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

Examples of tank in a Sentence


Some people say she deliberately tanked the match. Some people have accused her of tanking.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

It’s two engines instead of one, which complicates the fluid arrangements to bring the propellants down from the tanks to the two engines. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Getting Vulcan up to speed: Part one of our interview with Tory Bruno," 11 Dec. 2018 The payload, known as Robotic Refueling Mission-3, will test out transferring super cold propellants in orbit, mimicking how a servicing spacecraft might fill up the tank of a satellite already in space. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Watch SpaceX launch thousands of pounds of cargo and experiments to the International Space Station," 5 Dec. 2018 SIL’s fleet comprises at least 50 chemical tankers and a set of chemical-tank container ships. Costas Paris, WSJ, "China’s Sinochem Will Sell Logistics Arm in Rare Privatization Move," 11 Apr. 2019 Step 10: Slowly turn the water supply valve to fill the tank. Candace Braun Davison, House Beautiful, "How to Install a Toilet," 9 Apr. 2019 In addition to their basic load of ammunition, food, medical and other supplies, soldiers needed to carry heavy equipment such as machine gun bullets, AT4 anti-tank rockets, and Javelin missile rounds on their own person. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Grizzly Is a Rugged Tank Robot That Could Carry a Soldier’s Stuff," 29 Mar. 2019 Simply dispense the cleaner and water mixture through the hose, agitate the fabric with the brush nozzle, and vacuum up the dirt into the tank. Carolyn Forte, Good Housekeeping, "How to Clean a Couch Like a Pro," 29 Mar. 2019 The Koreas' 248-kilometer (155-mile) border is the world's most heavily fortified, with hundreds of thousands of troops stationed along a line that's laced with mines, barbed wire fences and anti-tank traps. Fox News, "South Korean president heads to North for summit with Kim," 18 Sep. 2018 Trump has sent cutting-edge Javelin anti-tank missiles for use by Kiev's forces. Fred Weir, The Christian Science Monitor, "Upcoming Trump-Putin summit gives Russians hope for US thaw," 3 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And that says nothing about if the Chinese economy starts to tank. Eric Johnson, Recode, "American capitalism broke in the 1980s. Can it be fixed?," 7 Nov. 2018 Dalic took over even later than that, arriving with one game of qualifying left to salvage a campaign that looked to have tanked. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "Croatia's Character, Resiliency on Full Display in Shocking Run to World Cup Final," 11 July 2018 Car sales — while expected to pull back from last year's levels — aren't expected to tank in 2018, thanks to the overall strong jobs picture. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "Susan Tompor: Pockets of angst — and higher interest rates — cloud picture for car sales," 25 Jan. 2018 The most likely scenario for the coming year, according to Francisco Rodriguez, chief economist at Torino Capital, is that Venezuela continues to muddle along with a tanking economy. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, "Venezuelan Leader Starts Second Term With Grim Outlook," 10 Jan. 2019 When the economy tanked a decade ago, Ellen Waylonis took a voluntary layoff from her marketing job and pursued her longtime secret ambition: running off to join the circus. BostonGlobe.com, "Her circus business embraces the unconventional," 14 July 2018 After the oil market tanked in late 2014, Cantu demanded an accounting. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, "FourWinds bookkeeper who testified against Uresti sentenced to year in prison camp," 11 July 2018 That’s all come at a time when sedan sales are absolutely tanking in the US, causing major automakers like Ford and Fiat Chrysler to go all-in on lineups that almost exclusively feature SUVs and trucks. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Tesla’s Model Y crossover is ready for production, Elon Musk says," 25 Oct. 2018 But there is no way policy makers can allow such a massive amount of debt to go under without tanking the banking system and the bond market. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "China’s Fiscal Song And Dance Could Trip Up Investors," 13 Sep. 2018

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

20 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tank

The first known use of tank was in 1609

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on tank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tank

Spanish Central: Translation of tank

Nglish: Translation of tank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tank for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about tank

Comments on tank

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