\ 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 The rocket's engines and their novel use of a liquid oxygen and liquid propylene fuel have worked as intended, but the fuel tanks were too heavy. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Vector’s CEO departs, rocket company pausing its operations [Updated]," 10 Aug. 2019 And its fighter jets, tanks and submarines are in a woeful state of disrepair. Los Angeles Times, "U.S. envoy warns Germany: Pay more or risk losing protection," 9 Aug. 2019 Trump confirmed that tanks and other vehicles would be present for his speech. Michael Collins, USA TODAY, "'Show of a lifetime': Donald Trump defends 4th of July extravaganza amid questions about cost, politicization," 3 July 2019 The tanks are in place for the display of military muscle and protesters are ready to make their voices heard. Kevin Freking, Twin Cities, "Trump vows July 4 ‘show of a lifetime’ as protesters gather," 3 July 2019 Two 60-ton Abrams tanks will be on display for the parade Thursday that will also feature a march of ceremonial troops and flyovers of the Blue Angels demonstration team, F-35 stealth jets and the Air Force One jumbo jet that... Nancy A. Youssef, WSJ, "How Do You Move a 60-Ton Tank Across Washington?," 2 July 2019 Not to mention, the chic factor of a sleek, sophisticated knit tank is undeniable. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "The Knit Tank Is The Top Of The Summer, Here's Where to Snag One," 1 July 2019 Cowl-necked sweatshirts are also very soccer girl, as are muscle tanks that resemble scrimmage pinnies. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "How “soccer girl” became the indisputably coolest look," 14 June 2019 The Jewett City boy lives with state-of-the-art medical equipment, including a Hoyer lift over his bed and oxygen tanks beside it. Denise Coffey, courant.com, "Challenges Remain For Jewett City 4-Year-Old," 16 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb How much turnover have the Dolphins undergone in their obvious quest to tank the season and ideally land a franchise quarterback in the draft? BostonGlobe.com, "PREDICTION, OR DO YOU THINK DAN MARINO STILL GIVES HIS RECEIVERS ISOTONER GLOVES FOR CHRISTMAS?," 14 Sep. 2019 Ole Miss’ season ticket sales have tanked this year, and starting the season with an ugly performance against Memphis isn’t going to rally any interest. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Tennessee stunned in worst loss ever and more college football observations from Week 1," 31 Aug. 2019 Pence, who had been scheduled to speak long before the recent market swings, told his audience that the markets would tank and there very well could be the recession naysayers are predicting — if any of the Democrats running for president win. Kathryn Watson, CBS News, "Pence insists economy is strong, blaming media for "irresponsible rhetoric"," 19 Aug. 2019 That was the slowest June since 2008, when the real estate market tanked and the U.S. economy sank into a deep recession. Karen D'souza, The Mercury News, "Bidding wars plummet as Bay Area housing market cools," 9 Aug. 2019 The image of Laremy Tunsil taking a bong hit from a gas mask that surfaced on draft night in 2016 didn’t just tank his draft stock, and make the Ole Miss offensive lineman infamous. Omar Kelly, sun-sentinel.com, "A more mature Laremy Tunsil wants a contract extension from Dolphins, but he isn’t pushing for it," 27 July 2019 That changed after China embarked on economic reforms four decades ago while the North stuck to orthodox communism's shibboleths of state ownership and central planning, even as its economy tanked and starvation grew. Christopher Bodeen, Fox News, "Xi's NKorea visit a chance to strengthen ties, influence US," 20 June 2019 The discovery of the munitions shook the community, tanking property values and prompting more than a dozen lawsuits, including one from Orange County schools against the engineers who approved the construction of Odyssey Middle on the bombing site. Karina Elwood, orlandosentinel.com, "Agreement calls for city to spend $31 million on roads for southeast Orlando development on WWII-era bomb site," 3 June 2019 General Manager Chris Grier went far too far in tanking with this roster and coach Brian Flores has lost the locker room. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: Does anyone really understand what the Dolphins are doing?," 17 Sep. 2019

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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for tank

The first known use of tank was in 1609

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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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