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I, n.1

Brit. /ʌɪ/
U.S. //
Etymology: the ninth letter and third vowel of the Roman alphabet, going back through the Greek Iota to the Semitic Yod. The simple form I of the character in Greek from about 500 b.c., and in the Roman alphabet, was reduced from a more complex Early Greek form ?, which originated in the Phœnician ?. The Semitic letter represents a consonant (= English Y in yellow, yoke, etc.), but this forms diphthongs with preceding a and e, and ‘quiesces’ in a preceding i, making long ī. It is thus, in the body or at the end of a word, often an indication of the vowel ī; and it was adopted as the symbol of the i vowel by the Greeks, who had no y consonant. In the Latin alphabet, on the other hand, it was used with both values, viz. that of i vowel (long and short), and y consonant, as in ibīdem, ībis; iacui, Iupiter, Iouis. Even when the consonant passed in Romanic from the sound of Y to that of ‘G soft’ (Italian gi-, English and Old French j), and subsequently, in some languages, to other sounds, it continued for many centuries to be expressed by the same letter as the vowel I, with which it had no longer phonetic relations. At length, after 1600 (in England chiefly 1630–40), a differentiation was made, the consonant being expressed by the character J j, in its origin merely a variant form of I i, used in certain positions; for the history of which see the next letter J. The result is that, in the modern development of the Roman alphabet, the ninth letter has been split into two, I and J; and I remains only a vowel.
The original value of the Græco-Roman I vowel when long was that of the ‘high-front-narrow’ vowel of Bell's scale, which the letter still has in all the continental languages, and in some English words thence adopted, as Louisa, machine, clique, casino, a sound which in native English words is now normally represented by ē, ee, in be, see, mete, meet. The short i was doubtless originally the true ‘short’ of the same sound, the ‘narrow’ i in French fini, Italian fortissimo; but, in Germanic, the short vowel represented by i has probably always been the corresponding ‘wide’ vowel /ɪ/, as in English finny, missing. Thus, the current sound of short i in him, it, has, apparently, come down unchanged from Old English times. Long i, on the other hand, has undergone a great change, having about the beginning of the modern period changed into a diphthong with i as its second element. This evidently arose from the practice of beginning the utterance of the long vowel before the vocal organs had quite attained the very close position of long //, so that the sound began with an opener and less definite vowel quality, which tended in use to become more and more distinct from the second element. The exact quality of the first element at present is difficult to fix: it varies greatly in different localities and in different individuals. ‘We have symbolized the diphthong by /əɪ/, taking the first element as the “mid-mixed-wide” vowel of Melville Bell's scale, the general “obscure vowel” of English; but some phonetists take it as the “mid-back” or the “low-mixed” vowel, wide or narrow; and it may be heard locally as the “mid-front” and “low-front” wide or narrow.’ ( N.E.D.) This diphthongization of original long ī is not peculiar to English, but has taken place also in German and Dutch. The difference is that in English the old simple vowel symbol is retained for the new diphthong, while in German and Dutch this is expressed by the new diphthongal symbols ei and ij (formerly y): compare Old English, Old High German, Old Low German mīn with English mine, German mein, Dutch mijn, formerly myn.
In addition to the two normal modern English values /ɪ/ and //, the letter i has others, due either to the disturbing influence of a following r, to the retention by foreign words of their foreign sounds, or to the obscuring effect of absence of stress in certain positions. The sounds that occur in stressed syllables are the following:1. /ɪ/in hit/hɪt/.2. /aɪ/in ice/aɪs/.3. /aɪə/in hire/haɪə(r)/.4. /ɜː/in fir/fɜː/.5. /iː/in pique/piːk/.6. /ɪə/in emir/ɛˈmɪə(r)/.
All these may occur also in unstressed syllables.
The combination ie has the value of No. 2 in die, dies, died, etc.; of Nos. 5 and 6 in field, chief, grieve, pier, grenadier, etc.; exceptionally that of /ɛ/ in friend, /ɪ/ in sieve. Finally, and unstressed, it has that of simple /ɪ/, as in aerie, cities, pitied.
The combinations ai, ei, oi represent diphthongs in Isaiah /aɪˈzaɪə/, aisle /aɪl/, eider /aɪdə(r)/, oil /ɔɪl/, etc.; but ai, ei merely represent //, /ɛə/, // or /ɪə/ in aim /eɪm/, air /ɛə(r)/, rein /reɪn/, feint, heir /ɛə(r)/, receive, receipt, Leith /liːθ/, weir /wɪə(r)/, etc.
Before another vowel in the suffixes -ian, -ier, -ion, -ious, etc., i has often the consonantal value of /j/, or a value which readily passes into it: e.g. Christian, clothier, courtier, million, onion, union, copious, previous; after certain consonants, this /j/ value is merged in the consonant, which it palatalizes, as in spacious /ˈspeɪʃəs/, nation /ˈneɪʃən/, soldier /ˈsəʊldʒə(r)/, fusion /ˈfjuːʒən/, Persia /pɜːʃə/, hosier /həʊʒə(r)/, fashion /ˈfæʃən/.
The minuscule or ‘small letter’ i is now surmounted by a dot. This is no original part of the letter, but is derived from a diacritic mark, like an acute accent, used to particularize the i in positions in which it might have been taken merely for the stroke of another letter. It appears to have begun in Latin manuscripts about the 11th cent. with the ii in such words as ingeníí, and to have been thence extended to i in contiguity with m, n, or u, and finally to have been used with i in all positions. The accent form of the mark, seen in Caxton's type and in modern German, was in 15th cent. handwriting often developed into a long curved flourish; but in books printed in Roman type it was reduced to the round dot now in use. In chirography, the dot still largely serves its original purpose of indicating the i; hence the phrase to dot the i's.
The same cause that led to the dotting of i contributed largely to the formation of j, originally merely a lengthened or tailed i used finally as a more distinctive form, especially when two i's came together, as in ingenij, or in the numerals ij, iij, viij, etc.; also to the substitution of y for i, especially in contiguity with m, n, u, etc., or when final. In English it became at length a kind of scribal canon that i must not be used as a final letter, but must in this position be changed to y; but in inflected forms, where the i was not final, it was retained; hence the current spellings, city, cities; holy, holier, holiest; carry, carries, carried, carrier; weary, wearisome, etc. In modern English no native word ends in i; in alien or adopted words so ending, the i is usually pronounced // in cirri, foci, magi, and other Latin plurals, also in Rabbi, Rabboni, Eli, Levi, and other Hebrew names, but as /ɪ/ in Cadi, kohlrabi, Mahdi, and other foreign words of recent adoption.
 I. The letter of the alphabet, and its shape.
 1. Illustrations of the literary use of the letter:

 a. simply. (The plural appears as Is, I's, is, i's.) I per se, or I per se I, the letter I by itself forming a word, esp. the pronoun I. Also figurative esp. in dot of (on) an i , to put the dots on the i's , to dot the (one's) i's: see dot v.1 1b.

OE   Ælfric Gram. 5   Gyf þu cwyst nu iudex, þonne byð se i consonans.
OE   Ælfric Gram. (St. John's Oxf.) 5   Of ðam [stafum] syndon fif vocales, þæt synd clypiendlice: a, e, i, o, u.
c1450   Poem against Friars i, in T. Wright & J. O. Halliwell Reliquiæ Antiquæ (1845) I. 322   With an I. and an O. thai praysen not Seynt Poule.
c1450   Poem against Friars ii   With an O. and an I. men weven that thai wede.
?1533   G. Du Wes Introductorie for to lerne Frenche sig. Bi   Ye shal pronounce..your i, as sharpe as can be.
1552   R. Huloet Abcedarium Anglico Latinum sig. M.iiij   I, Letter is as wel a consonante as a vowell.
1622   J. Mabbe tr. M. Alemán Rogue ii. iii. ii. 226   I only was compleat; I was I per se I; I was like a Rule, without exception.
1669   W. Holder Elem. Speech 95   Our vulgar (i) as in (stile) seems to be..a Dipthong..composed of a, i, or e, i, and not a simple Original Vowel.
1711   J. Greenwood Ess. Pract. Eng. Gram. 240   No English Word ends in I, but has always an E after it, as easie..tho' now ie is frequently changed into y.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl. (at cited word)   That Verse in Virgil, Accipiunt inimicum imbrem, rimisque fatiscunt; Which abounds in i's, is generally admired.
1890   J. H. Stirling Gifford Lect. xvi. 317   It is but a logical breathing: a logical dot on a logical i.
1892   Law Rep.: Chancery Div. 2 486   He must..have full notice. But there is no regulation as to what t's are to be crossed or what i's are to be dotted in the notice to be given.

