\ 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

Other Words from tank


tankful \ ˈtaŋk-​ˌfu̇l How to pronounce tank (audio) \ noun
tanklike \ ˈtaŋk-​ˌlīk How to pronounce tank (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 former phone company cable splicer is tethered to an oxygen tank and dependent on a variety of medications. The Washington Post, Arkansas Online, 15 Nov. 2021 Parker is particularly charming and breathless as one of Stoltz’s toughest colleagues who carries around an oxygen tank to help her breathing. Marshall Heyman, Vulture, 22 Oct. 2021 At one bust, agents found a man in protective garments with an air tank on his back. Sam Quinones, The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2021 There are clear tubes stretched across the shaggy carpet of their home, with one end leading to an oxygen tank and the other always pointing out where Tina is, usually in the red recliner with Bulma at her feet. Courtney Tanner, The Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Oct. 2021 At nearly two hours, this is a long ride on an empty gas tank. Washington Post, 30 Aug. 2021 The ones linked above come with an empty 5-pound CO2 tank, but other models do not. Parker Hall, Wired, 14 Aug. 2021 He was discharged on July 8, tethered to an oxygen tank. New York Times, 3 Aug. 2021 Hamm left the hospital with an oxygen tank and hearing aids. al, 16 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If passed, the Democrats’ real-estate tax proposals will tank property values. Dan Palmer And David Williams, WSJ, 25 Oct. 2021 Those restrictions mean that any lawmaker, particularly in the Senate, could effectively tank the legislation over his or her priorities, including insisting that the bill repeal SALT. New York Times, 2 Nov. 2021 At the time, then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and his team were convinced letting that single fund fail would tank global markets. William Pesek, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 McConnell's threat has prompted outrage from Democrats, who have said the GOP leader is playing a dangerous game that could tank the US economy. Clare Foran, Ted Barrett And Ali Zaslav, CNN, 27 Sep. 2021 While the surge in home buying — and the accompanying price gains — was welcome in a state where the home sale market struggled after the recession of the late 2000s, there is the danger that an overheated market can tank. Kenneth R. Gosselin, courant.com, 17 Oct. 2021 As shown in the video below, this can negate all damage from enemy players while they are attached, and reportedly this can even tank Golden Gun super shots. Paul Tassi, Forbes, 16 Oct. 2021 Manchin isn't coming up with an arbitrary number in an effort to tank the twin pieces of legislation being pushed by Biden. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 Progressives have the numbers to tank the vote with their powerful 96-person caucus. Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY, 29 Sep. 2021

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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Last Updated

2 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tank.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tank. Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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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)

: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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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