Main definitions of it in English

: it1it2

it1

pronoun

  • 1Used to refer to a thing previously mentioned or easily identified:

    ‘a room with two beds in it’
    ‘this approach is refreshing because it breaks down barriers’
    • ‘Mrs. Henderson walked into the room holding a tray with his breakfast on it.’
    • ‘If you want my recommendation for a wonderfully quirky film that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, this is it.’
    • ‘I need a fresh start and hopefully this is it.’
    • ‘I don't know if this is it's permanent time slot, though.’
    • ‘If officials in Washington should read just one book, this is it.’
    • ‘It should not be underestimated how big this is - it's the world's top choral event.’
    • ‘When the long warm nights get you in the mood to party, there should really only be one CD on the playlist - and this is it.’
    • ‘Got this email yesterday which was very sad, this is it in its entirety.’
    • ‘The great thing about an event like this is that it involves people from all walks of life and there is a real sense of camaraderie.’
    • ‘But one voice truly stood out - and it did not belong to any of the private school pupils in the show.’
    • ‘If you only visit one museum in Perth make sure this is it, because it boasts the best collection of Aboriginal art in Australia.’
    • ‘When I was reading about this, it was just a proposal!’
    • ‘Ultimately, the thing about the eclectic DJ set is that it's really, really difficult to pull off.’
    • ‘Once you have released a virus you can't take it back, it will always be out there.’
    • ‘This bathroom's amazing, have you seen it?’
    1. 1.1 Referring to an animal or child of unspecified sex:
      ‘she was holding the baby, cradling it and smiling into its face’
      • ‘He managed to shoot the unsuspecting bird down; it squawked and fell to the ground.’
      • ‘When the child was a child, it had no opinion about anything.’
      • ‘Cumbria Police said the sheep appeared to have panicked as the men chased it.’
      • ‘The fish is only as sick as the water it lives in.’
      • ‘We are now happily married and already expecting our first child - I hope it will be a girl.’
    2. 1.2 Referring to a fact or situation previously mentioned, known, or happening:
      ‘stop it, you're hurting me’
      • ‘It's not news that nitrogen prices are skyrocketing, and your customers will want to know why and what to do about it.’
      • ‘When the flag is up it means that a minimum inventory standard has been violated and more parts are needed.’
      • ‘Isn't it good that rates of lung cancer death among men have fallen by a third in the last decade?’
      • ‘Oh, stop it, I'm blushing.’
      • ‘I never go there if I can help it.’
  • 2Used to identify a person:

    ‘it's me’
    ‘it's a boy!’
    • ‘Hi, it's me, Mandy, I'm in Italy.’
    • ‘From what I gathered, it was his mum on the line, and he seemed really taken aback at what she had to say.’
    • ‘‘Oh no’, Abby thought, ‘it's him again.’’
    • ‘Was it you who told me the joke?’
  • 3Used in the normal subject position in statements about time, distance, or weather:

    ‘it's half past five’
    ‘it was two miles to the island’
    ‘it's raining’
    • ‘When it gets cold in Chicago, the snow way up to my knees, I still wear my sandals.’
    • ‘It was three years in later, in 1978, that I returned to England.’
    • ‘It is some fifteen hundred miles from there to Fairbanks.’
    • ‘It was now past ten o'clock.’
    • ‘I hear it might snow tonight.’
    • ‘It's summer in Mexico and the teenagers are about to embark upon the adventure of a lifetime.’
    • ‘The weather has forgotten the rules - it's snowing in June.’
  • 4Used in the normal subject or object position when a more specific subject or object is given later in the sentence:

    ‘it is impossible to assess the problem’
    ‘she found it interesting to learn about their strategy’
    • ‘‘People have said to us that it's crazy to see the child standing in the rain,’ Margaret added.’
    • ‘It's no use reducing noise while dramatically increasing the risk of doing damage to your hardware.’
    • ‘Does it matter what they think?’
    • ‘It's difficult to absorb the costs and remain competitive.’
    • ‘At the time, he found it frustrating that he could not figure out the right questions to ask.’
    • ‘It appears that 1990 marked the end of her competitive career.’
  • 5[with clause] Used to emphasize a following part of a sentence:

