\ 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)


abbreviation (1)

Definition of It (Entry 3 of 4)

Italian; Italy


abbreviation (2)

Definition of IT (Entry 4 of 4)

information technology

Examples of it in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Pronoun

A university hired goats to clear underbrush, and the local union is HAVING NONE OF IT… Dan Sweeney,, "The coming war on orange juice," 7 July 2017 HOW IT ALL BEGAN Rob Kardashian's health struggles started with a milkshake. Joelle Goldstein,, "Inside Rob Kardashian's Health Struggles: Everything He and His Family Have Said Over the Years," 6 July 2017 When Lowe’s, for example, moves IT work to its offices in Bangalore, the workers there are Lowe’s employees. Katherine Peralta And Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Despite Trump’s criticism, companies in Charlotte are sending more jobs overseas," 19 June 2017 FEBRUARY 2013: IT’S ALL GOOD Swift and Perry ran into each other months later at the 2013 Grammy Awards, which Perry attended with Mayer. Maria Yagoda,, "The Complete History of Katy Perry & Taylor Swift's Complicated Friendship," 12 June 2017 SCOREBOARD Trump net job-approval rating: -14.8 points Change from one week ago: +3.4 points I’LL TELL YOU WHAT: IT’S HAPPENING… AGAIN! Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "He just can't help himself," 29 June 2017 IT systems in multiple sites and business units remained down, but company officials didn't say how the outages were affecting operations. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "A new ransomware outbreak similar to WCry is shutting down computers worldwide," 27 June 2017 MAKE IT A DOZEN The Southeastern Conference is assured of winning its 12th national championship in baseball. Creg Stephenson,, "LSU vs. Florida College World Series championship live stream 2017; schedule, time, TV channel, watch online," 26 June 2017 HOW IT ALL HAPPENS The staffing isn’t the only thing that’s different about Atlanta’s writers room. Craig Tomashoff, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Veep,' 'Girls,' 'Atlanta' Scribes Reveal Secrets of Their Writers Rooms: "Required" Arguments, "Group Therapy"," 16 June 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The most exhaustive is number three, which requires a pack of post-its, a creative thought-prompt, and a whole lot of sitting together in silence. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Harvey Weinstein, the NFL and Five Breaking News Haikus," 25 May 2018 McFarland said Carmel would like to double its to 30 minutes. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel Schools considers longer elementary days to double kids' recess time," 13 Feb. 2018 Kevin Hart is making headlines once again this month, but this time, its for something a little less flattering than a charitable contribution for Hurricane Harvey victims or a mural in North Philly. Nick Vadala,, "Kevin Hart's extortion scandal: What you need to know," 20 Sep. 2017 Genesys Works is a national nonprofit focused on high-potential high school students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in IT and accounting; its sponsors include Google, Salesforce and General Electric. Cheryl V. Jackson,, "CPS finds a way to boost computer students — as school IT interns," 10 Aug. 2017 This spring the bureau announced that a new IT system to integrate all the working parts of the 2020 census will cost at least $309 million more than earlier estimates. David Malakoff, Science | AAAS, "Senate spending panel would squeeze science agencies but exceed Trump request," 25 July 2017 Factor, a recruiter for a company that fills engineering and IT jobs, moved from LA for graduate school at University of Louisville six years ago. Grace Schneider, The Courier-Journal, "Can Louisville land nonstop flights to LA or Boston? Group forms to make it happen," 24 July 2017 IT IS almost as if Republicans did not control both Congress and the White House. The Economist, "Presidential lethargy, not Democratic obstinacy, is to blame," 20 July 2017 IT [information technology] is an area that’s more connected than others. Zach Kyle, idahostatesman, "This Idaho company is North America’s top frozen-potato maker. No, it’s not Simplot," 29 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'it.' 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 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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More Definitions for it



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

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More from Merriam-Webster on it

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with it

Spanish Central: Translation of it

Nglish: Translation of it for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of it for Arabic Speakers

Comments on it

What made you want to look up it? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to fake an opponent out of position

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