thing

noun
\ ˈthiŋ How to pronounce thing (audio) \

Definition of thing

1 : an object or entity not precisely designated or capable of being designated use this thing
2a : an inanimate object distinguished from a living being
b : a separate and distinct individual quality, fact, idea, or usually entity
c : the concrete entity as distinguished from its appearances
d : a spatial entity
3 : individual not a living thing in sight
4a : a matter of concern : affair many things to do
b things plural : state of affairs in general or within a specified or implied sphere things are improving
c : a particular state of affairs : situation look at this thing another way
d : event, circumstance Meeting her was a wonderful thing.
5a things plural : possessions, effects pack your things
b : whatever may be possessed or owned or be the object of a right
c : an article of clothing not a thing to wear
d things plural : equipment or utensils especially for a particular purpose bring the tea things
6a : deed, act, accomplishment do great things
b : a product of work or activity likes to build things
c : the aim of effort or activity the thing is to get well
7a : something (such as an activity) that makes a strong appeal to the individual : forte, specialty letting students do their own thingNewsweek I think travelling is very much a novelist's thing— Philip Larkin
b : a mild obsession or phobia has a thing about driving also : the object of such an obsession or phobia
8a : detail, point checks every little thing
b : a material or substance of a specified kind avoid fatty things
9a : idea, notion says the first thing he thinks of
b : a piece of news or information couldn't get a thing out of him
c : a spoken or written observation or point
10 : the proper or fashionable way of behaving, talking, or dressing used with the

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of thing in a Sentence

What is that thing on the floor? He is good at making things out of clay. My doctor told me to avoid fatty things like donuts and potato chips. We must respect all living things. Birth is a miraculous thing. It was the worst thing that could have happened. That sunset was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Let's just forget about the whole thing and move on. The one thing I hate most is being lied to. Are all your things packed?
See More
Recent Examples on the Web As the night goes on and the caffeine wears off, people get loopy and start to see things. Andrew Nicla, AZCentral.com, "Late hours, no pay, diminishing returns: Scouring the Arizona desert for black-footed ferrets," 10 July 2019 Among other things, the latest Trump budget didn’t allocate enough money to efforts to restore the Everglades and reduce polluted water discharges from Lake Okeechobee, the Center told Quartz. Heather Timmons, Quartz, "The Trump White House tries to rewrite its own history on the environment," 9 July 2019 The best moment so far in the 2019 MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland is something that needs to become a thing in all MLB games. Andy Nesbitt, For The Win, "Freddie Freeman was mic'd up during his at-bat against Justin Verlander and it was pure gold," 9 July 2019 But a new review of studies in the journal Matter suggests the thing that makes mussels so maddening—their adhesive power—could have all sorts of applications in engineering. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Mussels’ Sticky Threads Could Inspire Ways to Clean Up Oil Spills, Purify Water and More," 13 July 2019 An inauthentic self—the worst thing a woman could be. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "‘The Weil Conjectures’ Review: Symbols and Suffering," 12 July 2019 Some people want to just turn things off and not deal with the consequences. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "Gavin Newsom fires California official who OKd big increase in fracking," 12 July 2019 The good news is that this sense of dread isn't always unusual or even necessarily a bad thing. Patia Braithwaite, SELF, "What It Means If You're Dreading Your Therapy Sessions," 12 July 2019 That said, a good chunk clubs don't have a particularly good chance of turning things around. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "One thing every MLB team needs to do in the second half," 12 July 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

History and Etymology for thing

Middle English, from Old English, thing, assembly; akin to Old High German ding thing, assembly, Goth theihs time

Keep scrolling for more

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thing

thing

noun
\ ˈthiŋ How to pronounce thing (audio) \

Kids Definition of thing

1 : an act or matter that is or is to be done I have a thing or two to take care of. You did the right thing.
2 : something that exists and can be talked about Nouns name people and things. Say the first thing that pops into your mind. How do you work this thing?
3 things plural : personal possessions Pack your things, we're leaving.
4 : detail entry 1 sense 2 He checks every little thing.
5 things plural : existing conditions and circumstances Things are improving.
6 : event sense 1 The accident was a terrible thing.
7 : deed entry 1 sense 1, achievement, act We expect great things from them.
8 : a piece of clothing not a thing to wear
9 : what is needed or wanted It's just the thing for a cold.
10 : an action or interest especially that someone enjoys very much Music is my thing.
11 : individual entry 2 sense 1 “I can't stand reptiles. Get that thing away from me!”— Judy Blume, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
12 : a spoken or written observation or point Mrs. Kemp was shocked. “What a thing to say about your little friend.”— Beverly Cleary, Ramona Quimby

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on thing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thing

Spanish Central: Translation of thing

Nglish: Translation of thing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thing for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about thing

Comments on thing

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

WORD OF THE DAY

not being in agreement or harmony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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