    ‘it is the child who is the victim’
    • ‘It wasn't until that moment that I realised we had nothing left apart from the clothes we stood up in.’
    • ‘It is the commander who is the first to take the blame for accidents.’
    • ‘So the problem isn't that these things are unoriginal: it's that they're perceived as being original when they're not.’
    • ‘She moved back home and it was then that she admitted her drug problem.’
  • 6The situation or circumstances; things in general:

    ‘no one can stay here—it's too dangerous now’
    ‘he would like to see you straight away if it's convenient’
    • ‘This could take a week or two, at which point, whenever it's convenient, I repeat the whole process.’
    • ‘At other top clubs at the time, players often liked to enjoy themselves with a couple of beers when it was appropriate.’
    • ‘We will not move in until it is safe.’
    • ‘I scored a goal that made me famous and then it all went downhill from there.’
    • ‘It's great here. Sydney is brilliant - it has such a vibe, a buzz.’
    • ‘Washington is a good place, I like it there, but I really, really like to be in Texas.’
  • 7Exactly what is needed or desired:

    ‘they thought they were it’
    ‘you've either got it or you haven't’
    • ‘Bands either have it or they don't.’
    • ‘She thinks she's it, her nose up in the air or looking down it at you.’
    • ‘He says that when he saw Wood's acting clips, he knew she was it.’
    • ‘Then we looked at Tim's original movie and thought, that's it.’
  • 8usually ‘it’informal Sexual intercourse or sex appeal:

    ‘the only thing I knew nothing about was ‘it’’
    • ‘I talk more about naughty stuff when I'm not getting it.’
    • ‘She did it with a boy when she was in high school.’
    • ‘There has been an increase in amateur porn where real people do it for the cameras and beam their digital selves across the world via the Internet.’
  • 9"It"informal [attributive] Denoting a person or thing that is exceptionally fashionable, popular, or successful at a particular time:

    ‘they were Hollywood's It couple’
    ‘the company is renting out the It bags of the moment for as little as £10 a week’
    • ‘Vogue asks the question on every fashionista's lips, "Are shoes the new It bags?".’
    • ‘If the magazine isn't waxing lyrical about 'new boho' accessories, the new Fendi it bag or raffia accessories, it's asking 'Can you think yourself thin?'’
    • ‘The company president predicted that the bags would all 'sell like hot cakes', nevertheless, fashion followers agreed there was to be no single it bag.’
    • ‘Capoeira, a unique Afro-Brazilian martial art (or dance, depending on who you ask), has become the new It thing to do.’
    • ‘All joking aside, Brad and Angelina are making it clear with their splashy appearance at Cannes, they are Hollywood's number one undisputed it couple.’
    • ‘"When did the Olympic Hopefuls suddenly become the new It band?" asks my friend.’
    • ‘With a mere 12 songs to the band's credit, the New York City garage rock quintet became the It band du jour following the 2001 release of Is This It.’
    • ‘For now, executives and producers of the genre are suddenly Hollywood's 'It kids'.’
    • ‘Hyderabad is becoming the new 'it' place for startups.’
    • ‘Hollywood's former it couple stars together once again in the upcoming movie which opens in March.’
  • 10usually ‘it’(in children's games) the player who has to catch the others.

    • ‘Elly tagged Karina and ran off, ‘you're it.’’

