1. (US) a hint, an inkling, a piece of information, thus one who hints.
|Dict. of the Turf, the Ring, the Chase, etc. 106: Item — a hint, wink, or sly notice. ‘It was I that gave the item that the traps were a coming.’.|
|Vocabulum 113: Items derives his name from looking at a party’s hand, and conveying to the opposition player what it contains by signs. This is Item’s occupation. A looking-glass is sometimes used, sometimes signs which mutes would only understand, and sometimes the signs are agreed upon and known only to the parties interested.|
|Wanderings of a Vagabond 472: I’ll gib yer his hand by de item. I’ll do it ef yer say so, marster John!|
|N.Y. Spirit of the Times (N.Y.) in Dict. Americanisms 218: [...] the minit yer get item that I’m back, set off for the cross roads .|
|Current Americanisms 93: ‘To give an item’, is to signal information to a confederate unfairly.|
|Aus. Sl. Dict. 38: Items, in gambler’s slang, means the modes of conveyance by which one’s hand is made known to his opponent.|
|‘Central Connecticut Word-List’ in DN III:i 12: item, n. Information.|
|All These Condemned (2001) 61: It was one very hot item indeed. The girl had all the dope.|
2. (US) a person.
|Little Sister 83: In pops this dowdy little item from Manhattan, Kansas.|
|Lovomaniacs (1973) 51: David Strauss is suddenly a hot item.|
|Close Pursuit (1988) 10: Woody Allen is saying this to some item he’s trying to hustle.|
|Online Sl. Dict. 🌐 item n [...] 2. a person whose positive attributes make them a coveted rarity. (‘That girl is quite an item. Good find, man.’).|
|Yes We Have No 52: He is a cool item, Leroy.|
3. (orig. US) a couple.
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 248: You and Kit are invited. You two are still an item, aren’t you?|
|did wed W.O. Jenkins. We mentioned [...] that they were an item.‘I’ve Been Around’ 18 Feb. [synd. col.] Nancy Taylor|
|Life Its Ownself (1985) 58: I became an item with Rachel Watson.|
|Indep. Rev. 29 June 4: He and Demi were an item.|
|White Teeth 31: By the time the bell rang for end of school Monday Ryan Topps and Clara Bowden [...] were more or less an item.|
|Truth 311: Gary Moorcroft, Anna’s little friend, TV crime reporter, who asked whether they were an item.|
|(con. 1973) Johnny Porno 323: You two live together? [...] Are you two an item I don’t know about?|
|(con. 1980s) Skagboys 263: Me n Nicksy are trying tae queen it up a bit, like we’re an item, a genuine homosexual couple.|
|Base Nature [ebook] Davie was cool about them being an item.|
|Opal Country 70: ‘We were a bit of an item’.|
(US) a couple having a romantic relationship.
|Daily Beacon (Univ. Tenn.) 26 Feb. 2: Friend, hell! We used to be a hot item [HDAS].|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 247: Exley and Inez a hot item: kill four jigs, get the girl.|