OE—1892(Hide quotations)


 b. Representing Greek ἰῶτα, iota n.: see jot n.1

c975   Rushw. Gosp. Matt. v. 18   Oþþæt geleoreþ heofun and eorþe, an i [L. iota unum] eþþa an holstæfes ne gelioreþ from ae.
c1000   West Saxon Gospels: Matt. (Corpus Cambr.) v. 18   An i oððe an prica.

c975—c1000(Hide quotations)

 2. In combinations.

 a.   i-dot n. the dot of an i.  I-bar n.,   I-beam,   I-iron,   I-rail an iron bar, rail, etc., the section of which is like the letter I.

1875   E. H. Knight Pract. Dict. Mech. at Angle-iron   Other forms are known as Z-iron, I-iron, etc.
1875   E. H. Knight Pract. Dict. Mech. 1195   I-rail, a double-headed rail with flanges on each side above and below; on the foot and tread.
1890   W. J. Gordon Foundry 69   A ceaseless hoisting and swinging and lowering of angle-bar, I-bar, Z-bar, or other bar gliding into its appointed place.
1897   ‘P. Warung’ Tales Old Regime 23   They were identical to..the position of an i-dot.

1875—1897(Hide quotations)


 b. i-mutation, i-umlaut (also i/j-mutation etc.) Philology, the fronting influence of an *i or *j on the vowel of a preceding syllable in one and the same word; also, the result of this. So i-mutated, i-umlauted adjs.

1870   F. A. March Compar. Gram. Anglo-Saxon Lang. 13 i-umlaut of ô: fôt, fêt(e).  
1891   A. L. Mayhew Synopsis Old Eng. Phonol. 41   In North. and Mercian oe = e, the i-umlaut of o.
1906   H. C. Wyld Hist. Study Mother Tongue i. 10   This particular kind of change, known as i-mutation, occurs in hundreds of words in O.E., though, as a rule, the i or j which caused the fronting, disappeared.
1908   J. Wright & E. M. Wright Old Eng. Gram. iii. 28   Palatal umlaut, generally called i-umlaut.
1908   J. Wright & E. M. Wright Old Eng. Gram. iii. 28   a was the only vowel which underwent i-umlaut in OS. and Old High German.
1927   Englische Studien 10 Nov. 81   There was, by the side of OE. scēat..an i-mutated variant scīete or scyte with the same sense.
1927   E. V. Gordon Introd. Old Norse 246   ø2 was the w-mutation of ę or (rarely) a late i-mutation of ǫ.
1945   S. Einarsson Icelandic i. v. 30   The I-Shift (..i-umlaut, i-mutation) is so called because it was caused by an i or a j— now often lost—in the ending of a word.
1953   L. F. Brosnahan Some Old Eng. Sound Changes 63   The phenomenon of i- or j- mutation.

1870—1953(Hide quotations)

 II. Denoting serial order; also used symbolically.

 3. Used, like other letters of the alphabet, to denote serial order; marking, e.g. the ninth sheet of a book, or quire of a MS., etc.


 4. In Logic, the symbol of a particular affirmative.

1552   T. Wilson Rule of Reason (rev. ed.) sig. Hvjv   A, dooeth affirme: E, dooeth deny, whiche are bothe vniuersall: I dooth affirme, O dooth deny, whiche we particular call.
1620   T. Granger Syntagma Logicum 262   The Vowels..signifie the qualities, and quantities of the premisses. A. An universall affirmative. E. An universall negative. I. A particular affirmative. O. A particular negative.
1866   T. Fowler Elem. Deduct. Logic (1869) 14   If I be false; A is false, E true, O true.

1552—1866(Hide quotations)


 5. The Roman numeral symbol for One.This was not originally the letter, but a single line denoting unity. It is repeated for the units up to 3 (II, III), formerly, as still on a dial-plate, to 4 (IIII). These are added to symbols of higher numbers, as VI = 6, XII = 12, XXIII = 23, LI = 51, CII = 102, etc. Prefixed to V and X, it diminishes them by 1: IV = 4, IX = 9. (In Middle English manuscripts and early printed books these symbols are very frequent instead of the corresponding words, being usually written with a point before and after, thus, ‘he hadde . iiii. c. knyghtes’.)

1450   W. Somner in Four C. Eng. Lett. 4   He, with ij or iij of his men.
1728   E. Chambers Cycl. (at cited word)   I in the ordinary Roman way of numbering signifies One; and when repeated, signifies as many Units as it is repeated times.

1450—1728(Hide quotations)


 6. Mathematics. In Higher Algebra, i or ι is often used for the imaginary quantity √ − 1, square root of minus one. In Quaternions, i, j, k are symbols of vectors, as distinguished from scalars.


 a. In Physics I (rarely i) is the symbol of the quantum number of nuclear spin.  [Adopted by Back and Goudsmit 1928, in Zeitschr. f. Physik XLVII. 175.]

1930   L. Pauling & S. Goudsmit Struct. Line Spectra xi. 203   i is a new quantum number, the nuclear spin quantum number.
1932   R. F. Bacher & S. Goudsmit Atomic Energy States 20   The spectrum of bismuth, for which the nuclear moment I is 4½, is an interesting example of this type of hyperfine structure.
1966   D. H. Whiffen Spectrosc. iii. 22   Intrinsic nuclear angular momenta are quantised and may be expressed as Iħ where I..is called the spin quantum number.
1967   E. U. Condon & H. Odishaw Handbk. Physics (ed. 2) vii. iv. 68/1   At low magnetic fields I and J are tightly coupled to form a resultant angular momentum F = I + J, whose quantum number F at low fields is a good quantum number.

1930—1967(Hide quotations)


 b. Occasionally used as the symbol of the quantum number of isospin (more commonly T n.).

1953   Progress Theoret. Physics 9 420   In general, selection rules are intimately connected with the conservative quantities which we shall inquire for a system involving Fermions. Those are the total angular momentum J and the total isotopic spin I of the system.
1962   A. Ramakrishnan Elem. Particles & Cosmic Rays i. 31   We use the symbol t for the isotopic spin operator of a system of particles and τ for a single particle, their eigenvalues being denoted by T and I respectively.

1953—1962(Hide quotations)



  (Abbreviations cited here with full stops are frequently used without them.) See also IHS n.   and I O U n.   in their alphabetical places.

  I n. (Zoology) in dental formulæ = incisor.


  I n.  [symbolic abbreviation for iodine n.] Chemistry = Iodine.


i. n. Obsolete the earlier equivalent of i.e = id est phr.

a1300   in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker Anglo-Saxon & Old Eng. Vocab. (1884) I. 554/3   Artimesie, i. mugwrt, i. merherbarum.
1651   J. French Art Distillation i. 40   Then invert it (i) turn it upside down.

a1300—1651(Hide quotations)


  I. n. = various proper names, as Isaac, Isabella, India, etc.; formerly also = Jesus.

1728   E. Chambers Cycl. (at cited word)   In Abbreviatures and Cyphers I. frequently represents the whole Word Jesus.

1728—1728(Hide quotations)


  I. n. Intelligence (see also I.Q. below).

1917   ‘Contact’ Airman's Outings iv. 87   An air reconnaissance is essentially the observer's show; its main object being to supply the ‘I’ people at headquarters with private bulletins from the back of the German front.
1925   E. Fraser & J. Gibbons Soldier & Sailor Words 125   I, the Service abbreviation for ‘Intelligence’, i.e. information of military value.
1972   G. Lyall Blame the Dead xiii. 86   ‘What were you in?’ ‘“I” Corps.’

1917—1972(Hide quotations)


  I.A. n. = Indian Army.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. ix   I.A.—Indian Army.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  I.A.A. n. indoleacetic acid (indolylacetic acid).

1947   Jrnl. Biol. Chem. 169 465   Indoleacetic acid (IAA) tends to stimulate growth in the light.
1969   New Scientist 7 Aug. 272/1   Isolated bacteria were cultured and shown to form IAA from the amino acid tryptophan.

