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
, etc.), but this forms diphthongs with preceding a
, 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
. 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 Loui
no, a sound which in native English words is now normally represented by ē
, in be
. 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 fi
ng. Thus, the current sound of short i
t, 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 /iː/
, 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
): 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/
, 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 hi
t/hɪt/.2. /aɪ/in i
ce/aɪs/.3. /aɪə/in hi
re/haɪə(r)/.4. /ɜː/in fi
r/fɜː/.5. /iː/in pi
que/piːk/.6. /ɪə/in emi
All these may occur also in unstressed syllables.
The combination ie
has the value of No. 2 in die
d, etc.; of Nos. 5 and 6 in fie
r, etc.; exceptionally that of /ɛ/
ve. Finally, and unstressed, it has that of simple /ɪ/
, as in aerie
The combinations ai
represent diphthongs in Isai
, etc.; but ai
merely represent /eɪ/
Before another vowel in the suffixes -ia
s, etc., i
has often the consonantal value of /j/
, or a value which readily passes into it: e.g. Christia
s; after certain consonants, this /j/
value is merged in the consonant, which it palatalizes, as in spaci
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
, 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
, especially in contiguity with m
, 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
, etc. In modern English no native word ends in i
; in alien or adopted words so ending, the i
is usually pronounced /aɪ/
, and other Latin plurals, also in Rabbi
, and other Hebrew names, but as /ɪ/
, and other foreign words of recent adoption.
The letter of the alphabet, and its shape.
Illustrations of the literary use of the letter:
Denoting serial order; also used symbolically.
(Abbreviations cited here with full stops are frequently used without them.) See also
in their alphabetical places.
I n. (Zoology) in dental formulæ = incisor.
[symbolic abbreviation for ]
Chemistry = Iodine.
† i. n. Obsolete the earlier equivalent of i.e =
a1300 in T. Wright & R. P. Wülcker
Artimesie, i. mugwrt, i. merherbarum.
1651 J. French i. 40
Then invert it (i) turn it upside down.
I. n. = various proper names, as Isaac, Isabella, India, etc.; formerly also = Jesus.
1728 E. Chambers (at cited word)
In Abbreviatures and Cyphers I. frequently represents the whole Word Jesus.
I. n. Intelligence (see also I.Q. below).
1917 ‘Contact’ 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 125
I, the Service abbreviation for ‘Intelligence’, i.e. information of military value.
1972 G. Lyall xiii. 86
‘What were you in?’ ‘“I” Corps.’
I.A.A. n. indoleacetic acid (indolylacetic acid).
1947 169 465
Indoleacetic acid (IAA) tends to stimulate growth in the light.
1969 7 Aug. 272/1
Isolated bacteria were cultured and shown to form IAA from the amino acid tryptophan.
I.A.E.A. n. International Atomic Energy Agency.
1958 20 Jan. 6/4
Mr. Robert McKinney, United States member of the I.A.E.A. board of governors.
1958 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 p. xvii
IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency (established in Vienna, October 1957).
1963 28 Sept. 6/7
Sir Roger Makins, chairman of the British Atomic Energy Authority and chief delegate to I.A.E.A.
I.A.T.A. n. International Air Traffic (or Transport) Association.
1931 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 11 Sept. 12/3
The continuance of rate-cutting could not be tolerated if IATA was to continue its work.
1970 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.
I.B.A. n. Independent Broadcasting Authority.
1971 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 12 Nov. 8/5
The IBA would have the same obligation in radio to devote sufficient time to accurate and impartial news.
(a) intercontinental ballistic missile;
(b) International Business Machines (used to denote the computers made by this firm).
1954 1 Oct. 621/2
The so-called IBM, or intercontinental ballistic missile with nuclear warhead, is the ugly development next to be expected.
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 89
I.B.M., International Business Machines.
1956 S. Bellow
When he saw the two sums punched out so neatly on the cards he cursed the company and its IBM equipment.
1956 A. Huxley 109
Thanks to finger-printing, punched cards and IBM machines, they know practically everything about practically everyone.
1963 I. Fleming i. 16
Bond's mind ticked and whirred, selecting cards like an IBM machine.
1970 38 1294/2
Computations on the jth particle velocity..have been carried out on the Oberlin College IBM 360/44.
I.C. n. and adj. = Inspected, Condemned.
I.C. adj. in charge, in command.
