It Is What It Is: What Does the Interesting Phrase “It Is What It Is” Mean?

The idiomatic phrase “it is what it is” is considered by most people to be overused. However, that being said, it is still widely used today. If you heard this phrase and were wondering what IT is exactly, you are in luck and have come to the right spot. Here you will find the meaning of this term, information about its origin, and some example sentences and conversations highlighting the proper usage of this idiom. The article will conclude with some synonymous phrases that you can use in its place to relay the same message without sounding so cliche’.

It Is What It Is

It Is What It Is Meaning

This idiomatic phrase is used when someone has accepted a situation for the way it is and has also accepted that, like it or not, there is nothing they can do to change it.

Origin of the idiomatic expression

Sometimes the origin of a phrase is difficult to pinpoint. In the case of this idiom, the earlier known appearance was in The Nebraska State Journal in 1949. The phrase appeared in a story about new land and was written by author E.J. Lawrence.

“It Is What It Is” Examples

Sentence Examples

  • I don’t like the solution they came up with but it is what it is I guess.
  • I have chosen to move on and accept that it is what it is.

Conversation Examples

A conversation between mother and daughter.

  • Mother: Did you work things out with Jake?
  • Daughter: No, he wasn’t willing to work things out.
  • Mother: I am sorry to hear that, honey. Sometimes it’s for the best.
  • Daughter: It is what it is I guess. Maybe he just needs some time and space.

A conversation between two co-workers.

  • Co-worker 1: I don’t agree with these new policies that they are enforcing.
  • Co-worker 2: I don’t particularly agree with them either but what choice do we have?
  • Co-worker 1: We don’t have a choice. It is what it is I suppose.

“It Is What It Is” Synonyms

There are some other phrases that you could use in place of saying what some consider this cliche’ idiom. Some of the other things you could say instead include:

  • I accept the situation as it stands
  • I accept I can’t change the outcome
  • I have come to terms with the situation for what it is

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