the possessive form of it (used as an attributive adjective): The book has lost its jacket. I'm sorry about its being so late.

1590–1600; earlier it's, equivalent to it1 + -'s1

it's, its.

A very common mistake is to write its (the possessive form of it) when it's (the short form of it is or it has) is required: It's [it is] unclear what he meant. It's [it has] been wonderful seeing you again. But do not use it's for it has when has is the main verb: It has a strong flavor; use it sparingly cannot be written as It's a strong flavor… An equally common mistake is to use it's for the possessive, probably because ordinary possessives of nouns are formed with an apostrophe: the dog's coat; Mary's cell phone. But the possessive its is a pronoun, not a noun, and, like other possessive pronouns (his, hers, yours, and theirs), is written without that particular bit of punctuation: I have to fix my bike. Its front wheel came off.

While it is possible to use its as a predicate adjective (The cat is angry because the bowl you're eating out of is its! ) or as a pronoun meaning “that or those belonging to it” (Your notebook pages are torn. Borrow my notebook—its aren't), such use is rare and in most circumstances strained. See also me. Unabridged


contraction of it is: It's starting to rain.
contraction of it has: It's been a long time.
it's, its.

See contraction.


1 [it]
pronoun, nominative it, possessive its or (Obsolete or Dialect) it, objective it; plural nominative they, possessive their or theirs, objective them.
(used to represent an inanimate thing understood, previously mentioned, about to be mentioned, or present in the immediate context): It has whitewall tires and red upholstery. You can't tell a book by its cover.
(used to represent a person or animal understood, previously mentioned, or about to be mentioned whose gender is unknown or disregarded): It was the largest ever caught off the Florida coast. Who was it? It was John. The horse had its saddle on.
(used to represent a group understood or previously mentioned): The judge told the jury it must decide two issues.
(used to represent a concept or abstract idea understood or previously stated): It all started with Adam and Eve. He has been taught to believe it all his life.
(used to represent an action or activity understood, previously mentioned, or about to be mentioned): Since you don't like it, you don't have to go skiing.
(used as the impersonal subject of the verb to be, especially to refer to time, distance, or the weather): It is six o'clock. It is five miles to town. It was foggy.
(used in statements expressing an action, condition, fact, circumstance, or situation without reference to an agent): If it weren't for Edna, I wouldn't go.
(used in referring to something as the origin or cause of pain, pleasure, etc.): Where does it hurt? It looks bad for the candidate.
(used in referring to a source not specifically named or described): It is said that love is blind.
(used in referring to the general state of affairs; circumstances, fate, or life in general): How's it going with you?
(used as an anticipatory subject or object to make a sentence more eloquent or suspenseful or to shift emphasis): It is necessary that you do your duty. It was a gun that he was carrying.
Informal. (used instead of the pronoun its before a gerund): It having rained for only one hour didn't help the crops.
(in children's games) the player called upon to perform some task, as, in tag, the one who must catch the other players.
sex appeal.
sexual intercourse.
get with it, Slang. to become active or interested: He was warned to get with it or resign.
have it, Informal.
to love someone: She really has it bad for him.
to possess the requisite abilities for something; be talented, adept, or proficient: In this business youeither have it or you don't.
with it, Slang.
aware of the latest fads, fashions, etc.; up-to-date.
attentive or alert: I'm just not with it early in the morning.
understanding or appreciative of something, as jazz.
Carnival Slang. being a member of the carnival.

before 900; Middle English, variant of Middle English, Old English hit, neuter of he1

See me.


2 [it]
noun British Informal.
sweet vermouth: gin and it.

