\ 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 To pee, astronauts use a funnel attached to a hose that uses a fan to pull the urine into a tank. Amy Thompson, Smithsonian Magazine, "NASA Just Sent a New $23 Million Space Toilet to the International Space Station," 9 Oct. 2020 Traditionally, your hot water sits in a big tank that holds as much as 80 gallons. Bob Beacham, chicagotribune.com, "The best tankless water heater of 2020," 6 Oct. 2020 So, hunting for office supplies — albeit with the help of a walker, two physical therapists and a supplemental oxygen tank — truly represents a milestone. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Coming back from COVID-19: ‘Your mind is active, but you cannot talk, you cannot write, you’re stuck inside’," 5 Oct. 2020 Bella Hadid took the same brand in a different direction, wearing Chrome Hearts leather jeans, a white tank, and Amina Muaddi heels. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Rihanna Revived the Red Carpet at Savage x Fenty," 2 Oct. 2020 Each home has a small septic-type tank where wastewater was collected before piped to one of the city's two treatment plants. Laurinda Joenks, Arkansas Online, "Bethel Heights sewer customers to receive refunds," 30 Sep. 2020 Jose Juan Perez works to drain a fermentation tank and separate the skins at Castillo di Amorosa in Calistoga, Calif. on Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "2020's fire damage to Napa wineries already far exceeds 2017, and it may not be done," 29 Sep. 2020 Possible water sources linked to his death were identified as a splash pad, water storage tank, a fire hydrant and a water hose bib, Fox 26 reported. Alexandria Hein, Fox News, "Texas boy's brain-eating amoeba death leads city to flush water system," 29 Sep. 2020 Mundo said testing of 11 samples of the city’s water found three with preliminary positive results for the microbe — in a storage tank for the splash pad, a dead-end fire hydrant downtown near the splash pad, and in the hose bib at Josiah's home. NBC News, "Texas city where boy, 6, died of brain-eating amoeba to purge water system for 60 days," 29 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Miami didn’t have to tank and bottom out to reach the Finals. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "How Miami Heat's 2020 NBA Finals run gives Detroit Pistons rebuild a blueprint," 7 Oct. 2020 Saudi's surge of shipments to the United States was designed to tank the market and crowd out high-cost producers, including frackers in North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma. Matt Egan, CNN, "Saudi oil shipments to America plunge to 35-year low," 1 Sep. 2020 But for Black business owners—the least likely to receive bank loans and VC funding—the cost to be in retail is a heavy burden, and a deal to supply a national chain can either make their business or tank it. Gerald Porter Jr., Bloomberg.com, "The 15% Pledge Is a Mixed Blessing for Black Beauty Brands," 24 Sep. 2020 Sheesh, the Jacksonville Jaguars can’t even tank right. Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, "UCF’s Josh Heupel to team: ‘If you’re juiceless, you’re useless’ | Commentary," 17 Sep. 2020 Other activists worried that a ballot question on bathhouses would bring out an antagonistic electorate and tank the chances of two openly gay candidates running for public office. Ryan Kost, SFChronicle.com, "Bathhouse ban revoked: Amid one pandemic, San Francisco confronts legacy of another," 12 Sep. 2020 Agreeing that climate change is factual is tantamount to betting on their investment portfolio to tank. Howie Milstein, Star Tribune, "Getting along in America: Here's what's very human about our divisions," 11 Sep. 2020 The desire to tank for Oklahoma State guard Cade Cunningham or any other player in a stacked 2021 draft class may be strong for some in the fanbase. Omari Sankofa Ii, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Pistons want Blake Griffin to 'kick ass' next year. What does that mean for the rebuild?," 26 Aug. 2020 But wearing one doesn’t have to tank your workout, either. Amy Marturana Winderl, SELF, "How to Safely Exercise While Wearing a Mask Outside," 3 Sep. 2020

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

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tank. Accessed 25 Oct. 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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