if

1 of 2

conjunction

ˈif How to pronounce if (audio)
əf
1
a
: 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

2 of 2

noun

1
: condition, stipulation
the question … depends on too many ifs to allow an answerEncounter
2
Phrases
if anything
: on the contrary even : perhaps even
if anything, you ought to apologize

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
There’s no if’s, and’s or but’s about it: the Rangers can’t waste this opportunity against a tanking opponent. Shawn McFarland, Dallas News, 6 Sep. 2023 There’s no questions or ifs or buts, that is the end of it. Herb Scribner, Washington Post, 9 Aug. 2023 But still, they should be haunted by the if-onlys. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 9 Feb. 2023 As a result, discontent with the manager is growing, and with a 7 ½-month gap between the end of qualifying and the start of this fall’s World Cup in Qatar, this would be the time to make a change - if, indeed, a change is coming. Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 On Monday, Circa Sports posted Georgia as a 3-point favorite - with the over/under at 50.5 - if, or when, the Tide clinches the SEC West. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, 15 Nov. 2021 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 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'if.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Conjunction

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

First Known Use

Conjunction

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

Noun

1513, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near if

Cite this Entry

“If.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/if. Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition

if

1 of 2 conjunction
(ˌ)if How to pronounce if (audio)
əf
1
: in the event that
come if you can
2
: whether it is or was true that
asked if the mail had come
3
used to introduce a wish
if it would only rain
4
: even though : but
an interesting if unbelievable excuse

if

2 of 2 noun
1
: condition entry 1 sense 3, stipulation
too many ifs make the contract confusing
2
: supposition sense 1
a theory full of ifs

Medical Definition

IF

abbreviation
interferon

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