thanks·​giv·​ing | \thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ also ˈthaŋ(k)s-ˌgi- \

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

Celebration and thanksgiving were not the only purpose of the gathering. Steve West,, "A rally for MAMA | Opinion," 9 July 2018 Later in the day, Meghan and Harry will take part in a service of commemoration and thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey. Erin Hill,, "Somber Morning for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as They Attend Veterans' Memorial Service," 25 Apr. 2018 For the ceremony May 19, Heinz read from scripture, offered a prayer of blessing and thanksgiving and sprinkled the animals in attendance with holy water. Karen Ann Cullotta,, "Supporters of The Buddy Foundation and their pets gather for blessing ceremony in Arlington Heights," 21 May 2018 As a gesture of their own thanksgiving, the two teenagers decided to clean up and used a Volkswagen microbus to haul the Brocks’ leftover trash to the local dump. Thomas Farragher,, "What’s changed since ‘Alice’s Restaurant’? Everything, and nothing at all," 5 May 2018 All are welcome to attend the school dedication ceremony on Saturday, Aug. 4, at 10 a.m. The church will host a brief Mass of thanksgiving, followed by a blessing of the school building. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Epiphany of the Lord Catholic School accepting applications," 27 Mar. 2018 The Abbey announced there would also be a service of thanksgiving in Hawking's honor later in the year. Ben Westcott, CNN, "Stephen Hawking's ashes to sit near graves of Newton and Darwin," 20 Mar. 2018 Apparently, Chrissy, John Legend, and some friends decided to host a Thanksgiving dinner in February, which, sure, why not. getting ready for a thanksgiving feast. breaking boundaries today. Mehera Bonner, Marie Claire, "Chrissy Teigen Did a Salt Bae Impression at Dinner and We Are Living," 28 Feb. 2018 Leaders from area churches of many denominations offered prayers of thanksgiving and to the world, nation, state and city of La Cañada Flintridge. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "YMCA annual prayer breakfast draws a crowd with keynote speaker Courtney B. Vance," 2 Nov. 2017

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.

See More

First Known Use of thanksgiving

1533, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thanksgiving



English Language Learners Definition of thanksgiving

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

: a prayer that expresses thanks to God


thanks·​giv·​ing | \thaŋks-ˈgi-viŋ \

Kids Definition of thanksgiving

1 capitalized : thanksgiving day

2 : a prayer or an expression of gratitude

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on thanksgiving

What made you want to look up thanksgiving? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a private place of worship

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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