thank·​less | \ ˈthaŋk-ləs How to pronounce thankless (audio) \

Definition of thankless

1 : not likely to obtain thanks : unappreciated a thankless task
2 : not expressing or feeling gratitude : ungrateful how sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child— William Shakespeare

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Other Words from thankless

thanklessly adverb
thanklessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for thankless



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Examples of thankless in a Sentence

a thankless boss who seems oblivious to the extra effort his subordinates have made the thankless job of cleaning up after a party
Recent Examples on the Web Public works takes on the vital and often thankless work of maintaining the bedrock functions of this city — the drinking water, the sewers, the streets. Star Tribune, 28 May 2021 The beginnings of a coaching career can be thankless. Dan Labbe, cleveland, 25 May 2021 Bobby Cannavale and Pom Klementieff try to camp up villains who barely register as presences, while Melissa Leo plays a character so thankless that her eventual betrayal is basically broadcast from the start. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 9 Apr. 2021 And that’s probably fine unless next year’s producers can convince someone to take on this thankless job. Glenn Whipp, Los Angeles Times, 26 Apr. 2021 Again, as expected, rather than continuing to fight the thankless war against the woke mob, Azaria simply raised the white flag of surrender. Pradheep J. Shanker, National Review, 18 Apr. 2021 As her foil, Spencer is stuck in a fairly thankless role as the straitlaced straight woman, her aptitude for wisecracking and comedic timing subsumed to McCarthy's wilder energy. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 9 Apr. 2021 Being Black in corporate America is a thankless job. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 5 Apr. 2021 Boulley worked in education in Native communities for her entire adult life, doing the often thankless labor that keeps communities going. Jenny Singer, Glamour, 31 Mar. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thankless.' 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 thankless

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for thankless

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The first known use of thankless was in the 15th century

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Statistics for thankless

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thankless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for thankless



English Language Learners Definition of thankless

: difficult and not valued by other people
: not showing or feeling thanks


thank·​less | \ ˈthaŋk-ləs How to pronounce thankless (audio) \

Kids Definition of thankless

2 : not appreciated It's a thankless job.

More from Merriam-Webster on thankless

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thankless

Nglish: Translation of thankless for Spanish Speakers


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