1928 T. E. Lawrence 19 July
No, I am not adjutant, to this camp. Just typist, and i/c files, and duty rolls.
1958 15 Aug. 219/1
If you were i/c security, it was obviously necessary to flush the lavatories of spies.
1962 L. Deighton viii. 51
The above named article of War Department property..should be returned to officer i.c. special issue room.
1965 11 Nov. 763/2
The commanding officer; the 2 I.C.; the adjutant.
I.C. n. Linguistics immediate constituent.
1947 R. S. Wells in 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 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 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 11 45
Chomsky develops..IC analysis by his grammatical model of ‘phrase structure + transforms’.
1971 D. Crystal iv. 212
In IC analysis, however, such disambiguation was impossible.
I.C. n. integrated circuit.
1966 17 Oct. 87
The major problems in using IC's.
1969 18 Dec. 601/3
The IC memory is three times faster than the conventional memory.
1970 J. Earl ii. 28
In a few years' time the majority of radio tuners will carry ICs as well as a few transistors and junction diodes.
I.C.A. n. Institute of Contemporary Arts.
1958 20 Nov. 842/1
At the I.C.A. there is an exhibition of three collagists.
1969 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.
I.C.A.O. n. International Civil Aviation Organization.
1947 17 May 3/5
Italy nominated for I.C.A.O.
1955 Jan. 94/3
The specialized agencies of the United Nations..ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization).
The system has been approved..by the ICAO.
I.C.B.M. n. intercontinental ballistic missile.
1955 30 May 13
The Air Force is now calling the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile the ICBM.
1956 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 ii. 28
Their U-boat fleet and their ICBMs.
I.C.E. n. Institution of Civil Engineers.
Major-General Sir John Ardagh, K.C.I.E. 1894, Assoc. I.C.E.
I.C.E. n. internal combustion engine.
1950 XV. 586/2
I.C.E.: see Internal Combustion Engine.
1958 20 Nov. 835/2
The present advanced state of the internal combustion engine, or ‘I.C.E.’ as my log-book calls it.
1968 25 May 45/3
But now a modern version of the steam engine has appeared as the major threat to the ICE.
I.C.F.T.U. n. International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
1955 30 May 4/4
First, the I.C.F.T.U. will continue its fight to ensure that all workers' rights are respected.
1968 18 Apr. 10/2
Mr Mick Jordan..represents the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU)—a world-wide anti-Communist union body.
I.C.I. n. Imperial Chemical Industries.
1934 H. G. Wells II. viii. 638
Brunner Mond & Co. was only the embryo of I.C.I.
1964 M. Gowing ii. 75
I.C.I. offered to take over..the Halban and Kowarski research.
I.C.S. n. Indian Civil Service.
1931 14 May 390/3
The late Ross Scott, I.C.S.
1931 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 iii. 27
If Peter has really made up his mind to go to the I.C.S.—it will be wonderful.
1971 18 Apr. 22/4
The Prime Minister called the ICS Secretaries of the Central Departments some weeks ago and admonished them.
I.D. n. = Infantry Drill Regulations.
1918 E. S. Farrow p. ix
I.D.R..—Infantry Drill Regulations.
(N.) I.D. n. = (Naval) Intelligence Department.
I.D. n. identification, identity (card).
1955 R. J. Schwartz 90
1963 T. Pynchon xiii. 373
Pig was understandably nervous, trying simultaneously to salute, produce ID and liberty cards.
1965 3 Dec. 880/3
‘ID's’..are pretty obscure to English readers as translations..of..papiers (identity documents).
1968 A. Diment v. 75
I had the usual range of forged driver's licences, ID cards, credit chits.
1970 28 Sept. 7/1
Once inside I was forced to produce my driver's licence, draft card, student I.D.
1971 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 ii. 21
Tibbs was politely asked for his ID. He produced his police credentials.
I.D.A. n. International Development Association.
The major development among international agencies was the establishment of the International Development Association (I.D.A.).
1965 26 June 1512/2
The World Bank's ‘soft-loan’ subsidiary, the International Development Association (IDA), already lends for up to fifty years.
I.D.B. n. illicit diamond buyer, buying.
1884 M. A. Carey-Hobson 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 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 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 55
‘You know what an I.D.B. is?’ ‘Illicit Diamond Buyer?’ ‘Exactly.’
