\ ˈī-təm How to pronounce item (audio) \

Definition of item

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a distinct part in an enumeration, account, or series : article
2 : an object of attention, concern, or interest
3 : a separate piece of news or information
4 : a couple in a romantic or sexual relationship
5 obsolete : warning, hint


\ ˈī-ˌtem How to pronounce item (audio) , ˈī-təm \

Definition of item (Entry 2 of 3)

: and in addition : also used to introduce each article in a list or enumeration


\ ˈī-təm How to pronounce item (audio) \
itemed; iteming; items

Definition of item (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 archaic : compute, reckon
2 archaic : to set down the particular details of

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Synonyms for item

Synonyms: Noun

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item, detail, particular mean one of the distinct parts of a whole. item applies to each thing specified separately in a list or in a group of things that might be listed or enumerated. every item on the list detail applies to one of the small component parts of a larger whole such as a task, building, painting, narration, or process. leave the details to others particular stresses the smallness, singleness, and especially the concreteness of a detail or item. a description that included few particulars

Examples of item in a Sentence

Noun There are several items for sale. I need to buy a few household items like soap. He always orders the most expensive item on the menu. There are a lot of items on our agenda tonight, so let's start the meeting. I saw an item in today's paper about the mayor's campaign plans.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun At the National Zoo, the giant panda cub was introduced to a new dietary item. Washington Post, "Panda cub: Did he just say “applesauce!” and what did he mean?," 27 Feb. 2021 The House on Thursday passed the Equality Act, a top agenda item for President Joe Biden that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Americans in a 224-206 vote. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, "House passes bill that would prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Americans after days of heated debate," 26 Feb. 2021 For many entrepreneurs, tax planning falls somewhere between a tedious to-do list item and a major source of dread and anxiety. R. Kenner French, Forbes, "Top Five Advanced Tax-Planning Strategies For Entrepreneurs," 25 Feb. 2021 The technology companies could adopt a content-labeling system to identify whether a news item is verified or not. Anjana Susarla, The Conversation, "If Big Tech has the will, here are ways research shows self-regulation can work," 22 Feb. 2021 Because raising beef uses a lot more resources than poultry or even pork, per Smithsonian, making beef a key item that suppliers are keen to replace in consumers’ minds. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Bill Gates Wants Us to Eat 100% Synthetic Beef. He Has a Point.," 19 Feb. 2021 But what makes the MaskFone a talking item is the rechargeable electronic technology. Gregg Ellman, Star Tribune, "Tune in while masking up with the Bluetooth-powered MaskFone," 17 Feb. 2021 Each ticket holder will be entered into a raffle to win prizes including a jewelry item from Sissy's Log Cabin, dinner gift certificates to Red Oaks Steakhouse at Saracen Casino Resort and Pine Bluff Country Club. Arkansas Online, "Pine Bluff chamber pasta dinner now Feb. 25," 14 Feb. 2021 San Antonio police are investigating a suspicious item at the Haven For Hope campus. Mark Dunphy, San Antonio Express-News, "San Antonio police investigating suspicious item at Haven For Hope," 11 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Shifting Demand Cornell said demand has come in waves for different types of products, starting with everyday cleaning products and then shifting to food and beverages and now items like games, crafts and small kitchen appliances. Matthew Boyle,, "Target Dumps 2020 Guidance, Halts Buybacks Amid Uncertainty," 10 May 2020 One items a lot of home cooks don’t have experience cooking is dried beans. oregonlive, "Did you stock up on dried beans? Here’s how to cook them the right way, plus 7 great recipes," 26 Mar. 2020 However, Stinson feels Stovehouse’s setting lends itself to brunch, so expect some new Sunday only items too. Matt Wake |, al, "Alabama barbecue restaurant forced to change name," 25 Feb. 2020 Wellness Heaven even broke down what items people of various nationalities were most likely to take home with them. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "The strangest items stolen from hotels: Grand pianos, bathroom fixtures, sauna benches," 10 Dec. 2019 To learn more about the organization and to see what items the shop is in need of, visit Amanda Molitor, The Denver Post, "LIV Sotheby’s International Realty celebrates the holiday season by giving back," 21 Nov. 2019 Her dad worked as a concert promoter and her mom owned a baby items store. Los Angeles Times, "Dawn Ostroff’s plan to turn Spotify into the ultimate podcast hub," 9 Sep. 2019 The more patrons know about which items our policy allows and prohibits, the smoother the entrance into Frost. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "Stanford’s Frost Amphitheater organizer talk security issues, safety tips," 24 July 2019 Officials have not said what items the drone dropped. Cory Shaffer,, "Heartless Felons associates ran smuggling ring in Cuyahoga County jail that employed corrections officers, prosecutors say," 19 July 2019

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


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 5


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for item


Middle English, from Latin, from ita thus

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Time Traveler for item

Time Traveler

The first known use of item was in the 14th century

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Statistics for item

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Item.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for item



English Language Learners Definition of item

: an individual thing : a separate part or thing
: a separate piece of news or information
informal : two people who are in a romantic or sexual relationship


\ ˈī-təm How to pronounce item (audio) \

Kids Definition of item

1 : a single thing in a list, account, or series
2 : a brief piece of news


\ ˈī-təm How to pronounce item (audio) \

Legal Definition of item

1 : a distinct part in an enumeration, account, or series
2 : a financial instrument (as a check or draft)

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More from Merriam-Webster on item

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for item

Nglish: Translation of item for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of item for Arabic Speakers

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