Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


It

It

(ĭt)
,
p
ron.
[OE.
it
,
hit
, AS.
hit
; cf. D.
het
. √181. See
He
.]
The neuter pronoun of the third person, corresponding to the masculine pronoun he and the feminine she, and having the same plural (they, their or theirs, them).
☞ The possessive form its is modern, being rarely found in the writings of Shakespeare and Milton, and not at all in the original King James’s version of the Bible. During the transition from the regular his to the anomalous its, it was to some extent employed in the possessive without the case ending. See
His
, and
He
. In Dryden's time its had become quite established as the regular form.
The day present hath ever inough to do with
it
owne grief.
Genevan Test.
Do, child, go to
it
grandam, child.
Shakespeare
It
knighthood shall do worse. It shall fright all
it
friends with borrowing letters.
B. Jonson.
☞ In the course of time, the nature of the neuter sign t in it, the form being found in but a few words, became misunderstood. Instead of being looked upon as an affix, it passed for part of the original word. Hence was formed from it the anomalous genitive its, superseding the Saxon his.
Latham.
It is used,

1.
As a substance for any noun of the neuter gender;
as, here is the book, take
it
home
.

2.
As a demonstrative, especially at the beginning of a sentence, pointing to that which is about to be stated, named, or mentioned, or referring to that which apparent or well known;
as, I saw
it
was John
.
It
is I; be not afraid.
Matt. xiv. 27.
Often, in such cases, as a substitute for a sentence or clause; as, it is thought he will come; it is wrong to do this .
3.
As an indefinite nominative for a impersonal verb;
as,
it
snows;
it
rains.
4.
As a substitute for such general terms as, the state of affairs, the condition of things, and the like;
as, how is
it
with the sick man?
Think on me when
it
shall be well with thee.
Gen. xl. 14.
5.
As an indefinite object after some intransitive verbs, or after a substantive used humorously as a verb;
as, to foot
it
(i. e., to walk)
.
The Lacedemonians, at the Straits of Thermopylæ, when their arms failed them, fought
it
out with nails and teeth.
Dryden.
Whether the charmer sinner
it
, or saint
it
,
If folly grows romantic, I must paint it.
Pope.
Its self
.
See
Itself
.

Webster 1828 Edition


It

IT

, pron. [L. id.]
1.
A substitute or pronoun of the neuter gender, sometimes called demonstrative, and standing for any thing except males and females, 'Keep thy heart with all diligence,for out of it are the issues of life.' Prov. 9. Here it is the substitute for heart.
2.
It is much used as the nominative case or word to verbs called impersonal; as it rains; it snows. In this case,there is no determinate thing to which it can be referred.
In other cases, it may be referred to matter, affair, or some other word. Is it come to this?
3.
Very often, it is used to introduce a sentence, preceding a verb as a nominative, but referring to a clause or distinct member of the sentence. 'It is well ascertained, that the figure of the earth is an oblate spheroid.' What is well ascertained?
The answer will show: the figure of the earth is an oblate spheroid; it [that] is well ascertained. Here it represents the clause of the sentence,'the figure of the earth,' &c. If the order of the sentence is inverted, the use of it is superseded. The figure of the earth is an oblate spheroid; that is well ascertained.
It, like that, is often a substitute for a sentence or clause of a sentence.
4.
It often begins a sentence, when a personal pronoun, or the name of a person, or a masculine noun follows. It is I: be not afraid. It was Judas who betrayed Christ. When a question is asked, it follows the verb; as, who was it that betrayed Christ?
5.
It is used also for the state of a person or affair.
How is it with our general?
6.
It is used after intransitive verbs very indefinitely and sometimes ludicrously, but rarely in an elevated style.
If Abraham brought all with him, it is not probable he meant to walk it back for his pleasure.
The Lacedemonians, at the straits of Thermopylae, when their arms failed them, fought it out with nails and teeth.
Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it.

Definition 2021


it

it

See also: Appendix:Variations of "it"

English

Alternative forms

  • (dialectal) hit

Alternative forms

  • itt (obsolete)

Pronoun

it (subjective and objective it, reflexive and intensive itself, possessive determiner and noun its)

  1. The third-person singular personal pronoun that is normally used to refer to an inanimate object, also often used to refer to animals.
    Put it over there.
    Take each day as it comes.
    I heard the sound of the school bus - it was early today,
  2. A third-person singular personal pronoun used to refer to a child of unknown gender.
    She took the baby and held it in her arms.
    • 1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter IV:
      A child cannot quarrel with its elders, as I had done; cannot give its furious feelings uncontrolled play, as I had given mine, without experiencing afterwards the pang of remorse and the chill of reaction.
  3. Used to refer to oneself when identifying oneself, often on the phone, but not limited to this situation.
    It's me. John.
  4. The impersonal pronoun, used without referent as the subject of an impersonal verb or statement. (known as the dummy pronoun or weather it)
    It is nearly 10 o’clock.
    It’s very cold today.
    It’s lonely without you.
  5. The impersonal pronoun, used as a placeholder for a delayed subject, or less commonly, object. (known as the dummy pronoun or, more formally in linguistics, a syntactic expletive)
    It is easy to see how she would think that.
    I find it odd that you would say that.
    He saw to it that everyone would vote for him.
  6. All or the end; something after which there is no more.
    Are there more students in this class, or is this it?
    That's it—I'm not going to any more candy stores with you.
  7. (obsolete) Followed by an omitted and understood relative pronoun: That which; what.
    • 1643, Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, II.2:
      In briefe, I am content, and what should providence add more? Surely this is it [= it which] wee call Happinesse, and this doe I enjoy [...].
See Wiktionary:English inflection for other personal pronouns.
Quotations
  • For usage examples of this term, see Citations:it.
Derived terms
See also
Translations

