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

  • n. A single article or unit in a collection, enumeration, or series.
  • n. A clause of a document, such as a bill or charter.
  • n. An entry in an account.
  • n. A bit of information; a detail.
  • n. A short piece in a newspaper or magazine.
  • n. A romantically involved couple: "[They] soon began seeing each other . . . and were an item for a year and a half.” ( Peter J. Boyer).
  • adv. Also; likewise. Used to introduce each article in an enumeration or list.
  • transitive v. Archaic To compute.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A distinct physical object.
  • n. A line of text having a legal or semantic meaning.
  • n. A matter for discussion in an agenda.
  • n. Two people who are having a relationship with each other.
  • n. A question on a test, which may include its answers.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Also; as an additional article.
  • n. An article; a separate particular in an account.
  • n. A hint; an innuendo.
  • n. A short article in a newspaper; a paragraph.
  • n. A topic or piece of information having the salacious character of gossip, especially a romantic relation between two people.
  • transitive v. To make a note or memorandum of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Also: a word used in introducing the separate articles of an enumeration, as the separate clauses or details of a will or the particular parts of an account or list of things.
  • To make a note or memorandum of.
  • n. An article; a separate particular; a single detail of any kind: as, the account consists of many items.
  • n. An intimation; a reminder; a hint.
  • n. A trick; fancy; caprice. —
  • n. A paragraph in a newspaper; a scrap of news.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an individual instance of a type of symbol
  • adv. (used when listing or enumerating items) also
  • n. a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list
  • n. a whole individual unit; especially when included in a list or collection
  • n. a small part that can be considered separately from the whole
  • n. an isolated fact that is considered separately from the whole


From Middle English, also, moreover, from Latin; see i- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
The word started as Latin item for "also", "in the same manner", and got its present English meaning by people misunderstanding usage in lists where the first entry began "Imprimis" (Latin for "firstly"), and the other entries each started "Item" (Latin for "also"), in former times when most learned people in England knew Latin. (Wiktionary)


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