\ˈthiŋ \

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

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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?
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Recent Examples on the Web

If there isn’t anything medically awry, there can be any one of a number of things contributing to your sleep woes. Yvette D'entremont, SELF, "I'm a Scientist With Insomnia So I Researched How to Actually Get Better Sleep," 28 Nov. 2018 Follow Us Comment in Backfires to share your opinion, and follow us on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter to stay on top of all things C/D. Subscribe Subscribe to the magazine, download apps, and sign up for our e-mail newsletter and text alerts. Car and Driver, "Oops! It seems you've reached a dead end.," 18 Nov. 2018 Let’s face it: One of the hardest things about going to the gym is actually going to the gym. Popular Mechanics, "Stay in Shape With This Completely Portable Gym," 31 Oct. 2018 Calling all fans of beauty and baked goods — but then, who isn't a fan of those things? Maria Cassano, Allure, "Beauty Bakerie Is Now Sold at Ulta Stores," 31 Oct. 2018 Kitchens tend to have a bunch of tiny things that take up space and don't really fit together. Monique Valeris, ELLE Decor, "How to Organize Your Home in 2019, According to Marie Kondo," 29 Oct. 2018 This already displays things like local events that are likely to increase demand, but will now add more granular data, with predictions about hourly demand for the whole week ahead. James Vincent, The Verge, "Lyft adds driver-friendly features including default tipping option," 15 Nov. 2018 Even innocuous things like air, water, sunlight will affect the hair cuticle. Marci Robin, Allure, "This Super-Long Ombré Hair Transformation Is a Feat of Color-Correction Magic," 13 Nov. 2018 My parents and my brother and I have been followed home from the store by the police and things like that because people get suspicious of us. Rachel Anspach, Teen Vogue, "Trump's Policies Are Increasing Teen Stress and Eroding Mental Health," 12 Nov. 2018

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.

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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

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Statistics for thing

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thing

The first known use of thing was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for thing


\ˈthiŋ \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on thing

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thing

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thing

Spanish Central: Translation of thing

Nglish: Translation of thing for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thing for Arabic Speakers 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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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