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
Box lunches and concession items are also available for purchase. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, 27 Feb. 2024 Two letters penned by Clapton, 78, to Boyd, 79, are among several personal items from the model icon being auctioned by Christie's next month, offering an unprecedented look into the beginnings of their romance. Escher Walcott, Peoplemag, 27 Feb. 2024 The Way-High® Jean $118 A comfy pair of jeans is an everyday hero item in a modern-day wardrobe. Chadner Navarro, Travel + Leisure, 27 Feb. 2024 In addition to surge pricing, Wendy's introduces new Cinnabon Pull-Apart menu item The fast-food burger chain has also announced a sweet new addition to its breakfast menu. Gabe Hauari, USA TODAY, 27 Feb. 2024 From March 8-21, auction house Christie’s will host an online auction of items from the personal collection of British photographer and model Pattie Boyd, who served as a muse for both George Harrison and Eric Clapton. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 27 Feb. 2024 City officials and advocates hope that this proactive approach will normalize naloxone as an every-day medicine cabinet item, and prevent more people from dying of overdoses, especially Black residents. Nicole Leonard | Whyy, NPR, 26 Feb. 2024 The restaurant could eventually open to customers in the mornings, as well, with fresh-baked bread and pastries, simple breakfast items and coffee to offer a quick breakfast option in the neighborhood. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 26 Feb. 2024 Based on all these factors, Baxter anticipates full-year adjusted earnings, excluding special items, of $2.85 to $2.95 per diluted share. Joe Cornell, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024
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 4 Mar. 2024.

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

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