\ 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
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

Verb Some people say she deliberately tanked the match. Some people have accused her of tanking.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun According to the think-tank’s three-month lockdown estimate, the debt-to-GDP ratio will soon head back to the 100% mark—a level not seen since the 1950s, when Britain was still burdened with the costs of fighting the second world war. The Economist, "Not so burdensome As debt soars, the cost of servicing it keeps falling," 23 May 2020 The fund, which gained 40% last year shorting U.S. shale companies, has turned its attention to oil tanks filling up at various points around the world, particularly at the biggest U.S. hub in Cushing, Oklahoma. Nishant Kumar, Bloomberg.com, "Energy Hedge Fund That Shorted Oil Sees Chance for $100 a Barrel," 8 May 2020 Some are still coughing or tethered to oxygen tanks. Amy Harmon, BostonGlobe.com, "After coronavirus, survivors’ symptoms include relief — and guilt," 11 Apr. 2020 The Batwa were being visited weekly by a nurse and had access to a rainwater tank. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "These Lodges Are Going Above and Beyond to Give Back to Their Communities," 6 Apr. 2020 Meanwhile, shark Kevin O’Leary thought Fay came to the tank too early for a partnership. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "'Shark Tank' recap: Takeout pasta innovator sees the dough with Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner," 28 Mar. 2020 The country’s hospitals are groaning under the weight of the pandemic: Video and photos from two hospitals in the Spanish capital showed patients, many hooked up to oxygen tanks, crowding corridors and emergency rooms. SFChronicle.com, "Spain suffers newspike in death toll," 25 Mar. 2020 Mommy Shark had been moved to a smaller tank and Daddy Shark had been out of the picture since March of last year, his role in making a family short and sweet. Karina Bland, azcentral, "Take it from real baby sharks (and their human keepers): That song got it all wrong," 6 Mar. 2020 The opening to the tank that Charleigh fell into was less than two feet in diameter, KRIS reported. Fox News, "Girl, 2, drowns at Texas RV park after falling 15 feet into septic tank, officials say," 23 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb With oil prices tanking as the coronavirus spread, oil producers started shutting in wells, hurting NuStar’s pipeline business. Patrick Danner, ExpressNews.com, "Rackspace co-founder Graham Weston drops $2M on San Antonio stock," 15 May 2020 Others have asked farmers to reduce production by 20 percent or to dump it down the drain so milk prices don’t tank. Laura Reiley, Washington Post, "Full fields, empty food banks," 23 Apr. 2020 Oil prices tanked amid forecasts that demand will tumble this year. The Economist, "Business this week," 23 Apr. 2020 As commodity prices tank, economies whose finances rely heavily on resource extraction, who were already facing headwinds before the shutdowns and price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia, are being hit especially hard. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, "The World Order Is Broken. The Coronavirus Proves It.," 22 Apr. 2020 In addition to tanking the economy, COVID-19 has infected at least 770,138 people and killed 37,186 people in the United States as of Monday afternoon, according to the Times. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "Oil Prices Go Negative For First Time Ever as Lack of Demand Leads to Surplus," 20 Apr. 2020 The pound could weaken to the point where $1 would buy £1, and house prices could tank. Charles Riley, CNN, "A dissenting voice emerges at the Federal Reserve," 22 Sep. 2019 After the housing bubble popped in 2006, prices tanked for five years, bottoming in 2011. Ken Fisher, USA TODAY, "3 reasons real estate is a lousy retirement investment: location, location, location," 9 June 2019 Prices for all of our export-sensitive farm goods have tanked since May, when this tariff game started. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "The Trade Casualties Mount," 20 July 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

2 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tank. Accessed 3 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for tank


How to pronounce tank (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

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