\ ˈtaŋk How to pronounce tank (audio) \

Definition of tank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a usually large receptacle for holding, transporting, or storing liquids (such as water or fuel)
2 : an enclosed heavily armed and armored combat vehicle that moves on tracks
3 : tank top
4 dialect : pond, pool especially : one built as a water supply
5 : a prison cell or enclosure used especially for receiving prisoners
in the tank or into the tank
: in or into a decline or slump the sullen student's grades went into the tank


tanked; tanking; tanks

Definition of tank (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to make no effort to win : lose intentionally tanked the match
2 : to place, store, or treat in a tank

intransitive verb

1 : to lose intentionally : give up in competition
2 : to suffer rapid decline, failure, or collapse bought a stock that quickly tanked

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Other Words from tank


tankful \ ˈtaŋk-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce tank (audio) \ noun
tanklike \ ˈtaŋk-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tank (audio) \ adjective

Examples of tank in a Sentence

Verb Some people say she deliberately tanked the match. Some people have accused her of tanking.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Days earlier at a hospital in western India, 22 critically ill patients died when an oxygen tank ruptured. Billy Perrigo, Time, "How Countries Around the World Are Helping India Fight COVID-19—and How You Can Too," 27 Apr. 2021 Officials believe the blaze, which also injured at least 110 others, was caused by an oxygen tank that had exploded, per the two outlets. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "82 People Dead, Hundreds Injured After Oxygen Tank Explodes at COVID Hospital in Iraq: Reports," 26 Apr. 2021 Confirming the number of dead and injured in an interview with state media, Khalid al-Muhanna, a spokesman for Iraq's interior ministry, said the fire had been caused by an exploding oxygen tank, according to Reuters. NBC News, "At least 82 killed in huge fire at Baghdad hospital for Covid-19 patients," 25 Apr. 2021 On Wednesday, at least 22 covid-19 patients died at a hospital in the western part of the country after an oxygen tank leaked, disrupting supply. Washington Post, "Covid-19 live updates India announces most daily new infections in history of the pandemic with nearly 315,000," 22 Apr. 2021 Though on his way to recovery, Hercules will still use an oxygen tank while at home. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Coronavirus survivor hugs daughters after months-long hospital stay," 26 Mar. 2021 Several dive centers will also take scuba enthusiasts to the island's many shipwrecks, sea caves, and coral walls that are unreachable without an oxygen tank. Elizabeth Heath, Travel + Leisure, "This Tiny Hidden Island Off the Coast of Tuscany Offers Crystalline Sea Views, Hidden Coves for Snorkeling, and Amazing Hikes," 20 Mar. 2021 Marin said his life was spared when a neighbor showed up at the door with an oxygen tank a few hours later, sustaining him until the power returned. Mike Hixenbaugh, ProPublica, "Texans Recovering From COVID-19 Needed Oxygen. Then the Power Went Out.," 9 Mar. 2021 An oxygen mask with no tube connecting it to an oxygen tank, no reflections of snow or mountains in a man’s sunglasses and limp flags in a place known for lacerating winds. New York Times, "Nepal Seeks to Ban 2 Climbers It Says Faked Everest Summit," 1 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb It’s been endlessly covered in the news at this point that America’s housing market is on fire, even as commercial office and other more public real estate asset classes continue to tank in dozens of cities across the country. Peter Lane Taylor, Forbes, "These Are America’s Top Ten Hottest Housing Markets Right Now. Should Homeowners Sell High Or Stay?," 27 Apr. 2021 Regardless of what some fans like to do with tanking memes online, there's no incentive for the Wolves to tank this year. Chris Hine, Star Tribune, "Timberwolves mailbag: Tanking and Rubio talk," 29 Jan. 2021 Manchin and Murkowski helped tank Biden’s first pick for the deputy position, Liz Klein, who Interior recently tapped instead to be senior counselor to the secretary, a position not requiring Senate confirmation. Josh Siegel, Washington Examiner, "Daily on Energy: Kerry struggling to lock down commitments from China and India," 14 Apr. 2021 Interest in bitcoin and other digital assets blossoms when prices are climbing, and likewise can crash when prices tank. John Detrixhe, Quartz, "Coinbase’s CEO got paid three times Goldman’s CEO in 2020—and other pre-IPO surprises," 12 Apr. 2021 Some question his ability to remain disciplined, others believe the election fraud quest and subsequent lawsuit tank his viability. Stephen Montemayor, Star Tribune, "Mike Lindell's biggest gamble: Giving hard sell to baseless election fraud claims," 12 Mar. 2021 As international air traffic continues to tank this year, airports have suffered a catastrophic hit to their revenue, with retail—a major profit driver—under the most intense pressure ever due to the lack of passengers. Kevin Rozario, Forbes, "Tax-Free Sales, The Traveler Experience, And The Airport Financial Model," 9 Mar. 2021 Steve Hanke urged policy-makers not to be tempted to push the dollar down: President Biden should ignore pleas to tank the dollar in the interest of closing the U.S. trade and current-account deficits. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, "Rule by Regulation," 6 Mar. 2021 The lack of liquidity coupled with price discovery can be seen in the volatility of crypto-currency markets, where just a few trades can tank or lift the market. Vipin Bharathan, Forbes, "Roxe Announces A Global CBDC Payment Network Powered By Blockchain," 2 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tank


1609, in the meaning defined at sense 4


1863, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for tank


Portuguese tanque, alteration of estanque, from estancar to stanch, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *stanticare — more at stanch

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Statistics for tank

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tank. Accessed 9 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for tank



English Language Learners Definition of tank

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a container for holding a liquid or gas
: the amount that a tank will hold
: a military vehicle that moves on two large metal belts with wheels inside them and that is covered in heavy armor



English Language Learners Definition of tank (Entry 2 of 2)

US, informal
: to be very unsuccessful : to fail completely
: to make no effort to win a contest (such as a tennis match) : to deliberately lose a game, match, etc.


\ ˈtaŋk How to pronounce tank (audio) \

Kids Definition of tank

1 : an often large container for a liquid water tank fish tank
2 : an enclosed combat vehicle that has heavy armor and guns and a tread which is an endless belt

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