1947—1969(Hide quotations)


  I.A.E.A. n. International Atomic Energy Agency.

1958   Times 20 Jan. 6/4   Mr. Robert McKinney, United States member of the I.A.E.A. board of governors.
1958   Times 20 Jan. 6/4   The United States last year already declared its intention to match all contributions of materials to the I.A.E.A. made by other countries up to June, 1960.
1958   P. Noel-Baker Arms Race p. xvii   IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency (established in Vienna, October 1957).
1963   Times 28 Sept. 6/7   Sir Roger Makins, chairman of the British Atomic Energy Authority and chief delegate to I.A.E.A.

1958—1963(Hide quotations)


  I.A.T.A. n. International Air Traffic (or Transport) Association.

1931   Flight 20 Mar. 255/1   I..submitted therefore to the International Air Traffic Association, IATA, a suggestion for organising, at the earliest possible moment, a general European air mail net.
1962   Daily Tel. 11 Sept. 12/3   The continuance of rate-cutting could not be tolerated if IATA was to continue its work.
1970   Internat. & Compar. Law Q. 4th Ser. 19 i. 125   It is something of a surprise that the United States Government and the International Air Transport Association (IATA)..should be proposing a system of absolute liability.

1931—1970(Hide quotations)


  I.B.A. n. Independent Broadcasting Authority.

1971   Guardian 12 Nov. 1/8   The Sound Broadcasting Bill..authorises the new stations under the control of the Independent Television Authority—renamed the Independent Broadcasting Authority... The IBA could be advanced up to £2 millions to set up the services.
1971   Times 12 Nov. 8/5   The IBA would have the same obligation in radio to devote sufficient time to accurate and impartial news.

1971—1971(Hide quotations)


  I.B.M. n.  (a) intercontinental ballistic missile;  (b) International Business Machines (used to denote the computers made by this firm).

1954   Commonw. 1 Oct. 621/2   The so-called IBM, or intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear warhead, is the ugly development next to be expected.
1955   Ann. Reg. 1954 402   Reports from the United States referred to a rocket called I.B.M. (intercontinental ballistic missile), a wingless rocket-shaped device already perfected to travel 2,500 miles and expected to have a range of 5,000 miles in due course.
1955   R. J. Schwartz Compl. Dict. Abbrev. 89   I.B.M., International Business Machines.
1956   S. Bellow Seize Day (1957) ii. 42   When he saw the two sums punched out so neatly on the cards he cursed the company and its IBM equipment.
1956   A. Huxley Adonis & Alphabet 109   Thanks to finger-printing, punched cards and IBM machines, they know practically everything about practically everyone.
1963   I. Fleming On Her Majesty's Secret Service i. 16   Bond's mind ticked and whirred, selecting cards like an IBM machine.
1970   Amer. Jrnl. Physics 38 1294/2   Computations on the jth particle velocity..have been carried out on the Oberlin College IBM 360/44.

1954—1970(Hide quotations)


  I.C. n. and adj. = Inspected, Condemned.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. ix   I.C.—Inspected, Condemned.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  I.C. adj. in charge, in command.

1928   T. E. Lawrence Let. 19 July (1938) iv. 615   No, I am not adjutant, to this camp. Just typist, and i/c files, and duty rolls.
1958   Spectator 15 Aug. 219/1   If you were i/c security, it was obviously necessary to flush the lavatories of spies.
1962   L. Deighton Ipcress File viii. 51   The above named article of War Department property..should be returned to officer i.c. special issue room.
1965   Listener 11 Nov. 763/2   The commanding officer; the 2 I.C.; the adjutant.

1928—1965(Hide quotations)


  I.C. n. Linguistics immediate constituent.

1947   R. S. Wells in Language 23 ii. 81   We aim in this paper to replace by a unified, systematic theory the heterogeneous and incomplete methods hitherto offered for determining immediate constituents (hereafter abbreviated IC, plural ICs).
1953   Language 29 88   Shannon has conducted experiments in ordinary English orthography, and the reviewer has conducted similar ones, with the proper audiences, in terms of phonemic notation, the results of which bear on the stated correlation between IC-analysis and information theory.
1962   B. M. H. Strang Mod. Eng. Struct. vi. 79   They are immediate constituents (ICs), i.e. the forms that directly go to make up that which is under analysis. They themselves have ICs.
1965   Canad. Jrnl. Linguistics 11 45   Chomsky develops..IC analysis by his grammatical model of ‘phrase structure + transforms’.
1971   D. Crystal Linguistics iv. 212   In IC analysis, however, such disambiguation was impossible.

1947—1971(Hide quotations)


  I.C. n. integrated circuit.

1966   Electronics 17 Oct. 87   The major problems in using IC's.
1969   New Scientist 18 Dec. 601/3   The IC memory is three times faster than the conventional memory.
1970   J. Earl How to choose Tuners & Amplifiers ii. 28   In a few years' time the majority of radio tuners will carry ICs as well as a few transistors and junction diodes.

1966—1970(Hide quotations)


  I.C.A. n. Institute of Contemporary Arts.

1958   Listener 20 Nov. 842/1   At the I.C.A. there is an exhibition of three collagists.
1969   Listener 27 Mar. 436/3   The ICA has taken us aback by giving some public performances of a radio work, reproducing it stereophonically in a darkened theatre.

1958—1969(Hide quotations)


  I.C.A.O. n. International Civil Aviation Organization.

1947   Times 17 May 3/5 (headline)    Italy nominated for I.C.A.O.
1955   Sci. Amer. Jan. 94/3   The specialized agencies of the United Nations..ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).
1963   Thorn Electr. Industr. Group Profile 25   The system has been approved..by the ICAO.

1947—1963(Hide quotations)


  I.C.B.M. n. intercontinental ballistic missile.

1955   Newsweek 30 May 13   The Air Force is now calling the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile the ICBM.
1956   Spaceflight Oct. 24/1   The relatively small margin in performance between the I.C.B.M. and a satellite vehicle suggests that great use will be made of it in the future.
1965   I. Fleming Man with Golden Gun ii. 28   Their U-boat fleet and their ICBMs.

1955—1965(Hide quotations)


  I.C.E. n. Institution of Civil Engineers.

1899   Who's Who 166/1   Major-General Sir John Ardagh, K.C.I.E. 1894, Assoc. I.C.E.

1899—1899(Hide quotations)


  I.C.E. n. internal combustion engine.

1950   Chambers's Encycl. XV. 586/2   I.C.E.: see Internal Combustion Engine.
1958   Listener 20 Nov. 835/2   The present advanced state of the internal combustion engine, or ‘I.C.E.’ as my log-book calls it.
1968   Economist 25 May 45/3   But now a modern version of the steam engine has appeared as the major threat to the ICE.

1950—1968(Hide quotations)


  I.C.F.T.U. n. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.

1955   Times 30 May 4/4   First, the I.C.F.T.U. will continue its fight to ensure that all workers' rights are respected.
1968   Telegraph (Brisbane) 18 Apr. 10/2   Mr Mick Jordan..represents the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)—a world-wide anti-Communist union body.

1955—1968(Hide quotations)


  I.C.I. n. Imperial Chemical Industries.

1934   H. G. Wells Exper. in Autobiogr. II. viii. 638   Brunner Mond & Co. was only the embryo of I.C.I.
1964   M. Gowing Brit. & Atomic Energy 1939–45 ii. 75   I.C.I. offered to take over..the Halban and Kowarski research.

1934—1964(Hide quotations)


  I.C.S. n. Indian Civil Service.

1931   Times Lit. Suppl. 14 May 390/3   The late Ross Scott, I.C.S.
1931   Times Lit. Suppl. 18 June 474/3   Paradoxically, the I.C.S. ‘bureaucrat’ in India is the justification of the popularly elected Minister in England.
1957   J. Masters Far, Far the Mountain Peak iii. 27   If Peter has really made up his mind to go to the I.C.S.—it will be wonderful.
1971   Shankar's Weekly (Delhi) 18 Apr. 22/4   The Prime Minister called the ICS Secretaries of the Central Departments some weeks ago and admonished them.

