Definition of issue in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈiSHo͞o/


1An important topic or problem for debate or discussion: the issue of global warming money is not an issue
More example sentences
  • No amount of appeals to the government for education reforms will resolve the fundamental issues at stake.
  • Deploying isolated tactical security products will not solve the complex security issues facing tomorrow's Internet community.
  • Resolving the abduction issue is an urgent matter.
matter, matter in question, question, point, point at issue, affair, case, subject, topic;
1.1 (issues) Personal problems or difficulties: a nice guy with a great sense of humor and not too many issues
More example sentences
  • When we engage with our issues only as personal problems we come to blame ourselves for our troubles.
  • Patients with personality disorder issues may be most difficult of all to assess.
  • I thought it was just me - I am oversensitive to personal space issues.
1.2 (issues) Problems or difficulties, especially with a service or facility: a small number of users are experiencing connectivity issues
2The action of supplying or distributing an item for use, sale, or official purposes: the issue of promissory notes by the bank
More example sentences
  • However, plans for the unit sales and bond issue remain at an early stage, he added.
  • The officials hoped that this would pave the way for issue of licence by the end of the month.
  • The two most important clauses for the purposes of the preliminary issue were clauses 4 and 13.
issuing, publication, publishing, printing;
circulation, distribution
2.1Each of a regular series of publications: the December issue of the magazine
More example sentences
  • The findings are being published in this week's issue of the journal Nature.
  • The research appears in this week's issue of the Journal of Biochemistry.
  • In next month's issue of Vogue magazine Parker claims that she may move to Ireland permanently with her husband.
edition, number, copy, installment, volume, publication
2.2A number or set of items distributed at one time: a share issue has been launched
More example sentences
  • Although it intends to distribute corporate new issues eventually, it has not yet done so.
  • To qualify for the full tax relief, you must invest in a new issue of VCT shares and hold the stock for at least three years.
  • The deal comes after a share issue last August failed to attract the necessary investment.
3 formal or Law Children of one’s own: he died without male issue
More example sentences
  • Their eldest son, another Tyringham Backwell, had died without male issue in 1748.
4The action of flowing or coming out: the point of issue an issue of blood
More example sentences
  • With an issue of blood she was cut off from the worship of God in the formal sense.
discharge, emission, release, outflow, outflowing, secretion, emanation, exudation, effluence
technical efflux
5 dated A result or outcome of something: the chance of carrying such a scheme to a successful issue was small
More example sentences
  • The successful issue of the great battle increased business and made the general attitude still firmer.

verb (issues, issued, issuing)

1 [with object] Supply or distribute (something): licenses were issued indiscriminately to any company
More example sentences
  • Any chance of you ever issuing the script for sale?
  • The inquest was told that leaflets and documents are published for parents, issuing warnings on cot deaths.
  • One of the most notable trends is a persistent drop in cases where no tax documents are issued for the sale of goods or services.
supply, provide, furnish, arm, equip, fit out, rig out;
British  kit out
informal fix up
1.1 (issue someone with) Supply someone with (something).
Example sentences
  • On this particular Saturday, upon arrival we were issued with 12 parking vouchers.
  • Officers have complained to us that the fleece jacket they have been issued with as part of the national uniform has just not kept them warm.
  • Householders are being threatened with fines if they insist on sticking with bags instead of using the bins they have been issued with as part of the council's recycling drive.
1.2Formally send out or make known: the minister issued a statement
More example sentences
  • I want the Prime Minister to issue a very reconciliatory statement at his next rally.
  • The real question is why any minister would need to issue such an order.
  • The work group is to prepare this regulation, which is to be approved and issued by the minister of justice.
send out, put out, release, deliver, publish, announce, pronounce, broadcast, communicate, circulate, distribute, disseminate, transmit
1.3Put (something) on sale or into general use: Christmas stamps to be issued in November
2 [no object] (issue from) Come, go, or flow out from: exotic smells issued from a nearby building
More example sentences
  • Instead, like the earlier temple buildings, new additions were positioned to relate to the springs and the flow of the water issuing from them.
  • Spring Wood does not take its name from the season but from the many springs which issue from the highlands above the wood.
  • Eroding sand, gravel and clay, with occasional springs issuing from them, present an unstable habitat for a few plants.
emanate, emerge, exude, flow (out/forth), pour (out/forth);
be emitted
2.1Result or be derived from: the struggles of history issue from the divided heart of humanity
More example sentences
  • There are two sets of results issuing from the research outlined above.
result from, follow, ensue from, stem from, spring (forth) from, arise from, proceed from, come (forth) from;
be the result of, be brought on/about by, be produced by



at issue

Under discussion; in dispute.
Example sentences
  • Mr Coffey later said if the material at issue was discussed it could imperil a future trial.
  • Never exclude anyone from voicing a perspective on the question at issue.
  • But this comparative element is too close to the question at issue: whether inequality is bad.
in question, in dispute, under discussion, under consideration, for debate

make an issue of

Treat too seriously or as a problem.
Example sentences
  • Still, neither candidate made an issue of either the law or Flanagan's sexual orientation, and Jeffords retained the backing of gay rights groups.
  • That's a worry at the back of everyone's mind really, but because they're still employing people there nobody is making an issue of it.
  • The only people who are making an issue of this are the media.

take issue with

Disagree with; challenge: she takes issue with the notion of crime as unique to contemporary society
More example sentences
  • But note that he understood what I was getting at, even though he passionately disagreed, and took issue with my bitchy tone.
  • So, it's not the contents of the documents that you're taking issue with.
  • It is always worrying when people disagree with you by taking issue with an argument you never proposed.
disagree with, be in dispute with, be in contention with, be at variance with, be at odds with, argue with, quarrel with;
challenge, dispute, (call into) question



Example sentences
  • It enables the navigation authority to control, by licences issuable at its discretion, the installation and continuity of any works affecting the public river.
  • ‘A maximum of 13.9 million common shares are issuable to complete the private placement,’ the statement said.


Pronunciation: /ˈiSH(y)o͞oləs/
Example sentences
  • In feudal China, men had liberty to divorce their wives for reasons ranging from infidelity, laziness, loss of manners, to being issueless or even inability to curry favour with with her parents-in-law.
  • Despite enjoying all her freedom, Ms. Sudha had experienced the emptiness of an issueless family for about 15 years.
  • The last Maharajas died issueless even though each one of them had two wives.


Middle English (in the sense 'outflowing'): from Old French, based on Latin exitus, past participle of exire 'go out'.

  • exit from mid 16th century:

    Exit was used during the time of Shakespeare as a stage direction meaning ‘he or she goes out’, which is the word's literal meaning in Latin. (The plural equivalent, ‘they go out’, is exeunt.) One of the best-known uses of the word is in a speech from Shakespeare's As You Like It: ‘All the world's a stage, / And all the men and women merely players: / They have their exits and their entrances; /And one man in his time plays many parts, / His acts being seven ages.’ Shakespeare is also responsible for what must be the must famous of all stage directions, from The Winter's Tale: ‘Exit, pursued by a bear’. People started using exit to mean ‘a way out’ at the end of the 17th century. The sounds of the Latin were softened in French to become the source of issue (Middle English).

Words that rhyme with issue

Mogadishu, tissue

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: is·sue

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