thanks·​giv·​ing | \ thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ How to pronounce thanksgiving (audio) also ˈthaŋ(k)s-ˌgi- How to pronounce thanksgiving (audio) \

Definition of thanksgiving

1a capitalized : thanksgiving day
b : a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness
2 : the act of giving thanks
3 : a prayer expressing gratitude

Examples of thanksgiving in a Sentence

They sang a hymn of thanksgiving.
Recent Examples on the Web Also on this day: 1789: Americans observe a day of thanksgiving set aside by President George Washington to mark the adoption of the Constitution of the United States. Bryan Robinson, Fox News, "This Day in History: Nov. 26," 26 Nov. 2020 Washington declared a day of thanksgiving and prayer in 1789, partly to honor the new U.S. Constitution. Katey Psencik And David Jackson, USA TODAY, "Here's why Thanksgiving is always on the fourth Thursday of November," 24 Nov. 2020 That’s happened without regard to the tradition ostensibly started by the Pilgrims, whose first thanksgiving feast, which apparently occurred after rains brought relief from a long drought, is thought to have occurred on July 30, 1623. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: To save lives, let’s postpone Thanksgiving," 18 Nov. 2020 For more information on delivery and thanksgiving meals visit Sarah Brookbank, The Enquirer, "Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse offering home delivery, Thanksgiving meal kits," 29 Oct. 2020 Mass is God really and truly present on our Catholic altars, a living unbloody victim offered again for the sins of men, offered, too, in thanksgiving for all the wondrous graces that unceasing flow from God’s great mercy throne on high. al, "Priest supported closing churches during 1918 flu pandemic, lamented loss of Mass," 17 Apr. 2020 The Daijosai, or great thanksgiving festival, is the most important succession ritual an emperor performs. Washington Post, "Japan emperor’s harvest rite is his 1st communion with gods," 14 Nov. 2019 Deer meat was likely the centerpiece of the first thanksgiving. Matthew Every, Outdoor Life, "8 Wild Recipes to Recreate the First Thanksgiving," 26 Nov. 2019 In 1789, Americans observed a day of thanksgiving set aside by President George Washington to mark the adoption of the US Constitution., "This day in history," 26 Nov. 2019

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

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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The first known use of thanksgiving was in 1533

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Cite this Entry

“Thanksgiving.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of thanksgiving

: the fourth Thursday in November in the U.S. or the second Monday in October in Canada celebrated as a legal holiday for people to be thankful for what they have
formal : a prayer that expresses thanks to God


thanks·​giv·​ing | \ thaŋks-ˈgi-viŋ How to pronounce thanksgiving (audio) \

Kids Definition of thanksgiving

1 capitalized : thanksgiving day
2 : a prayer or an expression of gratitude

More from Merriam-Webster on thanksgiving

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thanksgiving

Nglish: Translation of thanksgiving for Spanish Speakers

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