see also: IF
Pronunciation Conjunction
  1. Supposing that, assuming that, in the circumstances that; used to introduce a condition or choice.
    If it rains, I shall get wet.
  2. (computing) In the event that a statement is true (a programming statement that acts in a similar manner).
    If A, then B, else C.
  3. Supposing that; used with past or past perfect subjunctive indicating that the condition is closed.
    I would prefer it if you took your shoes off.
    I would be unhappy if you had not talked with me yesterday.
    If I were you, I wouldn't go there alone.
  4. Supposing that; given that; supposing it is the case that.
    If that's true, we had better get moving!
  5. Although; used to introduce a concession.
    He was a great friend, if a little stingy at the bar.
  6. (sometimes proscribed) Whether; used to introduce a noun clause, an indirect question, that functions as the direct 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, / […] ”
  7. (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.
  8. Introducing a relevance conditional.
    I have leftover cake if you want some.
Translations Translations
  • German: wenn auch
  • Spanish: si bien
Translations Translations
  • German: wenn
  • Portuguese: se
  • Russian: е́сли

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), [http://books.google.com/books?id=qYY0AAAAMAAJ&pg=PA59&dq=ifs 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, [http://books.google.com/books?id=F24xcadl9JMC&pg=PA176&dq=ifs 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, […]


  1. Initialism of interactive fiction
    • 2007, Jeremy Douglass, Command Lines (page 88)
      The “Zarfian Cruelty Scale” rates games as Merciful, Polite, Tough, Nasty, or Cruel. The scale describes how works of IF become unwinnable, especially how and when the interactor (here a player, and one trying to win) learns this.
  2. Initialism of impact factor
  3. (protein) Initialism of intermediate filament
  4. (electronics) Initialism of intermediate frequency

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