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IE

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abbreviation
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Other definitions for IE (2 of 4)

-ie

The noun-forming suffix -ie, originally the Scottish spelling of -y2, first appears about 1400 in pet names and has spread into general usage. It is used to form words that are usually informal (birdie, doggie), and to form endearing or familiar names (Millie, Susie) or familiar diminutives (sweetie).
Also -y .

Other definitions for IE (3 of 4)

i.e.
[ ahy-ee ]
/ ˈaɪˈi /

abbreviation
that is; that is to say; in other words: They spent their last day at camp enjoying their two favorite activities, i.e., swimming and ziplining.Our writers do a lot of research to avoid anachronisms—i.e., those errors that confuse the times of our stories with later times in history.

Origin of i.e.

From Latin id est

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH i.e.

e.g., i.e. (see confusables note at e.g.)

Other definitions for IE (4 of 4)

I.E.

abbreviation
Indo-European.
Industrial Engineer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

I.E. VS. E.G.

What’s the difference between i.e. and e.g.?

The abbreviation i.e. essentially means that is or in other words—you say it before rephrasing what you’ve just said, often to put it in simpler terms. The abbreviation e.g. essentially means for example—you say it before providing an example of the thing you’ve just mentioned.

Both are abbreviations of Latin phrases: i.e. stands for the Latin id est (which literally means “that is”); e.g. stands for exemplī grātiā (which literally means “for the sake of example”). Both are pronounced by saying the two individual letters in the term.

Both are commonly used in writing, but i.e. is much more commonly used in speech—most people don’t often say e.g. when speaking (probably because the phrase for example is so common and well understood).

Sometimes, people use them in overlapping ways, but this is technically incorrect, since i.e. is meant to indicate a rephrasing, while e.g. is meant to signal that a specific example is going to be given. Of course, both of these things involve an attempt to make what has just been said a little clearer (by clarifying or specifying), so it can be hard to remember when each one is appropriate.

To help remember when to use each one, think of the i in i.e. as standing for in other words. Think of the e in e.g. as standing for example (which it pretty much does).

Here’s an example of i.e. and e.g. used correctly in the same sentence.

Example: The second sewing lesson (i.e., the one starting next week) will cover several different skills (e.g., sewing on a button and sewing a seam).

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between i.e. and e.g.

Quiz yourself on i.e. vs. e.g.!

Should i.e. or e.g. be used in the following sentence?

Many birds are dimorphic, ____, the males and females of a species have different appearances.

How to use IE in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for IE (1 of 4)

ie

the internet domain name for
Ireland

British Dictionary definitions for IE (2 of 4)

IE

abbreviation for
Indo-European (languages)

British Dictionary definitions for IE (3 of 4)

-ie

suffix forming nouns
a variant of -y 2

British Dictionary definitions for IE (4 of 4)

i.e.

abbreviation for
id est

Word Origin for i.e.

Latin: that is (to say); in other words
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for IE

i.e.

An abbreviation for id est, a Latin phrase meaning “that is.” It indicates that an explanation or paraphrase is about to follow: “Many workers expect to put in a forty-hour week — i.e., to work eight hours a day.” (Compare e.g.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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