1931—1971(Hide quotations)


  I.D. n. = Infantry Drill Regulations.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. ix   I.D.R..—Infantry Drill Regulations.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  (N.) I.D. n. = (Naval) Intelligence Department.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. ix   I.D.—Intelligence Department.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  I.D. n. identification, identity (card).

1955   R. J. Schwartz Compl. Dict. Abbrev. 90   Id, identification.
1963   T. Pynchon V. xiii. 373   Pig was understandably nervous, trying simultaneously to salute, produce ID and liberty cards.
1965   New Statesman 3 Dec. 880/3   ‘ID's’..are pretty obscure to English readers as translations..of..papiers (identity documents).
1968   A. Diment Bang Bang Birds v. 75   I had the usual range of forged driver's licences, ID cards, credit chits.
1970   Globe & Mail (Toronto) 28 Sept. 7/1   Once inside I was forced to produce my driver's licence, draft card, student I.D.
1971   Leader (Durban) 7 May 1/1   The loss of the money was not important. I am more concerned about my ID card, as I am presently applying for a house in Unit 10.
1972   J. Ball Five Pieces Jade ii. 21   Tibbs was politely asked for his ID. He produced his police credentials.

1955—1972(Hide quotations)


  I.D.A. n. International Development Association.

1961   Ann. Reg. 1960 472   The major development among international agencies was the establishment of the International Development Association (I.D.A.).
1965   Economist 26 June 1512/2   The World Bank's ‘soft-loan’ subsidiary, the International Development Association (IDA), already lends for up to fifty years.

1961—1965(Hide quotations)


  I.D.B. n. illicit diamond buyer, buying.

1884   M. A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Transvaal II. xlii. 520   ‘The fellow had money there, with which he turned I.D.B.’ ‘What's that?’..‘Illicit diamond buyer.’
1886   W. M. Kerr Far Interior I. i. 15   In spite of the vigilance of the detective department a great deal of illicit diamond buying is successfully carried on; hence the well-known ‘IDB’, which refers to the illegal trade.
1891   E. Glanville Fossicker xxix   They have given an unenviable reputation to three letters of the alphabet—I.D.B., which mean ‘Illicit Diamond Buyers’, and refer to some of the most cunning and most unscrupulous rascals in creation.
1899   E. W. Hornung Amateur Cracksman 55   ‘You know what an I.D.B. is?’ ‘Illicit Diamond Buyer?’ ‘Exactly.’
1902   Encycl. Brit. XXVI. 565/1   Since 1888 a special Court has been held at Kimberley for trying cases relating to illicit diamond buying (‘I.D.B.’).
1909   H. G. Wells Tono-Bungay (U.K. ed.) ii. i. 122   Barmentrude..used to be an I.D.B.—an illicit diamond buyer.
1917   New Statesman 17 Nov. 150/1   To represent the typical Bolshevik as a German agent..is just as clever and fair as to try to make out that an I.D.B. from the Rand..is the type of a British Imperialist.
1972   P. Driscoll Wilby Conspiracy (1973) xiii. 163   He does a bit of IDB on the side. So what? He's a jeweller.

1884—1972(Hide quotations)


  i.e. n. id est (Latin), that is (to say).

1662   E. Stillingfleet Origines Sacræ i. iii. §3. 45   He dwelt in Pethor by the river, i.e. saith the Chaldee Paraphrast, in Peor of Syria by Euphrates.
1871   B. Jowett in tr. Plato Dialogues II. 22   Under favourable conditions, i.e. in the perfect State.

1662—1871(Hide quotations)


  I.E. n. Indo-European.

1894   V. Henry Short Compar. Gram. Eng. & German v. 113   The greater part of such roots as began with the group in question exhibited already in the I.-E. period a peculiar alternation.
1964   R. H. Robins Gen. Linguistics viii. 307   The I-E language family is represented all over the world today.

1894—1964(Hide quotations)

1927   H. J. Round Shielded Four-electrode Valve viii. 77   It should be possible to do with only one stage of intermediate frequency on account of the gain per stage in H.F. and I.F.
1956   C. E. Tibbs & G. G. Johnstone Frequency Modulation Engin. (ed. 2) ix. 387   Second channel interference can be avoided by choosing the i.f. to be greater than half the band of frequencies to be covered.
1963   J. A. Walston Transistor Circuit Design xxiii. 321   The difference frequency (IF frequency)..must be such that the transistor will function as an amplifier.

1927—1963(Hide quotations)


  I.F.F. n. Identification, Friend or Foe.

1945   Electronic Engin. 17 686   An I.F.F. unit can be briefly described as being a transmitter-receiver device installed in friendly aircraft whose purpose is to reply to the interrogation of the friendly Radar station.
1961   Listener 30 Nov. 909/1   The I.F.F. radar identification sets in our bombers.

1945—1961(Hide quotations)


  I.F.R. n. Instrument Flight Rules.

1948   Jrnl. Royal Aeronaut. Soc. 52 90/1   The biggest factor affecting reliable running is the time difference between operations under clear and low visibility conditions, C.F.R. (Contact Flight Rules) and I.F.R. (Instrument Flight Rules) as they are called.
1964   Times Rev. Industry Apr. 40/3   Under IFR, electronic navigation equipment defines the position, and facilitates landing in bad weather or at night.

1948—1964(Hide quotations)


  I.F.S. n. = Irish Free State.

1929   Whitaker's Alm. 546/1   Money Orders. Advice of Payment: 2d. inland (and to I.F.S.).

1929—1929(Hide quotations)


  I.G. n. = Inspector General.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. ix   I.G.—Inspector General. I.G.C.—Inspector General of Communications. I.G.F.—Inspector General of Fortifications. I.G.D.—Inspector General's Department.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  I.G.Y. n. International Geophysical Year.

1955   Sci. News Let. 15 Jan. 42/1   Scientists from at least 39 countries, including Russia, are now making plans for coordinated research efforts during 1957–58 in a world-wide investigation of the earth, its seas and air. The many-pronged attack, aimed at a better understanding of the planet we live on, is known as the International Geophysical Year, or IGY.
1964   Economist 11 Jan. 128/3   The IGY lasted 30 months.

1955—1964(Hide quotations)


  i.h.p   n. Mechanics = indicated horse power.

1894   Times 20 Sept. 4/6   With an expenditure of 110 i.h.p.

1894—1894(Hide quotations)


  I.L.O. n. International Labour Organization.

1924   B. Webb Diary 8 Jan. (1956) i. 2   The P.M. to meet Thomas, the French head of the I.L.O. at Geneva.
1969   Listener 1 May 614/3   We're going to give legislative backing to the ILO conventions on the right to join trade unions.

1924—1969(Hide quotations)


  I.L.P. n. Independent Labour Party.

1893   G. B. Shaw Let. 24 Apr. (1965) I. 390   My remarks..were not levelled at the I.L.P.
1899   Westm. Gaz. 28 Feb. 2/3   The I.L.P. policy kept a sufficient number of Tory working men from voting to allow the Liberal nominee to slip in.
1917   A. Huxley Let. 12 Nov. (1969) 136   I suppose it would pain the poor Duke too much if he sat in Parliament as a member of the I.L.P.
1924   Glasgow Herald 5 Apr. 9   He had had to work on many committees during his time in public life, including committees of branches of the I.L.P.
1932   W. H. Auden Orators iii. 104   The Simonites, the Mosleyites and the I.L.P.
1946   A. Koestler Thieves in Night ii. 91   Max, who has an enormous, sniffing tapir-nose and an unkempt I.L.P.-mane.
1959   Listener 22 Jan. 179/3   A number of intellectuals and I.L.P-ers.

1893—1959(Hide quotations)


  I.L.S. n. Instrument Landing System.

1947   Shell Aviation News No. 108. 3/1   I.L.S. (Instrument Landing System), G.C.A. (Ground Control Approach), ground radar and flight radar are all proven, available, and should be installed.
1966   New Scientist 13 Jan. 65/1   The special Trident has been trying the ILS of other airports,..and has actually made ‘hands-off’ landings at them.

1947—1966(Hide quotations)


  I.M.C.O. n. Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization.

1954   Chambers's Encycl. World Survey 42/2   The Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO).
1970   Globe & Mail (Toronto) 28 Sept. 6/2   After the Torrey Canyon disaster the Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO) turned to the machinery of the international convention on safety of life at sea to try to establish rules that would ease the threat of pollution.

