From Middle Englishit, hit ( > dialectal Englishhit(“it”)), from Old Englishhit(“it”), from Proto-Germanic*hit(“this, this one”), from Proto-Indo-European*ḱe-, *ḱey-(“this, here”). Cognate with West Frisianit(“it”), Saterland Frisianet, 't(“it”), Low Germanit(“it”), Dutchhet(“it”), Germanes(“it”), Latincis, hic. More at he.
(Received Pronunciation, General American, General Australian) IPA(key): /ɪt/ enPR: ĭt
(General American) IPA(key): /ət/, [ɪ̈t], enPR: ət
(General Australian) IPA(key): /ət/
(General New Zealand) IPA(key): /ɘt/
Homophone: at(unstressed)(General American, General Australian, General New Zealand)
it (subjective and objectiveit, reflexive and intensiveitself, possessive determiner and pronounits)
The third-person singular personal pronoun used to refer to an inanimate object, abstract entity, or non-human living thing.
2016, VOA Learning English (public domain)
It is not a pen. It is a book.
A third-person singular personal pronoun used to refer to a baby or child, especially of unknown gender.
1847, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre, Chapter IV:
A child cannot quarrel with its elders, as I had done; cannot give its furious feelings uncontrolled play, as I had given mine, without experiencing afterwards the pang of remorse and the chill of reaction.
2005, Marcus Zusak, The Book Thief, part 10:
The sky was dripping. Like a tap that a child has tried its hardest to turn off but hasn't quite managed.
(chiefly derogatory, offensive)A third-person singular personal pronoun used to refer to an animate referent who is transgender or is neither female nor male.
1993, Bruce Coville, Aliens Ate My Homework, pages 72–73:
"Oh, don't be silly. I am neither male nor female. I'm a farfel." […] "It. Refer to me as an it." "That seems pretty rude," I said nervously. "Not as rude as calling me a he or a she," it said.
Used to refer to someone being identified, often on the phone, but not limited to this situation.
The impersonal pronoun, used without referent as the subject of an impersonal verb or statement (known as the dummy pronoun, dummy it or weather it).
The impersonal pronoun, used without referent, or with unstated but contextually implied referent, in various short idioms or expressions.
live it up
stick it out
Referring to a desirable quality or ability, or quality of being successful, fashionable or in vogue.
After all these years, she still has it.
2021, Seth Wickersham, It's Better to Be Feared: The New England Patriots Dynasty and the Pursuit of Greatness, Liveright Publishing (→ISBN):
Later that night, a friend told Brady, “Still got it.” “Never lost it,” he replied. THAT WAS MOSTLY TRUE. But the 2013 season ended with the Patriots coaches wondering whether Brady's skills were in a subtle but irrevocable decline […]
Referring to sexual intercourse or other sexual activity.
I caught them doing it.
Are you getting it regularly?
1991, Stephen Fry, The Liar, p. 14:
The great advantage of English public school life lies of course in the quality of tutelage it provides. Adrian had received a decent and broad English education in the area of his loins... He had quickly happened upon the truth which many lonely contemporaries would never discover, the truth that everybody, simply everybody, was panting for it and could, with patience, be shown that they were panting for it. So Adrian grabbed what was to hand and had the time of his life genitally—focusing exclusively on his own gender of course, for this was 1973 and girls had not yet been invented.
(uncountable) Sex appeal, especially that which goes beyond physical appearance.
1904, Rudyard Kipling, "Mrs Bathurst"
'Tisn't beauty, so to speak, nor good talk necessarily. It's just It. Some women'll stay in a man's memory if they once walked down a street
1927, Dorothy Parker:
And she had It. It, hell; she had Those.
The impersonal pronoun, used as a placeholder for a delayed subject, or less commonly, object; known as the dummy pronoun (according to some definitions), anticipatory it or, more formally in linguistics, a syntactic expletive. The delayed subject is commonly a to-infinitive, a gerund, or a noun clause introduced by a subordinating conjunction.
(with the infinitive clause headed by to see)
(with the noun clause introduced by that)
(with the gerund seeing)
(with the noun clause introduced by that)
(with the noun clause introduced by if)
All or the end; something after which there is no more.
(obsolete)Followed by an omitted and understood relative pronoun: That which; what.
1643, Thomas Browne, Religio Medici, II.2:
In briefe, I am content, and what should providence add more? Surely this is it [= it which] wee call Happinesse, and this doe I enjoy [...].
See Wiktionary:English inflection, Appendix:English pronouns and Appendix:English third-person singular pronouns for other personal pronouns.
For quotations using this term, see Citations:it.
1611, Authorized King James Version of the Bible, first edition, Leviticus 25:5:
That which groweth of it owne accord of thy haruest, thou ſhalt not reape, neither gather the grapes of thy Uine vndreſſed: for it is a yeere of reſt vnto the land. (replaced by "its" in the 1769 Oxford Standard Text)
One who is neither a he nor a she; a creature; a dehumanized being.