1902 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
ii. i. 122
Barmentrude..used to be an I.D.B.—an illicit diamond buyer.
1917 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
He does a bit of IDB on the side. So what? He's a jeweller.
i.e. n. id est (Latin), that is (to say).
1662 E. Stillingfleet 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 II. 22
Under favourable conditions, i.e. in the perfect State.
1894 V. Henry 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 viii. 307
The I-E language family is represented all over the world today.
1927 H. J. Round 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
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 xxiii. 321
The difference frequency (IF frequency)..must be such that the transistor will function as an amplifier.
I.F.F. n. Identification, Friend or Foe.
1945 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 30 Nov. 909/1
The I.F.F. radar identification sets in our bombers.
I.F.R. n. Instrument Flight Rules.
1948 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 Apr. 40/3
Under IFR, electronic navigation equipment defines the position, and facilitates landing in bad weather or at night.
I.F.S. n. = Irish Free State.
Money Orders. Advice of Payment: 2d. inland (and to I.F.S.).
I.G. n. = Inspector General.
1918 E. S. Farrow 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.
I.G.Y. n. International Geophysical Year.
1955 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 11 Jan. 128/3
The IGY lasted 30 months.
i.h.p n. Mechanics = indicated horse power.
I.L.O. n. International Labour Organization.
1924 B. Webb 8 Jan.
The P.M. to meet Thomas, the French head of the I.L.O. at Geneva.
1969 1 May 614/3
We're going to give legislative backing to the ILO conventions on the right to join trade unions.
I.L.P. n. Independent Labour Party.
1893 G. B. Shaw 24 Apr.
My remarks..were not levelled at the I.L.P.
1899 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 12 Nov.
I suppose it would pain the poor Duke too much if he sat in Parliament as a member of the I.L.P.
1924 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 iii. 104
The Simonites, the Mosleyites and the I.L.P.
1946 A. Koestler ii. 91
Max, who has an enormous, sniffing tapir-nose and an unkempt I.L.P.-mane.
1959 22 Jan. 179/3
A number of intellectuals and I.L.P-ers.
I.L.S. n. Instrument Landing System.
1947 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 13 Jan. 65/1
The special Trident has been trying the ILS of other airports,..and has actually made ‘hands-off’ landings at them.
I.M.C.O. n. Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization.
The Intergovernmental Maritime Consultative Organization (IMCO).
1970 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.
I.M.F. n. International Monetary Fund.
1948 G. Crowther
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 23 Apr. 632/2
A determination to invoke the scarce currency clause in the IMF agreement to legalise discrimination against chronically surplus countries.
I.M.N.S. n. = Imperial Military Nursing Service.
1918 E. S. Farrow p. ix
I.M.N.S.—Imperial Military Nursing Service.
I/O n. Computing input/output.
(Composition Information Services)
Input-output (I/O), a general term for the equipment used to communicate with a computer and the data involved in the communication.
The disparity in the speed of electromechanical I/O and electronic components resulted in ineffective use of the more expensive resources.
1985 Feb. 163/1
It also includes ‘I/O redirection’ and ‘pipes’.
I.P. n. = Intelligence Police.
I.P.A. n. International Phonetic Alphabet (or Association).
1933 L. Bloomfield 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 105 I.P.A.
The International Phonetic Alphabet.
1961 36 201
The modified IPA symbols used in the [linguistic] Atlas.
1970 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.
i.p.s. n. inches per second.
1959 W. S. Sharps 104/2
I.P.S., abbreviation for inches per second.
1968 29 Nov. p. ii/1
The rise of the tape recorder was attested by the publication of commercial tapes at 7½ i.p.s.
I.Q. n. intelligence quotient (see ).
1922 R. S. Woodworth 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 19 Mar. 230/3
Faith, insight and enthusiasm are more important than all the I.Qs in the world.
1948 A. Huxley 3 June
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
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 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 20 Oct. 232/2
The IQ tests ignore much in us that is artistic, contemplative, and nonverbal.
1957 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 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.
(a) individual retirement account (U.S.);
(b) Irish Republican Army.
1921 G. B. Shaw
The I.R.A. is flushed with success.
1932 23 Aug. 10/3
A force of 200 men of the I.R.A. have seized Donamon Castle.
1939 J. B. Priestley ii. 24
So they thought he was the I.R.A., eh? That explained the bomb, of course.
