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

Other Words from thankless

thanklessly adverb
thanklessness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for thankless



Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 The show finds humor in the solidarity of a thankless job, offering the kinds of genuine laughs that might provide a glimmer of light on an otherwise hellish workday. Mankaprr Conteh, Rolling Stone, 28 June 2022 Lapid became finance minister, a difficult and often thankless task. Josef Federman, ajc, 21 June 2022 Judging by the reactions, their job is usually a thankless task. WSJ, 14 June 2022 Boylen’s current job is a largely thankless and massive undertaking. Tim Reynolds, ajc, 30 June 2022 The older man then offers Casey a thankless live-in position as houseboy and party plaything, basically stripping him of every last shred of dignity. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 June 2022 Driving around to save 10 cents a gallon on gas might seem like a thankless chore to many even as oil prices skyrocketed in light of developments relating to Russian oil. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 1 Mar. 2022 For decades, undocumented immigrants have worked thankless, hard, dangerous jobs for low pay and suffered untold abuse. Baltimore Sun, 18 May 2022 In his late 60s, Meir seeks purpose in unnecessary carpentry projects and thankless community service. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of thankless

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About thankless

Time Traveler for thankless

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for thankless

Last Updated

29 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Thankless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for thankless


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

Nglish: Translation of thankless for Spanish Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!