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Webster 1913 Edition


Its

Its

(ĭts)
,
p
oss.
p
ron.
Possessive form of the pronoun it. See
It
.

Definition 2022


its

its

See also: ITS, it's, its', and 'its

English

Alternative forms

  • it's (possessive form, obsolete or nonstandard)

Determiner

its

  1. Belonging to it. [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essayes, London: Edward Blount, OCLC 946730821, I.43:
      The manner wherewith our Lawes assay to moderate the foolish and vaine expences of table-cheare and apparell, seemeth contrarie to it's end.
    • 1751, G. Burnett, trans. Thomas More, Utopia:
      since I have been at the Pains to write it, if he consents to it's being published I will follow my Friend's Advice, and chiefly yours.
    • 1763, Authorized King James Version of the Bible, Oxford Standard Text, Leviticus 25:5:
      That which groweth of its own accord of thy harvest thou shalt not reap, neither gather the grapes of thy vine undressed: for it is a year of rest unto the land. (originally "of it own accord" in the 1611 first edition)
    • 1813, Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice:
      They descended the hill, crossed the bridge, and drove to the door; and, while examining the nearer aspect of the house, all her apprehensions of meeting its owner returned.
    • 1989, Jasper Becker and John Gittings, The Guardian, 5 Jun 1989:
      The Chinese government is at war with its own people.

Translations

Pronoun

its

  1. The one (or ones) belonging to it. [from 17th c.]

Quotations

  • For usage examples of this term, see Citations:its.

Translations

Usage notes

  • Its is now distinguished from it's (a contraction of "it is" or "it has"). For example, It's going to rain is equivalent to It is going to rain, and It's got three wheels is equivalent to It has three wheels.
  • Like it, its is usually avoided when referring to humans. Its is commonly used with animals when the gender is unknown or unimportant. With humans, person is used for a person whose gender is unknown or to refer to something that could be possessed by either gender, body or corpse is often used to refer to a dead person, and figure, shape, and silhouette are often used to refer to what someone sees as a person but can't see clearly enough to determine an identity or gender, e.g. The figure moved behind a bush, but Josh could see its shadow from the moonlight.
  • Rank among most common English words: #72 (Gutenburg)

See also

Noun

its

  1. plural of it

Anagrams

References

  1. its” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001).