1959 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 11 Aug. 10/2
The IRA and the Provisionals use the South as a sanctuary.
1974 15 Nov. 139/1
Moneymen call these new pension plans IRAs (individual retirement accounts).
1984 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.
I.R.B.M. n. intermediate range ballistic missile.
1957 30 Nov. 774/2
IRBMs are to begin flowing to Europe by late 1958.
1960 30 July 460/3
In April the official defence policy was laid in ruins with the abandonment of Britain's IRBM, Blue Streak.
I.R.O. n. International Refugee Organization.
1947 15 May 5/7
Resettlement will still remain one of the main functions of the I.R.O.
1948 11 Mar. 1531/1
I.R.O. consented to act as our agents.
1955 Jan. 95/1
IRO (International Refugee Organization).
I.R.S. n. Internal Revenue Service (U.S.).
1963 7 Mar. 412/1
The I.R.S. takes good care that the United States citizen abroad knows just where he stands, taxwise.
1964 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 22 Aug. 4/4
IRS issues rulings on political dinners.
ISBN n. International Standard Book Number; cf. .
1969 Dec. 51
Every book is labelled by an ISBN and each edition, each binding..allotted its own ISBN.
1986 3 May 1776
Where to Fish..£11.95 net..Printed case. ISBN 0-948807-00-8. Heavily illustrated.
I.S.C. n. Indian Staff Corps.
(a) Imperial Service Order;
(b) International Organization for Standardization.
1902 XXXI. 340/1
The members of the order have the distinction of adding the letters I.S.O. after their names.
Thos. H. Sanderson Sanderson, G.C.B., K.C.M.G., I.S.O.
1947 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.
The equipment covered by this plan is standard ISO 20 ft steel containers with fork-lift pockets, and standard 40 ft ISO aluminium containers.
IT n. information technology.
1982 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 21 Apr. 38/1
IT includes banking and shopping via your television set.
I.T.A. n. Independent Television Authority.
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 (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.
initial teaching alphabet.
1965 2 Feb. 3/8
Mr Gordon Walker.., adviser to the ITA foundation,..would have to learn more about the initial teaching alphabet.
1967 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.
I.T.U. n. International Telecommunication Union.
1950 XI. 470/1
The International Telecommunations Union (I.T.U.).
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.
I.T.V. n. Independent Television.
1958 ‘A. Gilbert’ 93
All they talk about is what they saw on ITV last night.
1958 27 June 827/3
As the General Election approaches, both BBC and ITV must know where they stand.
1969 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.
1950 XIV. 347/2
The League of Nations standard or requirement for vitamin B1 is 300 I.U. per day.
The chief food value of apricots lies in their roughage and in their vitamin A content—approximately 1,000 i.u. per serving.
1962 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.
intrauterine (contraceptive) device.
1963 19 Dec. 716/3
A simple, cheap, safe and effective method of birth control..known as IUCDs (intrauterine contraceptive devices).
1965 27 May 606/3
When as occasionally happens, conception occurs and gestation proceeds with the IUD in situ, [etc.].
1966 18 Mar. 370/1
The IUCD consists of a small loop or coil of plastic material which is inserted into the uterus.
1967 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 29 June 13/3
With the nationalisation of birth control virtually every GP in the country will be inserting IUDs.
intravenous(ly); also as n., an intravenous drip, injection, etc.
I.V., abbreviation for intravenously (by intravenous injection).
1961 36 145
I.V.,..an intravenous infusion.
1970 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 24 Apr. 5/1
The bedside IV feeding bottle.
1972 8 Dec. 351/1
3 African green monkeys were inoculated i.c. (0·2 ml.) and i.v. (0·3 ml.).
I.W.W. n. Industrial Worker(s) of the World.
1917 B. Hall Diary 25 July in B. Hall & J. J. Niles
The Government had some trouble in Los Angeles with the I.W.W.
1919 H. L. Wilson 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 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 xxi. 251
Regular I.W.W. stuff.
1923 E. A. Ross 250
The I.W.W. longshoremen of Philadelphia and New York refused to load ships with munitions for Wrangel.
1931 U. Sinclair xxv
I recognized the I.W.W. lumberjack, the only giant in the crowd.
1957 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 viii. 285
Unlike the other national federations.., the IWW advocated direct action and sabotage.
I.Y. n. Imperial Yeomanry.