Phrases

  • at it

    • Engaged in some activity, typically a reprehensible one:

      ‘the council is at it again, wanting to turn another green patch into a carpark’
      • ‘That he is still at it must mean that Smith has either led a charmed life these past years or else he is made of steel.’
      • ‘And could she not have done that while she was at it?’
      • ‘I came outside and she was having a rough time at it, mostly because she had no idea what she was doing.’
      • ‘They were at it again in 2001 and have been doing it since the beginning of this year too.’
      • ‘While you're at it, it's a good idea to tackle cold frames as well, both inside and out.’
  • that's it

    • 1That is the main point or difficulty:

      ‘‘Is she going?’ ‘That's just it—she can't make up her mind.’’
      • ‘‘That's just it,’ says Mike, ‘We can do so much more than just sing’.’
      • ‘Montoya is harder to get past than Schumacher, and that's it really.’
      • ‘I did not tell the truth when I should have done and that's it, sir.’
      • ‘Their behaviour was - that's it - more American than British.’
    • 2That is enough or the end:

      ‘okay, that's it, you've cried long enough’
      • ‘I think that, having dived all the main wrecks, that's it for the Key Largo part of my trip.’
      • ‘And now Robbie's on the radio… that's it, I'm off to bed.’
      • ‘I might have a cuppa and a biscuit but that's it until my evening meal, and by then I'm past it and don't want anything.’
      • ‘If things work well, I'm hoping for maybe a longer contract, and if not, well, that's it.’
      • ‘I'm meeting the lads for a couple of drinks in the union - and that's it.’
      • ‘‘The police investigation is ongoing and that's it,’ said the spokesman, who refused to further comment.’
      • ‘If you have so many complaints against your name then that's it.’
      • ‘Well, that's it for this edition of the program.’
      • ‘He has given them six weeks to get it together - and that's it.’
      • ‘Dr Kernohan said: ‘If this fails we're going to have to do some hard thinking, and one option is just to move on and say, that's it.’’
  • this is it

    • 1The expected event is about to happen:

      ‘this is it—the big sale’
      • ‘My mom would be thrilled if I came and told her well, this is it, I decided I would like to marry.’
      • ‘An instant text-book case of looking into a stranger's eyes and knowing this is it, the true once-in-a-lifetime, head-over-heels L.O.V.E.?’
      • ‘I was dancing on the moon when my first book came out and then Hollywood called and I was like, this is it.’
      • ‘I tell Natalie that this is it, there's no stopping it now.’
      • ‘In all its glittering glory - this is it, the absolute best of everything Minneapolis and St. Paul have to offer: the 2004 Best of the Twin Cities Showcase Showdown!’
      • ‘But on the other side I feel resentful, I've put in nearly 25 years for him and this is it, life begins at 40.’
      • ‘So this is it; after over 20 years of traveling the globe and chanting from the hilltops, the Boys have come back to where it all began.’
      • ‘So I went back to theatre, and thought’ - she gives a sheepish grin-grimace - ‘yeah, this is it.’’
    • 2This is enough or the end:

      ‘this is it, I'm going’
      • ‘Fear is about realising one fine day that there is no ‘life is elsewhere’, this is it, raw, painful and imperfect, without any of the finery.’
      • ‘At one point I thought this is it, I am going to die.’
      • ‘Do whatever you feel you want to be remembered by, because this is it.’
      • ‘God help me if this is it, because we're in for some bad television.’
      • ‘Whenever I see his latest at the video store, it's an immediate reaction: oh, well, this is it for tonight, end of discussion.’
      • ‘The real crisis facing Matt and Nick Hornby and all the other men whose wives go off to book club leaving them to feed the children and load the dishwasher is the realisation that this is it.’
    • 3This is the main point or difficulty.

      • ‘If poetic injustice means anything, this is it.’

Origin

Old English hit, neuter of he, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch het.

Pronunciation:

it

/ɪt/

Main definitions of it in English

: it1it2

it2

noun

British
informal, dated
  • [mass noun] Italian vermouth:

    ‘he poured a gin and it’
    • ‘The lady was doubtful, but at last decided on Guinness, and the gentleman wanted a gin and it.’
    • ‘I thought I'd been the perfect hostess till one of the dowagers asked for ‘gin and it.’’

Origin

1930s: abbreviation.

Pronunciation:

it

/ɪt/

Main definitions of it in English

: it1it2

IT

noun

  • ‘the development and use of IT are certain to bring about changes in education’
    [as modifier] ‘basic IT skills’

Pronunciation:

IT

/ɪt/