Determiner

it

  1. (obsolete) its
    • 1611, Authorized King James Version of the Bible, first edition, Leviticus 25:5:
      That which groweth of it owne accord of thy haruest, thou ſhalt not reape, neither gather the grapes of thy Uine vndreſſed: for it is a yeere of reſt vnto the land. (replaced by "its" in the 1769 Oxford Standard Text)

Noun

it (plural its)

  1. One who is neither a he nor a she; a creature; a dehumanized being.
    • 1995, Neil Weiner, Sharon E. Robinson Kurpius, Shattered innocence (page 8)
      Too often, children become an "it" in their homes and their humanness is devalued.
    • 1920, Herman Cyril McNeile, Bulldog Drummond Chapter 1
      His master glanced up quickly, and removed the letter from his hands. "I'm surprised at you, James," he remarked severely. "A secretary should control itself. Don't forget that the perfect secretary is an it: an automatic machine—a thing incapable of feeling.…"
  2. The person who chases and tries to catch the other players in the playground game of tag.
    In the next game, Adam and Tom will be it
    • 2000, Katherine T. Thomas, Amelia M. Lee, Jerry R. Thomas, Physical education for children (page 464)
      When there are only two children left who haven't been tagged, I will stop the game, and we will start over with those children starting as the Its.
  3. (Britain, uncountable) The game of tag.
    Let's play it at breaktime.
  4. (uncountable) sex appeal, especially that which goes beyond beauty.
    • 1904, Rudyard Kipling, "Mrs Bathurst"
      'Tisn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It's just It. Some women'll stay in a man's memory if they once walked down a street
    • 1927, Dorothy Parker,
      And she had It. It, ****; she had Those.
  5. (euphemistic) sexual activity

Adjective

it (not comparable)

  1. (colloquial) most fashionable.
    • 2007 September, Vibe, volume 15, number 9, page 202:
      Going away for the weekend and feel the need to profile en route? This is the "it" bag.
    • David Germain, Hilarious ‘Kick-Ass’ delivers bloody fun, Associated Press, 2010:
      With Hit Girl, Moretz is this year's It Girl, alternately sweet, savage and scary.

Etymology 2

Abbreviation

it

  1. (language) Italian.
  2. Italy.
Derived terms
See also

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: his · with · is · #13: it · for · as · had

Anagrams


Azeri

Etymology

From Proto-Turkic *it, *ït.

Noun

it (Cyrillic spelling ит)

  1. dog

Verb

it (Cyrillic spelling ит)

  1. get lost (imperative)

Charrua

Noun

it

  1. fire

References

  • Rodolfo Maruca Sosa, La nación charrúa (1957)

Chuukese

Noun

it

  1. name

Crimean Tatar

Etymology

From Proto-Turkic *it, *ït.

Noun

it

  1. dog

Synonyms

References

  • Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary], Simferopol: Dolya, ISBN 966-7980-89-8

Greenlandic

Affix

it

  1. indicates a state of being without something.
    maani nipaappoq ― It is quiet here.
    sikuippoq ― There is no ice.

Irish

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɪt̪ˠ/

Contraction

it (triggers lenition)

  1. (Munster) Contraction of i do (in your).
    Buail it phóca é.
    Put it in your pocket.

Related terms


Latin

Verb

it

  1. third-person singular present active indicative of

Latvian

Particle

it

  1. used to assign accentuation to expression
    it sevišķi ― especially
    it nekas ― nothing at all
    it nekur ― nowhere at all
    it nemaz ― not at all
    it ― as if

Middle Dutch

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɪt/

Pronoun

it

  1. Alternative form of het

Middle Low German

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɪt/, /ət/

Etymology

From Old Saxon it, from Proto-Germanic *hit.

Pronoun

it

  1. (third person singular neuter nominative) it
  2. (third person singular neuter accusative) it

Declension


Northern Sami

Verb

it

  1. second-person singular present of ii

Old Irish

Alternative forms

  • (2nd sg.): at

Verb

it

  1. second-person singular present indicative of is
  2. third-person plural present indicative of is

Old Saxon

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *it.

Pronoun

it n

  1. it

Declension

Descendants

  • Low German: et

Sathmar Swabian

Adverb

it

  1. not

References

  • Claus Stephani, Volksgut der Sathmarschwaben (1985)

Turkish

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): [ˈit]

Etymology

From Ottoman Turkish ايت (it), from Old Turkic ıt (dog), from Proto-Turkic *īt, *ıyt, *ɨt, *it.

Noun

it (definite accusative iti, plural itler)

  1. (often derogatory) dog
  2. (derogatory, pejorative) scoundrel, detestable person

Declension

Usage notes

Not historically derogatory, and still used as the primary term for "dog" in the countryside. Usually, if a dog is a stray or feral, it can be referred to as "it" as well. The more usual word is köpek, which is also pejorative and derogatory when used for a person.

Verb

it

  1. second-person singular imperative of itmek (to push)

Turkmen

Etymology

From Old Turkic ıt (dog), from Proto-Turkic *īt, *ıyt, *ɨt, *it.

Noun

it (definite accusative idi, plural itler)

  1. dog

Declension


Uzbek

Etymology

From Proto-Turkic *ɨt, *it.

Noun

it (plural itlar)

  1. dog

Volapük

Determiner

it

  1. (with a personal pronoun) self; myself; yourself; himself; herself; itself; ourselves; themselves; emphasises the identity or singularity of the modified noun phrase

Welsh

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /ɪt/

Pronoun

it

  1. (literary) second-person singular of i

West Frisian

Article

it n

  1. the (the definite article that is placed before neuter nouns. Non-neuter (common gender) nouns take the article de).

Pronoun

it (personal pronoun)

  1. it: the third-person singular, referring to something neutral, genderless.