-neutral singular third-person pronoun. It is a gender-neutral equivalent of the masculine he or the feminine she. Usage of the word Ze dates back to the 1970s. It is typically paired with the singular third-person possessive pronouns zir or hir.
Ze was inspired by the German pronoun sie, the formal form of you. As sie is a respectful address used for business associates, acquaintances, and strangers, ze by extension also shows respect. Ze is sometimes spelled zie, showing its German roots.