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[n., v. ahy-tuh m; adv. ahy-tem] /n., v. ˈaɪ təm; adv. ˈaɪ tɛm/
a separate article or particular:
50 items on the list.
a separate piece of information or news, as a short piece in a newspaper or broadcast.
Slang. something suitable for a news paragraph or as a topic of gossip, especially something that is sensational or scandalous:
The bandleader and the new female singer are an item.
a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter I.
an admonition or warning.
Older Use. an intimation or hint.
also; likewise (used especially to introduce each article or statement in a list or series).
verb (used with object), Archaic.
to set down or enter as an item, or by or in items.
to make a note of.
Origin of item
1350-1400; Middle English: likewise (adv.), the same (noun) < Latin: likewise
Related forms
subitem, noun
1. thing; heading, entry. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for item
  • Still, having the item sent out for drawings to be made and then the part machined from solid metal would have taken weeks.
  • All that one needs to do is look at the last paragraph in this news item.
  • The news item, it turned out, was a sequel to a major story of a year and a half earlier.
  • Participate in writing content and all other facets of item development.
  • The permanent crafted toothpick also became a notable dowry item.
  • These wraps take little work and are a great travel or on-the-go item.
  • Anyone can contribute new items or edit an existing item.
  • When what purports to be the same item is re-scanned at some later date, it should show the same pattern of speckle.
  • If for any reason your purchase does not satisfy you, simply return the item for a prompt full refund or exchange.
  • The sciences are a branch of human endeavor in which ideas are the main item of commerce, the principle coin of the realm.
British Dictionary definitions for item


noun (ˈaɪtəm)
a thing or unit, esp included in a list or collection
(accounting) an entry in an account
a piece of information, detail, or note: a news item
(informal) two people having a romantic or sexual relationship
verb (ˈaɪtəm)
(transitive) an archaic word for itemize
adverb (ˈaɪtɛm)
likewise; also
Word Origin
C14 (adv) from Latin: in like manner
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 item

late 14c. (adv.) "moreover, in addition," from Latin item (adv.) "likewise, just so, moreover," used to introduce a new fact or statement, probably from ita "thus," id "it" (see id) + adverbial ending -tem (cf. idem "the same"). Thus "a statement or maxim" (of the kind formerly introduced by the word item), first recorded 1560s. Meaning "detail of information" (especially in a newspaper) is from 1819; item "sexually linked unmarried couple" is 1970, probably from notion of being an item in the gossip columns. Noun sense of "an article of any kind" (1570s) developed from adverbial sense of "moreover, in addition," which was used before every article in a list (such as an inventory or bill).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for item


Related Terms

hot number

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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