\ 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

Multiple people described a leaking propane tank, Norcross said. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Boat explosion and fire leaves part of Whittier dock unsafe and hundreds of pounds of fish in limbo," 12 July 2019 Baumel, an American Israeli born in Brooklyn, was driving a tank when his unit was attacked by Syrian forces. Loveday Morris, Washington Post, "An Israeli soldier went MIA 37 years ago. International intrigue and DNA testing brought him home.," 11 July 2019 Cocktails include such nautical specialties as The Perfect Storm and the Sea Foam Dream, which uses a novel bartending tool — a fish tank aerator — to foam up fruit juice. Rand Richards Cooper, courant.com, "Review: Brizo in Rocky Hill," 10 July 2019 The video shows a Russian T-80U main battle tank with a 2A46 125-millimeter gun. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Russian Tank Transforms Into World's Largest Fruit Slicer," 10 July 2019 Bisset coordinated with Jolie in a simple white suit, layered with a white tank underneath and paired with a brown handbag, a gold chain necklace, classic sunnies, and two-tone Chanel heels. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "Angelina Jolie Proves She is, In Fact, A Greek Goddess," 9 July 2019 More than 4,000 of their frozen embryos and eggs were destroyed when a high-capacity freezer tank failed at University Hospitals Fertility Center in Cleveland one Saturday in early March 2018. Dov Fox, Vox, "The legal limbo of lost embryos," 3 July 2019 That shouldn't really matter at the start on Sunday, when adrenaline is high and everyone is starting with a full tank. Avi Creditor, SI.com, "Netherlands Ousts Sweden in Extra Time, Sets Up Women's World Cup Final vs. USA," 3 July 2019 Vacuum suction moves the waste and water into a collection tank. Manuel Canales, National Geographic, "These new toilets could solve a global problem," 22 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

By John Lingan Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 251 pages, $27 Despite those accomplishments, McCoy’s hopes for stardom tanked when plans for a breakthrough album collapsed. Dave Shiflett, WSJ, "‘Homeplace’ Review: Enticed by Twang and Sawdust," 11 July 2019 Played sparingly and averaged 4.9 points and Tyler starting the final 23 games of the season should have been ample proof the Warriors were tanking for a better draft pick. Jon Becker, The Mercury News, "Grading every Warriors draft pick in Joe Lacob Era," 20 June 2019 But as his presidency wore on and the economy began to tank, many came to view him as ill-equipped to govern, especially in matters of the economy. Washington Post, "Demetris Christofias, embattled former president of Cyprus, dies at 72," 21 June 2019 But as his presidency wore on and the economy began to tank, many came to view him as ill-equipped to govern, especially in matters of the economy. Menelaos Hadjicostis, BostonGlobe.com, "Dimitris Christofias, ex-president of Cyprus, dies at 72," 21 June 2019 The Warriors did not have to tank to get him, or to draft Draymond Green in the second round, or to sign Kevin Durant in free agency. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "Raptors showing wisdom of being bold," 8 June 2019 Related: Former Trump adviser dumped millions in steel stocks days before the president announced new tariffs Harley-Davidson's stock tanked after Trump's March 1 announcement. Ryan Sit, Newsweek, "How Trump's Tariffs Could Screw Harley-Davidson in Two Ways," 6 Mar. 2018 In the memo, Silver cautions teams that the NBA will be monitoring tanking more closely than ever and any teams perceived by the league to be intentionally losing will suffer severe penalties. Sean Meagher, OregonLive.com, "NBA commissioner Adam Silver: Tanking has no place in our game," 28 Feb. 2018 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

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

15 Jul 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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something desired as essential

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