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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.
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. 2014.
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Examples from the web for items
  • The counter has plenty of space for setting out buffet items as well as tableware.
  • His telescope magnified items by eight times and showed them right side up.
  • The subjects then watched names of the items flash across a monitor.
  • The pink fad spread from sleepers and crib sheets to big-ticket items such as strollers, car seats and riding toys.
  • Most of what archaeologists have unearthed consists of items the victors failed to notice, or dropped as they looted.
  • One is to insure items individually with their own additional floaters to your home insurance policy.
  • However, until now, physicists have been unable to fabricate a cloak that could hide macroscopic items at visible wavelengths.
  • Subjects came up with significantly more unique uses for the everyday items, than the control group who stared straight ahead.
  • By theorizing those two finds to be the same items and with there being lots of them, they must be the spicules.
  • Those intelligence items correlate as one would expect and not as claimed by their inventors.
British Dictionary definitions for items


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 items


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 items


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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