1954—1970(Hide quotations)


  I.M.F. n. International Monetary Fund.

1948   G. Crowther Outl. Money (rev. ed.) ix. 330   The main purpose of the I.M.F...is to provide countries that have deficits with the foreign currencies they require to cover those deficits.
1965   New Statesman 23 Apr. 632/2   A determination to invoke the scarce currency clause in the IMF agreement to legalise discrimination against chronically surplus countries.

1948—1965(Hide quotations)


  I.M.N.S. n. = Imperial Military Nursing Service.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. ix   I.M.N.S.—Imperial Military Nursing Service.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  I/O n. Computing input/output.

1964   CIS Gloss. Automated Typesetting (Composition Information Services) 19   Input-output (I/O), a general term for the equipment used to communicate with a computer and the data involved in the communication.
1977   McGraw-Hill Yearbk. Sci. & Technol. 42   The disparity in the speed of electromechanical I/O and electronic components resulted in ineffective use of the more expensive resources.
1985   Personal Computer World Feb. 163/1   It also includes ‘I/O redirection’ and ‘pipes’.

1964—1985(Hide quotations)


  I.P. n. = Intelligence Police.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. x   I.P.—Intelligence Police.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


  I.P.A. n. International Phonetic Alphabet (or Association).

1933   L. Bloomfield Language vi. 103   There has arisen a convention of transcribing British English, not by the symbols..in accord with the principles of the IPA alphabet.
1954   M. A. Pei & F. Gaynor Dict. Linguistics 105 I.P.A.   The International Phonetic Alphabet.
1961   Amer. Speech 36 201   The modified IPA symbols used in the [linguistic] Atlas.
1970   Publ. Amer. Dial. Soc. 1968 l. 5   The phonetic notation used in transcribing the responses of the informants is..a finely graded phonetic alphabet based on that of the IPA.

1933—1970(Hide quotations)


  i.p.s. n. inches per second.

1959   W. S. Sharps Dict. Cinematogr. 104/2   I.P.S., abbreviation for inches per second.
1968   Times 29 Nov. p. ii/1   The rise of the tape recorder was attested by the publication of commercial tapes at 7½ i.p.s.

1959—1968(Hide quotations)


  I.Q. n. intelligence quotient (see intelligence quotient n.).

1922   R. S. Woodworth Psychol. xii. 274   Brightness or dullness can also be measured by the intelligence quotient, which is employed so frequently that it is customarily abbreviated to ‘I.Q.
1931   Times Lit. Suppl. 19 Mar. 230/3   Faith, insight and enthusiasm are more important than all the I.Qs in the world.
1948   A. Huxley Let. 3 June (1969) 582   Cecil Burt sees a drop in the average intelligence of the British population..of 5 IQ points before the end of the present century.
1959   N. Mailer Advts. for Myself (1961) 150   Any man in the infantry or cavalry who has a good I.Q. is sure to have his name turned up..whenever a new typist is needed.
1968   Scottish Daily Mail 16 July 2/1   The questionnaire is a tongue-in-cheek parody of the IQ tests which the U.S. Government gives would-be employees.
1972   Science 20 Oct. 232/2   The IQ tests ignore much in us that is artistic, contemplative, and nonverbal.

1922—1972(Hide quotations)


  I.R. n. infra-red.

1957   Which? Autumn 7/2   An investigation into the effects, on bottle-makers, of the infra-red and ultra-violet (often referred to as I.R. and U.V.) radiations.
1967   Electronics 40 127/1   A scope tracing that shows i-r energy as a curve derived from the video signal, with the amount of energy determining vertical deflection.

1957—1967(Hide quotations)


  I.R.A. n.  (a) individual retirement account (U.S.);  (b) Irish Republican Army.

1921   G. B. Shaw Matter with Ireland (1962) 245   The I.R.A. is flushed with success.
1932   Morning Post 23 Aug. 10/3   A force of 200 men of the I.R.A. have seized Donamon Castle.
1939   J. B. Priestley Let People Sing ii. 24   So they thought he was the I.R.A., eh? That explained the bomb, of course.
1959   New Statesman 7 Nov. 615/2   The IRA is now really discredited; young men in the dreary pubs which offer the only way out of the drearier provincial towns of Ireland must find other amusements than plotting.
1971   Guardian 11 Aug. 10/2   The IRA and the Provisionals use the South as a sanctuary.
1974   Forbes 15 Nov. 139/1   Moneymen call these new pension plans IRAs (individual retirement accounts).
1984   Sun (Gainsville, Florida) 3 Apr. 6 b/3   It's been just two years since nearly everybody was invited to open an individual retirement account (IRA), but it's time to assess..how skillfully you're exploiting this tax shelter.

1921—1984(Hide quotations)


  I.R.B.M. n. intermediate range ballistic missile.

1957   Economist 30 Nov. 774/2   IRBMs are to begin flowing to Europe by late 1958.
1960   Economist 30 July 460/3   In April the official defence policy was laid in ruins with the abandonment of Britain's IRBM, Blue Streak.

1957—1960(Hide quotations)


  I.R.O. n. International Refugee Organization.

1947   Times 15 May 5/7   Resettlement will still remain one of the main functions of the I.R.O.
1948   Hansard Commons 11 Mar. 1531/1   I.R.O. consented to act as our agents.
1955   Sci. Amer. Jan. 95/1   IRO (International Refugee Organization).

1947—1955(Hide quotations)


  I.R.S. n. Internal Revenue Service (U.S.).

1963   Listener 7 Mar. 412/1   The I.R.S. takes good care that the United States citizen abroad knows just where he stands, taxwise.
1964   Financial Times 12 Mar. 24/3   The attitude of the I.R.S. in 1958, after they had caught up with Mr. Wilson, was to say: ‘We're not concerned with your troubles.’
1972   New York Law Jrnl. 22 Aug. 4/4 (heading)    IRS issues rulings on political dinners.

1963—1972(Hide quotations)


  ISBN n. International Standard Book Number; cf. SBN n. at S n.1 Initialisms 1.

1969   Proc. Internat. Assoc. Technol. Univ. Libraries Dec. 51   Every book is labelled by an ISBN and each edition, each binding..allotted its own ISBN.
1986   Bookseller 3 May 1776 (advt.)    Where to Fish..£11.95 net..Printed case. ISBN 0-948807-00-8. Heavily illustrated.

1969—1986(Hide quotations)


  I.S.C. n. Indian Staff Corps.

1899   Who's Who 680/1   Late Colonel C. M. Moberly, I.S.C.

1899—1899(Hide quotations)


  I.S.O. n.  (a) Imperial Service Order;  (b) International Organization for Standardization.

1902   Encycl. Brit. XXXI. 340/1   The members of the order have the distinction of adding the letters I.S.O. after their names.
1909   Whitaker's Almanack 118   Thos. H. Sanderson Sanderson, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., I.S.O.
1947   N.Y. Times 2 Nov. 22/6   Howard Coonley..has been elected president of the new International Organization for Standardization, formation of which has been completed by delegates from twenty-five nations meeting in London... Gustave L. Gerard..has been chosen vice president of the new organization which will be known informally as ISO.
1969   Jane's Freight Containers 1968–9 400/1   The equipment covered by this plan is standard ISO 20 ft steel containers with fork-lift pockets, and standard 40 ft ISO aluminium containers.

1902—1969(Hide quotations)


  IT n. information technology.

1982   Times 14 Jan. (Information Technol. Suppl.) p. iv/6   Teletext and personal computers are IT, but Hollywood movies on a video machine are probably not.
1983   Listener 21 Apr. 38/1   IT includes banking and shopping via your television set.

1982—1983(Hide quotations)


  I.T.A. n. Independent Television Authority.

1955   Ann. Reg. 1954 385   While viewing through I.T.A. stations would not be possible for some time, competitive bidding for ‘stars’ went on actively.
1962   Rep. Comm. Broadcasting 1960 1 in Parl. Papers 1961–2 (Cmnd. 1753) X. 259   There is a distinction to be drawn..between the ITA and independent television (ITV). The ITA is the Authority, the public corporation set up by the Television Act, 1954: independent television comprises not only the ITA but also the programme companies.

1955—1962(Hide quotations)


  I.T.A. n. (also i.t.a.) initial teaching alphabet.

