It's a Wrap: Definition, Meaning and Origin

Last Updated on
May 8, 2023

The idiom "it's a wrap" signifies the completion of a project, task, or event. It originates from the film industry, where directors would announce the end of a shoot with the phrase, "That's a wrap." People have since adopted the expression more broadly to indicate the successful conclusion of various endeavors.

In short:

"It's a wrap" means that something has successfully come to an end.

What Does "It's a Wrap" Mean?

The idiom "it's a wrap" is an informal way to communicate that a project, event, or task has come to a successful conclusion. It often conveys a sense of accomplishment and closure.

  • Used to announce the end of an activity or project
  • Conveys a sense of completion and satisfaction

While the phrase is generally used in a positive context, it can also be used humorously or sarcastically, depending on the situation and tone of the speaker.

Where Does "It's a Wrap" Come From?

The idiom "it's a wrap" has its roots in the early days of filmmaking, originating from the phrase "That's a wrap!" Directors used the expression to signal the end of principal photography, marking the completion of the main work for the cast and crew. Although the exact origin of "wrap" in this context is uncertain, it likely stems from phrases like "let's wrap it up" or "time to wrap things up," suggesting the end of an activity or task. The term has since been extended to other creative endeavors, such as photo shoots, to signify the conclusion of a collaborative project.

Historical Examples

"It's a wrap. The crew will go on to dinner and afterward will view the dailies."

- New York Magazine, 1987

"It's A Wrap On The 1988 Competitive Season..."

- WaterSki Magazine, 1988

10 Examples of "It's a Wrap" in Sentences

Here are some examples of the idiom used in various contexts:

  • We finished the presentation, and now it's a wrap.
  • After months of planning, her glow-up photoshoot went smoothly, and it's a wrap.
  • We've submitted our final report, so it's a wrap on this project.
  • We have finally completed the project. It's a wrap! Stay tuned for the big reveal next week.
  • We've completed the last rehearsal; it's a wrap until opening night.
  • The band played their final song, and the concert was over: it's a wrap.
  • It's a wrap! Till next time, guys.
  • After hours of packing, we loaded the moving truck, and it's a wrap.
  • The director yelled out, "It's a wrap!" and everyone gathered around to celebrate with a cup of coffee.
  • Hey, about last night? It was an amazing party, but now it's a wrap and time to head back home.

Examples of "It's a Wrap" in Pop Culture

You will often encounter the phrase in television shows, movies, and literature to indicate the end of a project or event. Speakers commonly associate it with the entertainment industry, but it can apply to various situations.

  • "The Devil's Footprints: It's a Wrap" is a 2023 horror film by Sucen Amirak Nallem.
  • "It's hard to say goodbye when the director finally says, “It's a wrap!” is a line from the 2016 non-fiction book "Choose a Career Adventure in Hollywood" by Don Rauf.
  • "It's a wrap. The J Team is reassembled. And Hsi Wu's singing career is over" is a quote from the TV series Jackie Chan Adventures (2000-2005)

Other Ways to Say "It's a Wrap"

There are several alternative expressions that convey a similar meaning to "it's a wrap."

Some of these include:

  • That's a wrap
  • We're done here
  • It's all over
  • It's finished
  • Job's done
  • It's complete
  • That's the end

You can use these alternatives interchangeably depending on the context and the specific situation.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "It's a Wrap"

  • Is "it's a wrap" a formal expression?

"It's a wrap" is informal and typically used in casual or relaxed settings.

  • Can people use "it's a wrap" sarcastically?

Yes, depending on the tone and context, the phrase can be used sarcastically to create humor or express disappointment.

  • Is the phrase appropriate for professional settings?

While "it's a wrap" is informal, it can be used in professional settings when referring to the completion of a project or task, depending on the workplace culture.

  • Can people use the phrase in written communication?

People can use "it's a wrap" in emails, text messages, or other written communication to convey the end of an event or project.

  • Does the phrase apply exclusively to the entertainment industry?

No, "it's a wrap" began in film and television production but now is used broadly to indicate the completion of any task, project or activity.

  • Can one say, "It's a wrap" when referring to the end of a personal relationship?

While "it's a wrap" can be used to indicate the end of various situations, using it to refer to the end of a personal relationship may come across as insensitive or dismissive.

  • Is it okay to use the phrase when completing a group project?

Yes, "it's a wrap" can be used when a group project or collaborative effort has come to a successful conclusion.

  • What's the difference between "it's a wrap" and "we're done"?

"It's a wrap" typically conveys a sense of completion and accomplishment, while "we're done" can be used in a similar context but may also imply a more neutral or negative tone, depending on the situation.

  • Is it appropriate to say, "It's a wrap" after finishing a meal at a restaurant?

While "it's a wrap" is typically used to indicate the end of an event, project, or task, it can be informally used to convey the completion of a meal, but it might sound unusual in that context.

  • Is it okay to use the phrase when referring to the end of a sports game?

Yes, "it's a wrap" can be used to indicate the end of a sports game, especially when the outcome has been decided and the game is effectively over.

Final Thoughts About "It's A Wrap"

People would say, "It's a wrap" to signal the end or completion of an event, project, or task.  The idiom originated in the film industry, where filmmakers use it to announce the end of a day's filming or the completion of a movie or television production. It is now popular in various contexts, and you can use it to convey a sense of accomplishment or finality.

Key aspects of "it's a wrap":

  • Indicates the successful conclusion of a task or project
  • Conveys a sense of finality, achievement, and relief
  • It has roots in the film industry but may have other connotations today

Understanding the meaning and usage of "it's a wrap" not only enriches your English vocabulary but also provides you with an engaging way to mark the end of activities or projects. As with all idioms, the key to using "it's a wrap" effectively is understanding the context and connotations it carries.

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