1930–35; It(alian vermouth) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To Its
World English Dictionary
it1 (ɪt)
1.  refers to a nonhuman, animal, plant, or inanimate thing, or sometimes to a small baby: it looks dangerous; give it a bone
2.  refers to an unspecified or implied antecedent or to a previous or understood clause, phrase, etc: it is impossible; I knew it
3.  used to represent human life or experience either in totality or in respect of the present situation: how's it going?; I've had it; to brazen it out
4.  used as a formal subject (or object), referring to a following clause, phrase, or word: it helps to know the truth; I consider it dangerous to go on
5.  used in the nominative as the formal grammatical subject of impersonal verbs. When it functions absolutely in such sentences, not referring to any previous or following clause or phrase, the context is nearly always a description of the environment or of some physical sensation: it is raining; it hurts
6.  informal (used as complement with be) the crucial or ultimate point: the steering failed and I thought that was it
7.  Compare he (in children's games) the player whose turn it is to try to touch another
8.  informal
 a.  sexual intercourse
 b.  sex appeal
9.  informal a desirable quality or ability: he's really got it
[Old English hit]

the internet domain name for

abbreviation for
information technology

its (ɪts)
a.  of, belonging to, or associated in some way with it: its left rear wheel
 b.  (as pronoun): each town claims its is the best

it's (ɪts)
contraction of
it is or it has
usage  One of the commonest mistakes made in written English is the confusion of its and it's. You can see examples of this every day in books, magazines, and newspapers: its good for us; a smart case with it's own mirror, and even Cheng, and its' subsidiaries. Its refers to something belonging to or relating to a thing that has already been mentioned: the baby threw its rattle out of the pram. It's is a shortened way of saying it is or it has (the apostrophe indicates that a letter has been omitted: it's a lovely day; it's been a great weekend.

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. hit, neut. nom. & acc. of third pers. sing. pronoun, from P.Gmc. demonstrative base *khi- (cf. O.Fris. hit, Du. het, Goth. hita "it"), which is also the root of he. As gender faded in M.E., it took on the meaning "thing or animal spoken about before." The h- was lost due to being in an unemphasized
position, as in modern speech the h- in "give it to him," "ask her," "is only heard in the careful speech of the partially educated" [Weekley]. It "the sex act" is from 1611; meaning "sex appeal (especially in a woman)" first attested 1904 in works of Rudyard Kipling, popularized 1927 as title of a book by Elinor Glyn, and by application of It Girl to silent-film star Clara Bow (1905-1965). In children's games, meaning "the one who must tag the others" is attested from 1842.

see it. Developed late 16c. from it + 's, gen. or possessive ending, to replace his (which is used throughout the K.J.V.) as the neut. possessive pronoun. Originally written it's, and still deliberately spelled thus by some writers until early 1800s.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

ITS definition

1. Incompatible time-sharing System
An influential but highly idiosyncratic operating system written for the PDP-6 and PDP-10 at MIT and long used at the MIT AI Lab. Much AI-hacker jargon derives from ITS folklore, and to have been "an ITS hacker" qualifies one instantly as an old-timer of the most venerable sort. ITS pioneered many important innovations, including transparent file sharing between machines and terminal-independent I/O. After about 1982, most actual work was shifted to newer machines, with the remaining ITS boxes run essentially as a hobby and service to the hacker community. The shutdown of the lab's last ITS machine in May 1990 marked the end of an era and sent old-time hackers into mourning nationwide (see high moby). The Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden is maintaining one "live" ITS site at its computer museum (right next to the only TOPS-10 system still on the Internet), so ITS is still alleged to hold the record for OS in longest continuous use (however, WAITS is a credible rival for this palm).
2. A mythical image of operating system perfection worshiped by a bizarre, fervent retro-cult of old-time hackers and ex-users (see troglodyte). ITS worshipers manage somehow to continue believing that an OS maintained by assembly language hand-hacking that supported only monocase 6-character filenames in one directory per account remains superior to today's state of commercial art (their venom against Unix is particularly intense).
See also holy wars, Weenix.
[Jargon File]

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
information technology
intelligent tutoring system
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The ravaged plant then withers and dies, its grains shriveled into useless
In this posture, a platypus can remain submerged for a minute or two and employ
  its sensitive bill to find food.
It is not a mosquito that sucks the blood of mammals but rather one that lives
  off its host plant.
Once it nears the surface again, it can flap its tail and taxi without fully
  returning to the water.
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