English explanatory dictionary online >> item

Results for: item



i·tem  (tm)
1. A single article or unit in a collection, enumeration, or series.
2. A clause of a document, such as a bill or charter.
3. An entry in an account.
a. A bit of information; a detail.
b. A short piece in a newspaper or magazine.
5. A romantically involved couple: [They] soon began seeing each other . . . and were an item for a year and a half. (Peter J. Boyer).
Also; likewise. Used to introduce each article in an enumeration or list.
tr.v. i·temed, i·tem·ing, i·tems Archaic
To compute.

[From Middle English, also, moreover, from Latin; see i- in Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: item, detail, particular
These nouns denote an individual, often specialized element of a whole: a shopping list with many items; discussed the details of their trip; furnished the particulars of the accident.
Word History: The word item seems to us to be very much a noun, whether it refers to an article in a collection or a bit of information. But it began its life in English (first recorded before 1398) as an adverb meaning moreover, also, in addition. Item was typically used in front of each object listed in an inventory, as we might put also. This use in English simply reflects a meaning of the word in Latin. However, it is easy to see how item could be taken to stand for the thing that it preceded, and so we get, for example, the sense an article included in an enumeration. The first such usages are found in the 16th century, while the sense a bit of information is not found until the 19th century.

item  /atm/  n. 1 a general term for a thing or object: Department stores have a wide choice of items for sale. 2 s.t. on a list, a separate topic: We have four items to discuss today; well start with item one. 3 a short piece of news: an item in the newspaper 4 slang a couple in love: They met last year and have been an item for six months.

Thesaurus: item 1 an article, piece | ingredient 2 a matter, point 3 an article, piece. item

Enter word: