- A single article or unit in a collection, enumeration, or series.
- A clause of a document, such as a bill or charter.
- An entry in an account.
a. A bit of information; a detail.
b. A short piece in a newspaper or magazine.
- A romantically involved couple: “[They] soon began seeing each other … and were an item for a year and a half.” ( Peter J. Boyer )
Also; likewise. Used to introduce each article in an enumeration or list.
transitive verbi·temed, i·tem·ing, i·tems Archaic
To record, especially in an itemized list.
Origin of item From
Middle English also, moreover from
Latin; see i-
in Indo-European roots.Word History:
The word item
seems to us to be very much a noun, whether it refers to an article in a collection or a bit of information. But it began its life in English (first recorded before 1398) as an adverb meaning “moreover, also, in addition.” Item
was typically used in front of each object listed in an inventory, as we might put also.
This use in English simply reflects a meaning of the word in Latin. However, it is easy to see how item
could be taken to stand for the thing that it preceded, and so we get, for example, the sense “an article included in an enumeration.” The first such usages are found in the 1500s, while the sense “a bit of information” is not found until the 1800s.