1965   Guardian 2 Feb. 3/8   Mr Gordon Walker.., adviser to the ITA foundation,..would have to learn more about the initial teaching alphabet.
1967   New Statesman 6 Oct.   All the mothers know everything about O- and A-levels, have taken the measure of the 11-plus.., and some have heard of i.t.a.

1965—1967(Hide quotations)


  I.T.U. n. International Telecommunication Union.

1950   Chambers's Encycl. XI. 470/1   The International Telecommunations Union (I.T.U.).
1962   B.B.C. Handbk. 113   The BBC also participates in the work of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a specialized agency of the United Nations with its headquarters in Geneva.

1950—1962(Hide quotations)


  I.T.V. n. Independent Television.

1958   ‘A. Gilbert’ Death against Clock 93   All they talk about is what they saw on ITV last night.
1958   Spectator 27 June 827/3   As the General Election approaches, both BBC and ITV must know where they stand.
1969   Listener 24 Apr. 559/3   While shepherds washed their socks by night And turned on ITV, The Angel of the Lord came down And switched on BBC.

1958—1969(Hide quotations)


  I.U. n. (also i.u.) international unit.

1950   Chambers's Encycl. XIV. 347/2   The League of Nations standard or requirement for vitamin B1 is 300 I.U. per day.
1951   Good Housek. Home Encycl. 339/1   The chief food value of apricots lies in their roughage and in their vitamin A content—approximately 1,000 i.u. per serving.
1962   Lancet 6 Jan. 12/1   A small bottle..of some 60 ml. capacity, filled to the top with normal saline and containing 1000 i.u. of heparin.

1950—1962(Hide quotations)


  I.U.D. n. (also I.U.C.D.) intrauterine (contraceptive) device.

1963   New Scientist 19 Dec. 716/3   A simple, cheap, safe and effective method of birth control..known as IUCDs (intrauterine contraceptive devices).
1965   New Scientist 27 May 606/3   When as occasionally happens, conception occurs and gestation proceeds with the IUD in situ, [etc.].
1966   New Statesman 18 Mar. 370/1   The IUCD consists of a small loop or coil of plastic material which is inserted into the uterus.
1967   Time 7 Apr. 73   The IUD's underlying principle traces back to an old practice of Arab cameleers: putting a round, smooth stone in the womb of a female camel at the start of a long trade journey, to avoid the economic loss of having the animal get pregnant.
1973   Guardian 29 June 13/3   With the nationalisation of birth control virtually every GP in the country will be inserting IUDs.

1963—1973(Hide quotations)


  I.V. adv. (also i.v.) intravenous(ly); also as n., an intravenous drip, injection, etc.

1951   Dorland's Med. Dict. (ed. 22) 766/2   I.V., abbreviation for intravenously (by intravenous injection).
1961   Amer. Speech 36 145   I.V.,..an intravenous infusion.
1970   New Yorker 21 Nov. 64/2   One of the doctors from Surgery will be coming down soon to put in your I.V. and a stomach tube.
1971   Guardian Weekly 24 Apr. 5/1   The bedside IV feeding bottle.
1972   Nature 8 Dec. 351/1   3 African green monkeys were inoculated i.c. (0·2 ml.) and i.v. (0·3 ml.).

1951—1972(Hide quotations)


  I.W.W. n. Industrial Worker(s) of the World.

1917   B. Hall Diary 25 July in B. Hall & J. J. Niles One Man's War (1929) 278   The Government had some trouble in Los Angeles with the I.W.W.
1919   H. L. Wilson Ma Pettengill vii. 212   Even the youngest [girl]..had tenaciously held out for a grown man's pay, which made her something even worse than a Bolshevik; it made her an I.W.W.
1920   M. Beer Hist. Brit. Socialism II. iv. xviii. 356   Similar views..led in 1905 to the formation of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.).
1920   P. G. Wodehouse Damsel in Distress xxi. 251   Regular I.W.W. stuff.
1923   E. A. Ross Russ. Soviet Republ. 250   The I.W.W. longshoremen of Philadelphia and New York refused to load ships with munitions for Wrangel.
1931   U. Sinclair Rom. Holiday xxv   I recognized the I.W.W. lumberjack, the only giant in the crowd.
1957   Encounter Apr. 65/1   That strange and unique contribution of America to anarcho-syndicalism, the ‘Wobblies’ (officially the Industrial Workers of the World, or IWW..) organised great masses of unskilled workers and led strikes..that were as much social rebellions as economic conflicts.
1969   Taft & Ross in Graham & Gurr Violence in Amer. viii. 285   Unlike the other national federations.., the IWW advocated direct action and sabotage.

1917—1969(Hide quotations)


  I.Y. n. Imperial Yeomanry.

1918   E. S. Farrow Dict. Mil. Terms p. x   I.Y.—Imperial Yeomanry.

1918—1918(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2017

  ILTF now hist. International Lawn Tennis Federation, the governing body organizing world tennis.

1920   Amer. Lawn Tennis 15 Apr. 4/2   It was unanimously agreed by those present that the I. L. T. F. should have the power to alter the Laws of the Game.
2015   R. J. Lake Social Hist. Tennis in Brit. v. 87   The formation of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) in March 1913 brought new challenges.

1920—2015(Hide quotations)


  ITF International Tennis Federation, the governing body organizing world tennis, including beach and wheelchair tennis.

1977   Washington Post 3 Aug. d6/3   The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will send a delegation to South Africa in November.
1996   Daily Yomiuri 29 Apr. 20/6   Under ITF rules, a female tennis player must play in the Fed Cup for at least two years in the four years from 1993 to 1996.
2008   M. Frost Amer. Doubles 162   Wheelchair Doubles has become more popular due to a 1998 rule adopted by both the ITF and the USTA.

1977—2008(Hide quotations)


Draft additions  1997

1974   Internat. Conf. Communications (Inst. Electr. & Electronic Engineers) 33 e-1   An integrated services digital network (ISDN) is a network in which the various services such as telephony, data and telex use the same switching and transmission facilities.
1986   E. L. Scace in T. C. Bartee Digital Communications iii. 87   One part evolution, one part revolution, and one part philosophy, ISDNs represent a unique historical development.
1993   Daily Tel. 24 Feb. 30/7   Now..network operators worldwide have in place national ISDN services..which are simple to use, simple to install and simple to run.
1993   Daily Tel. 24 Feb. 30/8   Britain's ISDN network is already connected to 12 other countries.

1974—1993(Hide quotations)


Draft additions  1993

  INF n. intermediate-range nuclear force(s); cf. TNF n. at T n. Additions.

1981   Washington Post 14 Nov. a13/3   The TNF talks on European-based missiles are increasingly being referred to as the Intermediate-range Nuclear Force (INF) talks.
1983   Time 31 Jan. 22/2   Some who know him suggest that Nitze is now driven to achieve an INF treaty as a sort of final professional capstone.
1987   P.-H. Renard in R. Trapp Chemical Weapon Free Zones? 96   They have never been the subject of arms control negotiations, as opposed to conventional (MBFR) or nuclear (INF) arms.

1981—1987(Hide quotations)


  INLA n. Irish National Liberation Army, formed in the mid-1970s as the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.

1979   Irish Times 2 Apr. 1/3   Sources say that the INLA is known to include men who are held responsible for much of the 1972 violence.
1983   Listener 19 May 8/3   The most important Provisional to have gone over to the INLA last year is Dominic McGlinchey from Bellaghy in County Londonderry.
1992   Independent 15 Apr. 3/2   In 1990, another INLA man—later reported to be an informer—was killed by undercover troops in an attack on the home of a member of the security forces.

1979—1992(Hide quotations)


  I.O.C. n. International Olympic Committee.

1938   Olympische Rundschau (Berlin) Oct. 36   Mr. J. W. Rangell has been elected second representative of Finland on the IOC.
1971   L. Koppett N.Y. Times Guide Spectator Sports xx. 247   According to the I.O.C., its members are not ‘representatives’ of their nations but ‘delegates from’ that nation to the I.O.C. and delegates to their nations from the I.O.C.
1991   Business Traveller Jan. 33/1   So endemic has drug-taking become among modern athletes that the IOC will have a flying laboratory ready for testing the Olympic class of 1992.

1938—1991(Hide quotations)


  IVF n. in vitro fertilization (esp. of human ova).

