It
It It ([i^]t), pron. [OE. it, hit, AS. hit; cf. D. het. [root]181. See {He}.] The neuter pronoun of the third person, corresponding to the masculine pronoun he and the feminine she, and having the same plural (they, their or theirs, them). [1913 Webster]

Note: The possessive form its is modern, being rarely found in the writings of Shakespeare and Milton, and not at all in the original King James's version of the Bible. During the transition from the regular his to the anomalous its, it was to some extent employed in the possessive without the case ending. See {His}, and {He}. In Dryden's time its had become quite established as the regular form. [1913 Webster]

The day present hath ever inough to do with it owne grief. --Genevan Test. [1913 Webster]

Do, child, go to it grandam, child. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

It knighthood shall do worse. It shall fright all it friends with borrowing letters. --B. Jonson. [1913 Webster]

Note: In the course of time, the nature of the neuter sign t in it, the form being found in but a few words, became misunderstood. Instead of being looked upon as an affix, it passed for part of the original word. Hence was formed from it the anomalous genitive its, superseding the Saxon his. --Latham. [1913 Webster]

The fruit tree yielding fruit after his (its) kind. --Gen. i. 11.

Usage: It is used,

1. As a substance for any noun of the neuter gender; as, here is the book, take it home. [1913 Webster]

2. As a demonstrative, especially at the beginning of a sentence, pointing to that which is about to be stated, named, or mentioned, or referring to that which apparent or well known; as, I saw it was John. [1913 Webster]

It is I; be not afraid. --Matt. xiv. 27. [1913 Webster]

Peter heard that it was the Lord. --John xxi. 7. Often, in such cases, as a substitute for a sentence or clause; as, it is thought he will come; it is wrong to do this. [1913 Webster]

3. As an indefinite nominative for a impersonal verb; as, it snows; it rains. [1913 Webster]

4. As a substitute for such general terms as, the state of affairs, the condition of things, and the like; as, how is it with the sick man? [1913 Webster]

Think on me when it shall be well with thee. --Gen. xl. 14. [1913 Webster]

5. As an indefinite object after some intransitive verbs, or after a substantive used humorously as a verb; as, to foot it (i. e., to walk). [1913 Webster]

The Lacedemonians, at the Straits of Thermopyl[ae], when their arms failed them, fought it out with nails and teeth. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it, If folly grows romantic, I must paint it. --Pope. [1913 Webster]

{Its self}. See {Itself}. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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