\ ˈif How to pronounce if (audio) , əf \

Definition of if

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : in the event that
b : allowing that
c : on the assumption that
d : on condition that
2 : whether asked if the mail had come I doubt if I'll pass the course
3 used as a function word to introduce an exclamation expressing a wish if it would only rain
4 : even though : although perhaps an interesting if untenable argument
5 : and perhaps not even few if any changes are expected often used with not difficult if not impossible
if anything
: on the contrary even : perhaps even if anything, you ought to apologize


\ ˈif How to pronounce if (audio) \

Definition of if (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : condition, stipulation the question … depends on too many ifs to allow an answerEncounter

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Examples of if in a Sentence

Noun There are too many ifs in this proposal. your conclusion may turn out to be accurate, but you're postulating a lot of ifs
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun OOF: If the Senate manages to pass its health-care bill -- and that's a mammoth IF -- the House seems ready to give it the nod, too, my colleague Paul Kane writes. Paige Winfield Cunningham, Washington Post, 17 July 2017 But if all goes as planned – a big IF in the restaurant business – Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, 12 July 2017 IF is also used both to connect the chips within the multi-chip module (MCM), and, in two processor configurations, to connect the two sockets. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, 20 June 2017 Each chip in one socket is paired with a chip in the other socket, for four pairs total, with one IF link between each pair. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, 20 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'if.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of if


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for if


Middle English, from Old English gif; akin to Old High German ibu if

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Learn More About if

Time Traveler for if

Time Traveler

The first known use of if was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near if



Ifafa lily

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Cite this Entry

“If.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/if. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for if



English Language Learners Definition of if

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to talk about the result or effect of something that may happen or be true
used to discuss the imaginary result or effect of something that did not happen or that is or was not true
used to say that something must happen before another thing can happen



English Language Learners Definition of if (Entry 2 of 2)

: something that is not certain : something that could either happen or not happen


\ ˈif How to pronounce if (audio) , əf \

Kids Definition of if

1 : in the event that If it rains we'll stay home.
2 : whether sense 1 See if they have left.
3 used to introduce a wish If only it would rain.



Medical Definition of IF


More from Merriam-Webster on if

Nglish: Translation of if for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of if for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about if


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