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 The most important, thankless job in the world, being on a school board. The Enquirer, 22 July 2021 By contrast, Johansson’s Natasha has to be the responsible sibling in terms of plot lifting and restatement of mission — a thankless task, but the actress carries it with aplomb., 7 July 2021 Jews who collected taxes for Rome were considered traitors, so the show’s writers depict Matthew the tax collector as on the autism spectrum, reasoning that a social outcast might gravitate toward a profitable but thankless job. Chris Deville, The Atlantic, 27 June 2021 The latest blow to the city is the mass resignation of the Portland Police Bureau’s Rapid Response Team, which is responsible for policing protests in the city — a challenging, endless, and literally thankless job. Rich Lowry, National Review, 22 June 2021 And in the aftermath, the Danish players have said they were put in a thankless position, having to decide whether to resume the match or restart it the next day at noon. Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 June 2021 In a broader sense, both shows are part of a trend toward entertainment that demystifies the hard, invisible, largely thankless, disproportionately pink-collar labor that goes into manufacturing that same entertainment. Judy Berman, Time, 11 June 2021 Bertie works a thankless job where she feels ignored by the preening men around her and dreams of opening her own bakery. Jenna Scherer, Rolling Stone, 22 June 2021 The endless grind of thankless tasks makes her second-guess herself. Lovia Gyarkye, The New Republic, 20 May 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

29 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thankless.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Aug. 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

Nglish: Translation of thankless for Spanish Speakers


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