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Definition of "it" [it]

  • Used to refer to that one previously mentioned. Used of a nonhuman entity; an animate being whose sex is unspecified, unknown, or irrelevant; a group of objects or individuals; an action; or an abstraction: polished the table until it shone; couldn't find out who it was; opened the meeting by calling it to order. (pronoun)
  • Used as the subject of an impersonal verb: It is snowing. (pronoun)
  • Used as an anticipatory subject or object: Is it certain that they will win? (pronoun)
  • Used as an anticipatory subject to emphasize a term that is not itself a subject: It was on Friday that all the snow fell. (pronoun)
  • Used to refer to a general condition or state of affairs: She couldn't stand it. (pronoun)
  • Refers to a nonhuman, animal, plant, or inanimate thing, or sometimes to a small baby (pronoun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

  • Refers to an unspecified or implied antecedent or to a previous or understood clause, phrase, etc (pronoun)
  • Used to represent human life or experience either in totality or in respect of the present situation (pronoun)
  • Used as a formal subject (or object), referring to a following clause, phrase, or word (pronoun)
  • Used in the nominative as the formal grammatical subject of impersonal verbs. When it functions absolutely in such sentences, not referring to any previous or following clause or phrase, the context is nearly always a description of the environment or of some physical sensation (pronoun)
  • The crucial or ultimate point (pronoun)
  • (in children's games) the player whose turn it is to try to touch another (noun)
  • Sexual intercourse (noun)
  • Sex appeal (noun)
  • A desirable quality or ability (noun)

www.Collinsdictionary.com (c) HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2016

Use "it" in a sentence
  • "The knife didn't fit in your hand like any knife though,  it fit like the woodworker sanded it to the lines and curves of your own palm."
  • "“Contrary to the talk [of the law's critics], ” York declared, “it is a reasonable, limited, carefully crafted measure ... that went to great lengths to make sure it is constitutional."
  • "'The soundtrack in my head is Roy Orbison singing \ "It\'s over, it\'s ooooooover, \" and it doesn\'t matter that the \ "it\" for him was a love affair and not a college app."