Draft additions June 2017
ILTF now hist. International Lawn Tennis Federation, the governing body organizing world tennis.
1920 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 v. 87
The formation of the International Lawn Tennis Federation (ILTF) in March 1913 brought new challenges.
ITF International Tennis Federation, the governing body organizing world tennis, including beach and wheelchair tennis.
1977 3 Aug. d6/3
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) will send a delegation to South Africa in November.
1996 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 162
Wheelchair Doubles has become more popular due to a 1998 rule adopted by both the ITF and the USTA.
Draft additions 1997
(Inst. Electr. & Electronic Engineers)
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 iii. 87
One part evolution, one part revolution, and one part philosophy, ISDNs represent a unique historical development.
1993 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 24 Feb. 30/8
Britain's ISDN network is already connected to 12 other countries.
Draft additions 1993
INF n. intermediate-range nuclear force(s); cf. .
1981 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 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 96
They have never been the subject of arms control negotiations, as opposed to conventional (MBFR) or nuclear (INF) arms.
INLA n. Irish National Liberation Army, formed in the mid-1970s as the military wing of the Irish Republican Socialist Party.
1979 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 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 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.
I.O.C. n. International Olympic Committee.
1938 Oct. 36
Mr. J. W. Rangell has been elected second representative of Finland on the IOC.
1971 L. Koppett 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 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.
IVF n. in vitro fertilization (esp. of human ova).
1978 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 6 May 3/3
An interim licensing authority..says the Government is throwing away an opportunity to reduce the IVF death rate.
Draft additions September 2003
1994 IAP Wish List in alt.internet.services
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 ix. 149
The responsibility for assuring a supply of sender labels might be assigned to intermediaries, in this case to the sender's IAP.
Draft additions December 2005
1977 30 1597
Lactose malabsorption may play a role in the symptoms in the population of some patients with IBS.
1985 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 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.
Draft additions December 2005
ICU n. Medicine (orig. U.S.) intensive care unit.
1959 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 64
This was the hospital they brought her to because it has an ICU and plastic surgery.
Draft additions December 2006
1993 E. Mihalkanin in R. F. Gorman vi. 88
The civil war created approximately 620,000 IDPs by 1984.
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.
Draft additions September 2008
IED n. improvised explosive device.
1971 R. G. Lunger & R. L. Warren (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 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 June 91/2
Their new drill sergeants gather in the shade, trading stories about IEDs and RPG attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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 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 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.
Draft additions March 2003
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
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
IMHO, mixed-case C names should be avoided, as mistyping something in the wrong case can cause hard-to-detect errors.
2001 D. Mitchell 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.
Draft additions March 2003
colloquial (used chiefly in electronic communications) in my opinion.
1989 Re: DECwindows: does it use DECnet, TCP or Both? in comp.windows.x
DEC is finally beginning to get serious (IMO) about competing in the real world workstation market.
1997 J. Seabrook 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
[He] said that he was happy with the resolution. Time to move on, imo.
Draft additions October 2001
IP n. Computing = ; frequently attributive.
1979 J. B. Postel
(Network Working Group)
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 17 Feb. 56/3
Other sources of public IP networking have started up in the U.K.
1997 J. Seabrook v. 161
To move around the computers, you had to know their names, or their IP addresses.
2000 3 Aug. (Appointments Network Executive section) 1/2
A UK network giving customers access to one of the world's largest IP backbones.
Draft additions July 2002
[?a1880 Bodl. Libr., John Johnson Coll.: Labels, Box 13
Please cork & return cask when empty. E.I.P.A. [i.e. East India Pale Ale].]
(Whitbread & Co.)
India Pale Ale (I.P.A.), name originally given to a fine pale ale made for export to troops in India.
1957 J. Braine xxx. 247
‘Will you have a drink with me?’ ‘IPA, please.’
2001 22 Nov. g3/1
Every brewery produces either an IPA or an American pale ale.
Draft additions January 2005
1976 19 July 3/1
The flow of IPOs, while still below the frantic pace of 1969, is running well ahead of last year.
2001 Feb. 28/3
He was anticipating taking on another IPO or turnaround opportunity.
Draft additions July 2002
1989 Re: Multiparty, Real-time, Lightweight Sequenced Communications in comp.sources.d
I have recently got ahold of a program called irc (Internet Relay Chat).
1993 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 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.’ 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.
Draft additions July 2002
1992 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 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 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.
