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if

if / if/ • conj. 1. introducing a conditional clause: ∎  on the condition or supposition that; in the event that: if you have a complaint, write to the director if you like, I'll put in a word for you. ∎  (with past tense) introducing a hypothetical situation: if you had stayed, this would never have happened. ∎  whenever; every time: if I go out, she gets nasty. 2. despite the possibility that; no matter whether: if it takes me seven years, I shall do it. 3. (often used in indirect questions) whether: he asked if we would like some coffee see if you can track it down. 4. expressing a polite request: if I could trouble you for your names? if you wouldn't mind giving him a message? 5. expressing an opinion: that's an awfully long walk, if you don't mind my saying so if you ask me, he's in love. 6. expressing surprise or regret: well, if it isn't Frank! if I could just be left alone. 7. with implied reservation: ∎  and perhaps not: the new leaders have little if any control. ∎  used to admit something as being possible but regarded as relatively insignificant: if there was any weakness, it was naiveté so what if he did? ∎  despite being (used before an adjective or adverb to introduce a contrast): she was honest, if a little brutal. • n. a condition or supposition: there are so many ifs and buts in the policy. PHRASES: if and only if used to introduce a condition that is necessary as well as sufficient: witches are real if and only if there are criteria for identifying witches. if and when at a future time (should it arise): if and when the film gets the green light, be sure you've read the book first. if anything used to suggest tentatively that something may be the case (often the opposite of something previously implied): I haven't made much of this—if anything, I've played it down. if I were you used to accompany a piece of advice: I would go to see him if I were you. if not perhaps even (used to introduce a more extreme term than one first mentioned): hundreds if not thousands of germs. if only 1. even if for no other reason than: Willy would have to tell George more, if only to keep him from pestering. 2. used to express a wish, esp. regretfully: if only I had listened to you. if so if that is the case.

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if

if OE. ġif, ġyf, corr. to OS. ef, of (Du. of), OHG. ibu, oba (G. ob whether, if), ON. ef if, Goth. ibai, iba whether, lest, jabai if, although; ult. orig. unkn.

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IF

IF • abbr. intermediate frequency.

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If

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if

ifbiff, cliff, glyph, if, kif, miff, niff, quiff, riff, skew-whiff, skiff, sniff, spliff, stiff, tiff, whiff •mischief • handkerchief •neckerchief • kerchief • Cardiff •Radcliffe •bailiff, calif, caliph •Wyclif • Northcliffe • anaglyph •hieroglyph • tariff •serif, sheriff •midriff • hippogriff • mastiff • caitiff •plaintiff • pontiff • Joseph

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