9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ih-tal-ik, ahy-tal-] /ɪˈtæl ɪk, aɪˈtæl-/
designating or pertaining to a style of printing types in which the letters usually slope to the right, patterned upon a compact manuscript hand, and used for emphasis, to separate different kinds of information, etc.:
These words are in italic type.
(initial capital letter) of or relating to Italy, especially ancient Italy or its tribes.
Often, italics. italic type.
(initial capital letter) a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, including ancient Latin, Oscan, Umbrian, and modern Romance.
Origin of italic
1555-65; < Latin Italicus < Greek Italikós, equivalent to Ital(ía) Italy + -ikos -ic
Related forms
non-Italic, adjective, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for italics
  • The options are limited to using pre-formatted lists and inserting bold, italics and links.
  • Use some italics, mockingly using his own logic against him.
  • All the words in italics are necessary for this form of motion, and are not subject to amendment.
  • Additions to and changes in the list since then appear in bold italics.
  • If the original text is all italics or underlined or in caps, the quotation of it need not be.
  • My ballot-not of my preferences but of my predictions-is below, with my picks in italics, along with some annotations.
  • His comments appear in red italics after each dueler's offering.
  • Her comments appear in red italics after each dueler's offering.
  • Fill in the table and replace italics with specific information.
  • Words in italics are those shouted by the studio audience in reply.
British Dictionary definitions for italics


Also Italian. of, relating to, or denoting a style of handwriting with the letters slanting to the right
a style of printing type modelled on this, chiefly used to indicate emphasis, a foreign word, etc Compare roman1
(often pl) italic type or print
Word Origin
C16 (after an edition of Virgil (1501) printed in Venice and dedicated to Italy): from Latin Italicus of Italy, from Greek Italikos


a branch of the Indo-European family of languages that includes many of the ancient languages of Italy, such as Venetic and the Osco-Umbrian group, Latin, which displaced them, and the Romance languages
denoting, relating to, or belonging to this group of languages, esp the extinct ones
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for italics


1610s (adj.), 1670s (n.) "italic type," from Latin italicus "Italian" (see Italian); so called because it was introduced in 1501 by Aldus Manutius, printer of Venice (who also gave his name to Aldine), and first used in an edition of Virgil dedicated to Italy. Earlier (1570s) the word was used for the plain, sloping style of handwriting, as opposed to Gothic. Related: Italics.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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italics in Culture

italics definition

Slanted letters that look like this: We the people. Italics are most often used to emphasize certain words, to indicate that they are in a foreign language, or to set off the title of a literary or artistic work.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Difficulty index for italic

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