from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A point or matter of discussion, debate, or dispute.
  • noun A matter of public concern.
  • noun A misgiving, objection, or complaint.
  • noun A problem or difficulty.
  • noun A personal problem.
  • noun The act of circulating, distributing, or publishing by a business, government, or organization.
  • noun An item or set of items, as stamps or coins, made available at one time by a business, government, or organization.
  • noun A single copy of a periodical.
  • noun A distinct set of copies of an edition of a book distinguished from others of that edition by variations in the printed matter.
  • noun Proceeds from estates or fines.
  • noun Something proceeding from a specified source.
  • noun A culminating point leading to a decision.
  • noun A final result or conclusion, as a solution to a problem.
  • noun The act or an instance of flowing, passing, or giving out.
  • noun A place of egress; an outlet.
  • noun A discharge, as of blood or pus.
  • noun A lesion, wound, or ulcer producing such a discharge.
  • noun Offspring; progeny.
  • intransitive verb To flow, go, or come out: synonym: appear.
  • intransitive verb To proceed from a source; emerge or come forth: synonym: stem.
  • intransitive verb To have as a consequence; result.
  • intransitive verb To accrue as proceeds or profit.
  • intransitive verb To be born or be descended.
  • intransitive verb To be circulated or published.
  • intransitive verb To circulate or distribute in an official capacity.
  • intransitive verb To publish.
  • intransitive verb To pour forth or send out; emit.
  • idiom (at issue) In question; in dispute.
  • idiom (at issue) At variance; in disagreement.
  • idiom (join issue) To enter into controversy.
  • idiom Law (join issue) To submit an issue for decision.
  • idiom (take issue) To take an opposing point of view; disagree.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pass from within outward; go or pass out; go forth.
  • To proceed as progeny; be derived or descended; spring.
  • To be produced as an effect or result; grow or accrue; arise; proceed: as, rents and profits issuing from land.
  • To come to a result or conclusion; reach an end; close; terminate: with in before an object: as, we know not how the cause will issue; the negotiations issued in a firm peace.
  • In law: To come to a question in fact or law on which the parties join in resting the decision of the cause.
  • To go forth as authoritative or binding: said of an official instrument, as a mandamus, proclamation, or license.
  • To send out; deliver for use; deliver authoritatively; emit; put into circulation: as, to issue provisions; to issue a writ or precept; to issue bank-notes or a book.
  • To bring to an issue; terminate; settle.
  • noun A going, passing, or flowing out; passage from within outward; an outgoing, outflow, or flux.
  • noun Means of egress; an opening or outlet; a passage leading outward; a vent.
  • noun Specifically, in medicine, a vent for the passage of blood or morbid matter; a running sore, accidental or made as a counter-irritant.
  • noun An outcome; a result; the product of any process or action; that which occurs as a consequence; ultimate event or result; as, a happy issue of one's labors; the issues of our actions are hidden from us.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old French eissue, issue, from Vulgar Latin *exūta, alteration of Latin exita, feminine past participle of exīre, to go out : ex-, ex- + īre, to go; see ei- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French issue, eissue ("a way out or exit"), feminine past participle of issir, itself from Latin exeō ("go out"), from prefix ex- ("out of") +  ("go").


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  • In the rare/antique book trade: a copy of an edition that has been slightly changed, such as for correction of a misprint. Sometimes used interchangeably with state, although the latter refers to a change other than a correction of a misprint.

    February 22, 2007

  • Why is everything an issue nowadays. Don't we have problems any more? Will textbooks soon have a section at the end of each chapter labeled Issues. Will people someday be saying, "I never could do word issues in algebra"?

    October 9, 2007

  • Dude, you got issues!


    October 9, 2007

  • Note that the words "issue" and "problem" are not synonyms. They have quite different meanings.

    June 27, 2009

  • "issue" was a "problem" for hundreds of years.

    "issue as a problem", well, there were major issues back in the day. but minor issues go back to 1739, in that London rag... The Spectator

    January 10, 2013