1 of 3


: a distinct part in an enumeration, account, or series : article
: an object of attention, concern, or interest
: a separate piece of news or information
: a couple in a romantic or sexual relationship
obsolete : warning, hint
: and in addition : also
used to introduce each article in a list or enumeration


3 of 3


itemed; iteming; items

transitive verb

archaic : compute, reckon
archaic : to set down the particular details of
Choose the Right Synonym for item

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Zurich’s ascent was fueled by elevated prices for household items and recreational activities. Laura Begley Bloom, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 In response, the company gradually raised the price on the shrimp item from $20 to $22 and now $25. Marley Jay, NBC News, 30 Nov. 2023 If her absences continue, the City Council could potentially see delays with projects or items that require 4 out of 5 votes to pass. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 30 Nov. 2023 However, aside from the Easter Eggs (and Rosé, which has since sold out on dozens of retailers since Antonoff’s post), commenters were much more interested in the gorgeous kitchenware items pictured behind her. Anna Tingley, Variety, 30 Nov. 2023 Eating in New York City How did a signature item at the Red Hook Lobster Pound, a lobster roll and fries, come to cost $32? Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2023 Pack Designed to track luggage and everyday items such as wallets and keys, this smart gadget can always tell you where your stuff is. Toni Sutton, Peoplemag, 29 Nov. 2023 These types of looks are easy to recreate with items in your own closet with simple pieces like wide-leg trousers, sweater dresses, turtlenecks, and accessories like scarves, fuzzy bags, balaclavas. Devine Blacksher, Essence, 29 Nov. 2023 There’s also a drawer and a closed compartment with an adjustable shelf to stash additional items, like your favorite placemats, linen napkins, and other dining essentials. Paige Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, 29 Nov. 2023
Member credits can be redeemed for any two-piece outfit or item up to $80, online or in store. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 29 Nov. 2021 See More

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

Word History



Middle English, from Latin, from ita thus

First Known Use


1561, in the meaning defined at sense 5


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1601, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near item

Cite this Entry

“Item.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a separate part in a list, account, or series
: a brief piece of news or an article reporting it

Legal Definition


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

More from Merriam-Webster on item

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!