1978   BioScience 28 685/1   Members of the new HEW Ethics Advisory Board (EAB) seemed ready to approve the only human IVF research application now awaiting funding at the National Institute of Health.
1990   Sunday Correspondent 6 May 3/3   An interim licensing authority..says the Government is throwing away an opportunity to reduce the IVF death rate.

1978—1990(Hide quotations)


Draft additions September 2003

1994   IAP Wish List in alt.internet.services (Usenet newsgroup) 1 May   IAP wish list... If you can spare the time, would you mind jotting down a few things along the theme of what you would want from an Internet Access Provider.
1999   L. Lessig & P. Resnick in S. E. Gillett & I. Vogelsang Competition, Regulation, & Convergence ix. 149   The responsibility for assuring a supply of sender labels might be assigned to intermediaries, in this case to the sender's IAP.

1994—1999(Hide quotations)


Draft additions December 2005

1977   Amer. Jrnl. Clin. Nutrition 30 1597   Lactose malabsorption may play a role in the symptoms in the population of some patients with IBS.
1985   Scand. Jrnl. Gastroenterol. 20 Suppl. cix. 107   About five per cent of the adult population each year will see their doctor with complaints that are finally characterised as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
2000   Healthy Living Feb. 44/2   In a German IBS study, patients who took a homeopathic dose of the herb Asafoetida experienced vastly greater relief than did those administered a placebo.

1977—2000(Hide quotations)


Draft additions December 2005

  ICU n. Medicine (orig. U.S.) intensive care unit.

1959   N.Y. Times Mag. 15 Nov. 103/1   When a patient is in critical condition, or for some other reason needs constant watching by professional nurses, the patient is sent to ICU.
2001   L. Voss To be Someone 64   This was the hospital they brought her to because it has an ICU and plastic surgery.

1959—2001(Hide quotations)


Draft additions December 2006

1993   E. Mihalkanin in R. F. Gorman Refugee Aid & Devel. vi. 88   The civil war created approximately 620,000 IDPs by 1984.
2006   Africa News (Nexis) 22 Feb.   The..protracted 18-year war..has obliterated the physical and economic infrastructure and confined more than a million people in IDP camps surviving on donor aid and handouts.

1993—2006(Hide quotations)


Draft additions September 2008


  IED n. improvised explosive device.

1971   R. G. Lunger & R. L. Warren Validation of Colt-Tabor Bomb Baskets (Picatinny Arsenal Techn. Rep. No. 4303) iii. 3   The U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) personnel do not have protective equipment for handling, removing, and transporting IED’s.
1987   Courier-Mail (Brisbane) 8 Apr. 10/4   Experiments in Northern Ireland had shown the makers of IEDs were so proud of their work they left their initials on the bombs.
2007   Atlantic Monthly June 91/2   Their new drill sergeants gather in the shade, trading stories about IEDs and RPG attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.

1971—2007(Hide quotations)


Draft additions September 2006

  IMEI n. Telecommunications International Mobile Equipment Identity, a number unique to a GSM mobile phone and usually printed on it, comprising information that can identify the instrument to the network; frequently attributive.

1991   FITCE Jrnl. No. 4. 33/1   The Equipment Identity Register is a logical entity within the GSM system, which is responsible for storing the International Mobile station Equipment identities (IMEI).
2001   Daily Tel. 11 Jan. i. 11/8   The easiest way to improve phone security would be for all mobile phone networks to use an electronic fingerprint, a so called IMEI code.
2005   2600 Summer 50/2   Do you have an old T-mobile phone that you want on prepaid without paying for the activation?.. All you need is the SIM card number, the IMEI number of the phone, and a prepaid airtime card.

1991—2005(Hide quotations)


Draft additions March 2003

  IMHO adv. (also imho) colloquial (used chiefly in electronic communications) in my humble opinion; (occasionally also) in my honest opinion.

1984   Re: Info wanted on Beta Tapes in net.video (Usenet newsgroup) 23 Feb.   The Sony and Maxell tapes are, imho [in my honest opinion], almost indistinguishable in quality, and are the only kind I buy now.
1993   E. S. Raymond New Hacker's Dict. (ed. 2) 236   IMHO, mixed-case C names should be avoided, as mistyping something in the wrong case can cause hard-to-detect errors.
2001   D. Mitchell Number 9 Dream 51   A decent rain will bring hundreds of umbrellas. Not the most inspiring job, but it beats leaping around a garage forecourt or delivering pizzas, imho.

1984—2001(Hide quotations)


Draft additions March 2003

  IMO adv. (also imo) colloquial (used chiefly in electronic communications) in my opinion.

1989   Re: DECwindows: does it use DECnet, TCP or Both? in comp.windows.x (Usenet newsgroup) 18 Jan.   DEC is finally beginning to get serious (IMO) about competing in the real world workstation market.
1997   J. Seabrook Deeper v. 174   To propagate idiocy regarding e-mail as viruses.., is, IMO, aggressively and dangerously stupid, not charmingly naive.
2003   Re: Latif vs Gilly in rec.sport.cricket (Usenet newsgroup) 13 Feb.   [He] said that he was happy with the resolution. Time to move on, imo.

1989—2003(Hide quotations)


Draft additions October 2001

  IP n. Computing = Internet Protocol n. at internet n. Compounds 3; frequently attributive.

1979   J. B. Postel Request for Comments (Network Working Group) (Electronic text) No. 758. 3   In the Internet Protocol (IP) (44) there is a field to identify the next level protocol... This field is called Protocol in the IP header.
1992   UNIX Today! 17 Feb. 56/3   Other sources of public IP networking have started up in the U.K.
1997   J. Seabrook Deeper v. 161   To move around the computers, you had to know their names, or their IP addresses.
2000   Times 3 Aug. (Appointments Network Executive section) 1/2 (advt.)    A UK network giving customers access to one of the world's largest IP backbones.

1979—2000(Hide quotations)


Draft additions July 2002

[?a1880   Label: Phillips & Wigan, Mortlake Brewery Bodl. Libr., John Johnson Coll.: Labels, Box 13   Please cork & return cask when empty. E.I.P.A. [i.e. East India Pale Ale].]
1953   Word for Word (Whitbread & Co.) 23/1   India Pale Ale (I.P.A.), name originally given to a fine pale ale made for export to troops in India.
1957   J. Braine Room at Top xxx. 247   ‘Will you have a drink with me?’ ‘IPA, please.’
2001   Hartford (Connecticut) Courant 22 Nov. g3/1   Every brewery produces either an IPA or an American pale ale.

1953—2001(Hide quotations)


Draft additions January 2005

1976   Barron's National Business & Financial Weekly 19 July 3/1   The flow of IPOs, while still below the frantic pace of 1969, is running well ahead of last year.
2001   Financial Director Feb. 28/3   He was anticipating taking on another IPO or turnaround opportunity.

1976—2001(Hide quotations)


Draft additions July 2002

1989   Re: Multiparty, Real-time, Lightweight Sequenced Communications in comp.sources.d (Usenet newsgroup) 10 Feb.   I have recently got ahold of a program called irc (Internet Relay Chat).
1993   Mixmag Apr. 34/1   IRC..enables people to deconstruct aspects of their own identity, and to challenge and obscure the boundaries between some of our most deeply felt cultural significances.
1995   Guardian 24 Mar. 3/4   As my screen oozes with IRC pickup lines, I wonder whether it's worth it to stick around.
2000   ‘Dr. K.’ Compl. Hacker's Handbk. v. 53   The moment you show your nick on an IRC channel like #hack or #phreak you will be making yourself a target for all sorts of mischief.

1989—2000(Hide quotations)


Draft additions July 2002

1992   InfoWorld 14 Sept. 62   ISPs are the data network equivalent of telephone companies, providing access to the main Internet network for end-users. You will need to contact an ISP in order to use the Internet.
1997   Independent 5 Aug. (Network Plus section) 7/1   Most ISP and academic institutions run web caches, so if you want to do your bit to reduce Internet congestion, use it!
2001   Contact May 66/3   You'll have the choice of entering your own settings to use the machine with an existing web account, or of setting up a connection to a new ISP.

1992—2001(Hide quotations)


Draft additions December 2005

  ITU n. Medicine (chiefly British). intensive treatment (also therapy) unit.

