item [noun, verb ahy-tuhm; adverb ahy-tem] SynonymsExamplesWord Origin See more synonyms for item on noun

  1. a separate article or particular: 50 items on the list.
  2. a separate piece of information or news, as a short piece in a newspaper or broadcast.
  3. 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.
  4. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter I.
  5. an admonition or warning.
  6. Older Use. an intimation or hint.


  1. also; likewise (used especially to introduce each article or statement in a list or series).

verb (used with object) Archaic.

  1. to set down or enter as an item, or by or in items.
  2. to make a note of.

Origin of item 1350–1400; Middle English: likewise (adv.), the same (noun) Latin: likewiseRelated formssub·i·tem, nounSynonyms for item See more synonyms for on 1. thing; heading, entry. Related Words for item information, component, feature, element, thing, piece, point, dispatch, aspect, news, minutia, story, matter, scrap, novelty, detail, note, blurb, notice, particular Examples from the Web for item Contemporary Examples of item

  • The item on federal prisoners was disturbing in a different way.

    The GOP’s Hidden Ban on Prison Abortions

    Harold Pollack

    December 13, 2014

  • “They are very friendly and curious,” The Evening Independent wrote in 1979 in an item emphasizing their popularity and cuteness.

    Lovable ‘Madagascar’ Penguins Are Known to Rape and Torture in Real Life

    Asawin Suebsaeng

    November 26, 2014

  • He could surmise one item in keeping with young women of Somali heritage.

    How ISIS’s Colorado Girls Were Caught

    Michael Daly

    October 22, 2014

  • There is no blood on this shirt nor has this item been altered in any way.

    Who Designed Urban Outfitters’s Bloody Kent State Shirt? They Won’t Say

    Asawin Suebsaeng

    September 15, 2014

  • This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.

    Who Designed Urban Outfitters’s Bloody Kent State Shirt? They Won’t Say

    Asawin Suebsaeng

    September 15, 2014

  • Historical Examples of item

  • Item, the clyster repeated in the evening, as above, thirty sous.

    The Imaginary Invalid


  • I thanked him for the item, resolving to add it to my list of curious Americanisms.

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • And I did not feel it essential to my regard for him to know every item of his past.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • Tall Clemence made a dirty remark about every item that she touched.


    Emile Zola

  • He had two carts laden with luggage—one item, a green parrot in a cage.

    Things as They Are

    Amy Wilson-Carmichael

  • British Dictionary definitions for item item noun (ˈaɪtəm)

    1. a thing or unit, esp included in a list or collection
    2. accounting an entry in an account
    3. a piece of information, detail, or notea news item
    4. informal two people having a romantic or sexual relationship

    verb (ˈaɪtəm)

    1. (tr) an archaic word for itemize

    adverb (ˈaɪtɛm)

    1. likewise; also

    Word Origin for item C14 (adv) from Latin: in like manner 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).

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