if

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search
See also: -if and IF

English[edit]

Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English yif, yef, from Old English ġif, ġef (if; whether, though), from Proto-Germanic *jabai (when, if), from Proto-Indo-European *e-, *ē- (then, at that time). Cognate with Scots gif (if, whether), West Frisian oft (whether), Dutch of (or, whether, but), Middle Low German ef (if, whether), German ob (if, whether), Icelandic ef, if (if).

Pronunciation[edit]

Conjunction[edit]

if

  1. Supposing that, assuming that, in the circumstances that; used to introduce a condition or choice.
    If it rains, I will get wet.
  2. Supposing that; used with past subjunctive indicating that the condition is not fulfilled.
    I'd prefer it if you took your shoes off.
  3. Although; used to introduce a concession.
    He was a great friend, if a little stingy at the bar.
  4. (computing) In the event that a statement is true (a programming statement that acts in a similar manner).
    If A, then B, else C.
  5. Whether; used to introduce a noun clause as the object of certain verbs.
    I don't know if I want to go or not.
    • 1715–1717, Matthew Prior, Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind, Canto III:
      Quoth Matthew, “ [] / She doubts if two and two make four, / []
  6. (usually hyperbolic) Even if; even in the circumstances that.
    • 2004, David Lee Murphy and Kim Tribble (writers), Montgomery Gentry (singers), “If It’s The Last Thing I Do” (song), in You Do Your Thing (album):
      If it’s the last thing I do / If it takes me from Tubilo to Timbuktu / If it’s the last thing I do / I’m gonna dodge every road block, speed trap, county cop / To get my hands on you / If it’s the last thing I do.

Usage notes[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

if (plural ifs)

  1. (informal) An uncertainty, possibility, condition, doubt etc.
    • 1709, Susannah Centlivre, The Busy Body, Act III, in John Bell (ed.), British Theater, J. Bell (1791), page 59,
      Sir Fran. Nay, but Chargy, if——— ¶ Miran. Nay, Gardy, no Ifs.——Have I refus'd three northern lords, two British peers, and half a score knights, to have put in your Ifs?
    • 1791 January, "Richardſon’s Chemical Principles of the Metallic Arts", in The Monthly Review, R. Griffiths, page 176,
      Well might Bergman add, (in his Sciographia,), “if the compariſon that has been made, &c. be juſt.” The preſent writer makes no ifs about the matter, and has ſuperadded a little inaccuracy of his own, […]
    • 2013 April 9, Andrei Lankov, “Stay Cool. Call North Korea’s Bluff.”, New York Times:
      Even if they managed to strike Japan, the United States or South Korea with nuclear weapons — a big if, given that they do not have a reliable delivery system — they could not save themselves from ultimate defeat.

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Anagrams[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle French if, from Old French if, from Frankish *īw or Gaulish *ivos (yew, yew tree) (compare Breton ivin, Irish eo, Welsh ywen), from Proto-Indo-European *ei-k-wo, *ei-wo- (compare Proto-Germanic *īwaz (yew)), see yew.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

if m (plural ifs)

  1. yew

Jèrriais[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French if, from Gaulish *ivos (yew, yew tree), from Proto-Indo-European *ei-k-wo, *ei-wo-.

Noun[edit]

if m (plural ifs)

  1. yew

Old French[edit]

Noun[edit]

if f (oblique plural is, nominative singular if, nominative plural is)

  1. yew
  2. yew wood

Descendants[edit]

  • French: if
  • Jèrriais: if

Volapük[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowing from English.

Conjunction[edit]

if

  1. if