Draft additions December 2005
ITU n. Medicine (chiefly British). intensive treatment (also therapy) unit.
1970 5 Nov. 1471/1
An ITU containing five beds was opened in May.
1998 G. Adams
(BBC TV production draft)
13th Ser. Episode 6. 44
They evacuated it in theatre and he's up in ITU.
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 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. 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 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.
Draft additions April 2010
ICSI n. , 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 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 30 Oct. 11/1
There have been claims that a penile abnormality called hypospadias is more common in ICSI children.
8 Sept. 38
We had four attempts at ICSI and..the emotional and financial pressures were beginning to take their toll.
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 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 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’.
30 Apr. 17
Showcase this region as a rapidly growing ICT hub with an abundance of smart businesses and tech-savvy young talent.
Draft additions June 2016
(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
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.?!
IIRC—If I Recall Correctly.
2014 @earthdyedred 31 Jan. in twitter.com
The Planetary Folklore album which, IIRC, is the only single album I've ever paid over $18 for.
Draft additions June 2016
colloquial (orig. and chiefly in electronic communications) in case you missed it.
2000 in alt.music.billy-joel
Billy Joel on the Onion (ICYMI).
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 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.
Draft additions June 2016
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
INTERNET: email@example.com I.R.L. Michael S. Newsome. 3632 NW 4th Pl. [etc.].
1993 H. Rheingold in L. M. Harasim 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 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.
Draft additions June 2016
colloquial (chiefly in electronic communications) I don't know.
1931 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
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).
24 Oct. (Page-Two section) 1
Some claim absence makes the heart grow fonder. Idk about that though.
Draft additions June 2016
colloquial (orig. and chiefly in electronic communications) I don't care.
1989 Re: Thought Exper. about News.Groups in news.admin
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 ix. 104
Elizabeth put down her spoon. ‘So where's Susan?’ she wanted to know. ‘IDK and IDC,’ Jessica said smugly.
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.’
Draft additions June 2017
(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 24 Mar. 10/8
V.M.I. grid coach has ‘I’ formation. Abolishes fullback post, uses three halfbacks.
1970 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.’
3 Jan. b9/5
I loved the I-formation, running full speed and hitting people.
2016 G. Marzorati xli. 200
There was no strategizing to our game—no talk of serving out of an I formation.
Draft additions January 2018
ICC n. International Law International Criminal Court.
1943 Draft Convent. for Creation of Internat. Criminal Court Art. 4 in
The I.C.C. is deemed for the purpose of this Convention a Criminal Court common to all nations.
1992 Feb. 31/2
An ICC would need to be backed up by an international law-enforcement agency.
2017 D. Cubie vii. 219
The ICC has jurisdiction in respect of war crimes.
Draft additions January 2018
ICJ n. International Law International Court of Justice.
1947 41 134
It was urged that the United States support the ICJ in various ways.
1992 P. W. Birnie & A. E. Boyle ix. iii. 360
The ICJ declined to decide whether atmospheric tests carried out by France violated customary international law.
Kyiv filed a lawsuit against Russia at the ICJ for intervening militarily.
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This entry has not yet been fully updated (first published 1899).
In this entry:
In other dictionaries:
- My entries(1)
- hysterotomy, n.1801
- hystrichosphere, n.1957
- hystriciasis, n.1811
- hystricid, n.1883
- hystricism, n.1886
- hystricomorph, n.1882
- hyte, adj.1721
- hyther, n.1904
- hythergraph, n.1918
- I, n.1c975
- I, pron. and n.2eOE
- i-, prefix
- -i, suffix1
- -i, suffix2
- -i-, connective
- -ia, suffix1
- -ia, suffix2
- -iad, comb. form
- i-ahn(e, v.c1000
- -ial, suffix
- iamb, n.1842
- iambic, adj. and n.1579–80
- iambical, adj.1582
- iambist, n.1839
- iambize, v.1789
- iambographer, n.1625–6
- iambus, n.1586
- -ian, suffix1930
- -iana, suffix1679
- ianthine, adj.1609
- ianthinite, n.1927
- Iapygian, adj. and n.1773
- iarfine, n.1875
- -iasis, suffix
- i-athel(e, v.a1000
- Iatmul, n.1932
- iatraliptic, adj. an...1656
- iatrarchy, n.a1843
- iatric, adj.1851
- -iatric, comb. form