1920, Herman Cyril McNeile, Bulldog Drummond Chapter 1
His master glanced up quickly, and removed the letter from his hands. "I'm surprised at you, James," he remarked severely. "A secretary should control itself. Don't forget that the perfect secretary is an it: an automatic machine—a thing incapable of feeling.…"
1995, Neil Weiner, Sharon E. Robinson Kurpius, Shattered innocence (page 8)
Too often, children become an "it" in their homes and their humanness is devalued.
The person who chases and tries to catch the other players in the playground game of tag.
In the next game, Adam and Tom will be it…
2000, Katherine T. Thomas, Amelia M. Lee, Jerry R. Thomas, Physical education for children (page 464)
When there are only two children left who haven't been tagged, I will stop the game, and we will start over with those children starting as the Its.
(Britain, uncountable) The game of tag.
Let's play it at breaktime.
Alternative letter-case form of It(“force in the vitalist approach of Georg Groddeck”)
1988, Frederic D. Homer, The Interpretation of Illness, Purdue University Press (→ISBN), page 27:
For Groddeck, the it is given, unknowable, and he does not try to conceptualize drives or forces. Early life and sexuality permeate […]
Alternative letter-case form of It(“the id”)
2015, Charis Charalampous, Rethinking the Mind-Body Relationship in Early Modern Literature, Philosophy, and Medicine: The Renaissance of the Body, Routledge (→ISBN), page 36:
[…] thus reversing the roles of the I and the it, the former now occupying the place of the latter and vice versa. An awareness of our bisubjective nature (it and me) requires thus an I as a third term that slides between […]
it (not comparable)
(colloquial) Most fashionable, popular, or in vogue.
2007 September, Vibe, volume 15, number 9, page 202:
Going away for the weekend and feel the need to profile en route? This is the "it" bag.
2010, David Germain, Hilarious ‘Kick-Ass’ delivers bloody fun, Associated Press
With Hit Girl, Moretz is this year's It Girl, alternately sweet, savage and scary.
TI, Ti., ti
From Proto-Turkic*it, *ït(“canine”).
it (definite accusativeiti, pluralitlər)
“it” in Obastan.com.
Rodolfo Maruca Sosa, La nación charrúa (1957)
From Proto-Turkic*it, *ït.
Mirjejev, V. A.; Usejinov, S. M. (2002) Ukrajinsʹko-krymsʹkotatarsʹkyj slovnyk [Ukrainian – Crimean Tatar Dictionary], Simferopol: Dolya, →ISBN
it (triggers lenition)
(Munster)Contraction of i do(“in your”).
(Classical) IPA(key): /it/, [ɪt̪]
(Ecclesiastical) IPA(key): /it/, [it̪]
third-person singular present active indicative of eō
used to assign accentuation to expression
Alternative form of het
Alternative form of hit(“it”)
Alternative form of hit(“it”)
Middle Low German
From Old Saxonit, from Proto-Germanic*hit.
IPA(key): /ɪt/, /ət/
(third person singular neuter nominative) it
(third person singular neuter accusative) it
Low German: et, it
(Kautokeino) IPA(key): /ˈih(t)/
second-person singular present of ii
(second-person singular form)at
(second-person singular form) IPA(key): /it/
(third-person plural form) IPA(key): /id/
inflection of is:
second-person singular present indicative
third-person plural present indicative
Middle Low German: it
Low German: et, it
Claus Stephani, Volksgut der Sathmarschwaben (1985)
From Ottoman Turkishایت (it), from Old Turkicıt (ıt, “dog”), from Proto-Turkic*īt, *ıyt, *ɨt, *it.
it (definite accusativeiti, pluralitler)
(often derogatory) dog
(derogatory)scoundrel, detestable person, cur
Not historically derogatory, and still used as the primary term for "dog" in the countryside. Usually, if a dog is a stray or feral, it can be referred to as "it" as well. The more usual word is köpek, which is also pejorative and derogatory when used for a person.
second-person singular imperative of itmek(“to push”)
From Old Turkicıt (ıt, “dog”), from Proto-Turkic*īt, *ıyt, *ɨt, *it.
it (definite accusativeidi, pluralitler)
From Proto-Turkic*ɨt, *it.
(with a personal pronoun) self; myself; yourself; himself; herself; itself; ourselves; themselves; emphasises the identity or singularity of the modified noun phrase
(literary)second-person singular of i
From Old Frisianhit, from Proto-Germanic*hit.
(unstressed) IPA(key): /(ə)t/
it (third-person singular neuter pronoun)
“it (I)”, in Wurdboek fan de Fryske taal (in Dutch), 2011
From Old Frisianthet, from Proto-Germanic*þat.
neuter singular of de
From Chinese一 (MC ʔiɪt̚, “one”). Cognate with Thaiเอ็ด(èt), Laoເອັດ(ʼet), Shanဢဵတ်း(ʼét), Ahom𑜒𑜢𑜄𑜫(ʼit), Bouyeiidt.