1970   Nursing Times 5 Nov. 1471/1   An ITU containing five beds was opened in May.
1998   G. Adams Casualty (BBC TV production draft) 13th Ser. Episode 6. 44   They evacuated it in theatre and he's up in ITU.

1970—1998(Hide quotations)


Draft additions March 2009

  IVM n. Medicine and Biology in vitro maturation, a technique used in assisted reproductive technology in which eggs are harvested at an immature stage and brought to maturity in culture before being fertilized and implanted.

1988   Theriogenol. 29 243   Embryos were generated by in vitro maturation (IVM), fertilization (IVF) and culture of ova aspirated from 1-5 mm diameter follicles of slaughterhouse ovaries.
2002   P. Cunningham in K. Schellander et al. Genomics & Biotechnol. Livestock Breeding 4   Problems which remain to be overcome include..culture regimes for consistent success in IVM/IVF; and attaining acceptable fertility rates with frozen semen.
2007   Daily Tel. 25 Oct. 3/2   The boy and girl were born a week ago after they were conceived through doctors using in vitro maturation (IVM)—a technique that is quicker, safer and cheaper than traditional IVF.

1988—2007(Hide quotations)


Draft additions April 2010

  ICSI n.
Brit. /ˈɪksi/
U.S. /ˈɪksi/
Medicine and Biology intracytoplasmic sperm injection, a method of in vitro fertilization in which a single sperm is introduced into the cytoplasm of an egg through a micropipette.

1992   G. Palermo et al. in Lancet 4 July 17   Intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) is a promising assisted-fertilisation technique that may benefit women who have not become pregnant by in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) or subzonal insemination (SUZI) of oocytes.
2004   New Scientist 30 Oct. 11/1   There have been claims that a penile abnormality called hypospadias is more common in ICSI children.
2009   Mirror (Nexis) 8 Sept. 38   We had four attempts at ICSI and..the emotional and financial pressures were beginning to take their toll.

1992—2009(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2016


  ICT n. information and communications technology; (also as a count noun) a product or technology relating to this.

1986   R. E. Mansell & B. J. Richards Information & Communication Technol. II. p. xii   Individuals working in the information technology applications area have been included if they reflected an interest in the social science aspects of ICT.
2002   Jrnl. Managem. & Med. 16 189   ICTs therefore include equipment such as radio, telephone and fax..spanning a continuum from the more ‘low-tech’ to the more ‘high-tech’.
2015   Illawarra Mercury (Austral.) (Nexis) 30 Apr. 17   Showcase this region as a rapidly growing ICT hub with an abundance of smart businesses and tech-savvy young talent.

1986—2015(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2016

  IIRC adv. (also iirc, iIrc) colloquial (orig. and chiefly in electronic communications) if I recall (or remember) correctly.

1990   Re: Chiapucci didn't use tri-bars!? in rec.bicycles (Usenet newsgroup) 25 July   Disc wheels—used by Francesco Moser for pushing the 1 hour TT record over the 50 km/h level, beginning of '84, i.I.r.c.?!
1997   Belfast Tel. (Nexis) 15 Mar.   IIRC—If I Recall Correctly.
2014   @earthdyedred 31 Jan. in twitter.com (O.E.D. Archive)    The Planetary Folklore album which, IIRC, is the only single album I've ever paid over $18 for.

1990—2014(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2016

  ICYMI adv. (also icymi) colloquial (orig. and chiefly in electronic communications) in case you missed it.

2000   in alt.music.billy-joel (Usenet newsgroup) 20 July (subject line)    Billy Joel on the Onion (ICYMI).
2006   Hill (Nexis) 25 Jan. 43   The practice of sending out such positive-spin e-mails is not just in Ney's office... In some offices it has become so commonplace that they use the abbreviation ICYMI (‘in case you missed it’).
2015   Adweek 6 Apr. 14/1   There's a dirty little secret..in our industry. ICYMI, Patricia Arquette gave it a shout-out at this year's Oscars—the gender pay gap.

2000—2015(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2016

  IRL adv. (also irl) colloquial (orig. and chiefly in electronic communications) in real life; in the physical world, rather than online or in a virtual environment.

1988   Hershey Fonts in comp.sources.wanted (Usenet newsgroup) 18 Jan.   INTERNET: msn@bikini.cis.ufl.edu I.R.L. Michael S. Newsome. 3632 NW 4th Pl. [etc.].
1993   H. Rheingold in L. M. Harasim Global Networks iv. 63   I remember the first time I walked into a room full of people (IRL) whose faces were completely unknown to me, but who knew many intimate details of my history and whose own stories I knew very well.
2011   Wall St. Jrnl. 11 June c3/1   The young revel in new gadgets... They beg for them in acronym-laden speeches because OMG, you need this stuff to be cool IRL.

1988—2011(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2016

  IDK   v. (also idk) colloquial (chiefly in electronic communications) I don't know.

1931   Brit. Med. Jrnl. 15 Aug. 326/1   Miss Susan Lawrence said she regarded with some liking the doctor who, as reported by Mr. Meller, wrote ‘I.D.K.’ (I don't know) on a certificate.
1990   Re: Multimedia in comp.sys.amiga (Usenet newsgroup) 26 Apr.   You can..(dont ask me how..) send in data to a company (which, you ask? i don't know) and have it transferred onto CD ROMs relatively cheaply..(relative to what? IDK).
2013   Daily Cardinal (Univ. Wisconsin) (Nexis) 24 Oct. (Page-Two section) 1   Some claim absence makes the heart grow fonder. Idk about that though.

1931—2013(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2016

  IDC   v. (also idc) colloquial (orig. and chiefly in electronic communications) I don't care.

1989   Re: Thought Exper. about News.Groups in news.admin (Usenet newsgroup) 2 June   When you call for votes there's more than just a YES or NO involved. There's a third category: I Don't Care (IDC).
1997   J. Suzanne Twins go to College ix. 104   Elizabeth put down her spoon. ‘So where's Susan?’ she wanted to know. ‘IDK and IDC,’ Jessica said smugly.
2011   N.Y. Times (Nexis) 13 Aug. a17   Ravi indicated that Mr. Clementi's orientation did not bother him. In one exchange, he wrote, ‘I'm not really angry or sad idc.’

1989—2011(Hide quotations)


Draft additions June 2017


  I-formation   n.  (a) American Football an offensive formation in which the quarterback and two or more running backs (typically a fullback and a tailback) form a line behind the ball, at right angles to the line of scrimmage;  (b) Tennis a formation in doubles matches in which the server stands close to the centre mark on the baseline and his or her partner stands close to the centre service line.

1951   Newport (Rhode Island) Daily News 24 Mar. 10/8 (heading)    V.M.I. grid coach has ‘I’ formation. Abolishes fullback post, uses three halfbacks.
1970   N.Y. Times 13 July 33/8   The former football player appeared unfamiliar with doubles play. ‘Stay there, stay there,’ Mr. FitzGibbon kept calling to his partner. ‘We're in the “I” formation.’
2014   N.Y. Times (Late ed.) 3 Jan. b9/5   I loved the I-formation, running full speed and hitting people.
2016   G. Marzorati Late to Ball xli. 200   There was no strategizing to our game—no talk of serving out of an I formation.

1951—2016(Hide quotations)


Draft additions January 2018

  ICC n. International Law International Criminal Court.

1943   Draft Convent. for Creation of Internat. Criminal Court Art. 4 in Free World (1944) Feb. 188/2   The I.C.C. is deemed for the purpose of this Convention a Criminal Court common to all nations.
1992   World Today Feb. 31/2   An ICC would need to be backed up by an international law-enforcement agency.
2017   D. Cubie Internat. Legal Protection of Persons Humanitarian Crises vii. 219   The ICC has jurisdiction in respect of war crimes.

1943—2017(Hide quotations)


Draft additions January 2018

  ICJ n. International Law International Court of Justice.

1947   Amer. Jrnl. Internat. Law 41 134   It was urged that the United States support the ICJ in various ways.
1992   P. W. Birnie & A. E. Boyle Internat. Law & Environment ix. iii. 360   The ICJ declined to decide whether atmospheric tests carried out by France violated customary international law.
2017   Thai News Service (Nexis) 21 Apr.   Kyiv filed a lawsuit against Russia at the ICJ for intervening militarily.

1947—2017(Hide quotations)