Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “if”

if

conjunction (IN THAT SITUATION)   /ɪf/
used to say that a particular thing can or will happen when, only when, or after something else happens or becomes true: We’ll have the party in the backyard if the weather’s good. If anyone calls for me, just say I’ll be back at 4 o’clock. Would you mind if I opened the window (= May I open it)? If is also used to talk about the amount or degree of something: This time of year we get little, if any, rain (= almost none). If can mean when: If I don’t have a cup of coffee in the morning, I’m useless. If can also mean in case it is true that: I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. if it weren't for When you say if it weren't for or (also if it hadn't been for)something, you mean if it were not true or had not happened, the situation would be different: If it weren’t for your help, we would never have finished in time.
(Definition of if conjunction (IN THAT SITUATION) from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of if

Definitions of “if” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

limber up

to do gentle exercises to stretch the muscles in order to prepare the body for more active physical exercise

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More