\ ˈit How to pronounce it (audio) , ət \

Definition of it

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1 : that one used as subject or direct object or indirect object of a verb or object of a preposition usually in reference to a lifeless thing took a quick look at the house and noticed it was very old , a plant there is a rosebush near the fence and it is now blooming , a person or animal whose sex is unknown or disregarded don't know who it is , a group of individuals or things, or an abstract entity beauty is everywhere and it is a source of joy — compare he, its, she, they
2 used as subject of an impersonal verb that expresses a condition or action without reference to an agent it is raining
3a used as anticipatory subject or object of a verb it is necessary to repeat the whole thing often used to shift emphasis to a part of a statement other than the subject it was in this city that the treaty was signed
b used with many verbs as a direct object with little or no meaning footed it back to camp
4 used to refer to an explicit or implicit state of affairs or circumstances how is it going
5 : a crucial or climactic point this is it


\ ˈit How to pronounce it (audio) \

Definition of it (Entry 2 of 4)

: the player in a game who performs the principal action of the game (such as trying to find others in hide-and-seek)

Definition of It (Entry 3 of 4)

Italian; Italy

Definition of IT (Entry 4 of 4)

information technology

First Known Use of it


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


1842, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for it


Middle English, from Old English hit — more at he

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

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Dictionary Entries near it


I swear






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Cite this Entry

“It.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of it

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: that one just mentioned
used as the subject of a verb that describes a condition or occurrence
used in the place of a noun, phrase, or clause that usually comes later



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

: the player in some children's games (such as hide-and-seek and tag) who performs the main action of the game (such as finding or catching other players)


\ ˈit How to pronounce it (audio) , ət \

Kids Definition of it

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the thing, act, or matter about which these words are spoken or written I like your jacket. Is it new?
2 : the whole situation How's it going?
3 used as a subject of a verb that expresses a condition or action without a doer It's cold outside.


\ ˈit How to pronounce it (audio) \

Kids Definition of it (Entry 2 of 3)

: the player who has to do something special in a children's game Once you get tagged, you're it.

Kids Definition of IT

information technology

More from Merriam-Webster on it

Nglish: Translation of it for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of it for Arabic Speakers

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