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

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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 In an era when the Big Three gave way to a Big Two, the Celtics have the closest thing today to a Big 3 in Tatum, Brown and Walker. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "Young and hungry Celtics confident they have resilience to beat Heat, reach NBA Finals," 15 Sep. 2020 The biggest thing slowing Sam Mayer’s climb up the NASCAR ladder has been his birth certificate. Dave Kallmann, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Already a NASCAR champion, Franklin teen Sam Mayer is set for his next step with Dale Earnhardt Jr.," 15 Sep. 2020 But the thing that excited Benaloh most was what this scheme would mean for individual voters. Benjamin Wofford, Wired, "A Texas County Clerk’s Bold Crusade to Transform How We Vote," 15 Sep. 2020 But the trial will provide the closest thing to a legal judgment on the longtime Nissan leader, who was hailed as a hero in Japan for turning around the car maker only to wind up in a Tokyo jail. Peter Landers, WSJ, "Former Nissan Executive Greg Kelly Pleads Not Guilty at Tokyo Trial," 15 Sep. 2020 That's one of several problems Microsoft is attempting to solve in Project Natick, an audacious scheme that aims to make undersea data centers a thing. David Meyer, Fortune, "Microsoft hails success of its undersea data center experiment—and says it could have implications on dry land, too," 15 Sep. 2020 Oh, and don’t forget that whole thing with Maria Butina, the Russian gun activist–slash–spy, which gets a chapter of its own here. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "An NRA Insider Tells All," 15 Sep. 2020 The most jaw-dropping thing Trump has done recently is hold another indoor, in-person rally in Nevada — over the furious objections of state officials. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "Trump has never stopped making the pandemic worse," 15 Sep. 2020 Students must wash their hands first thing in the morning and before lunch. Karina Bland, The Arizona Republic, "Stepping into first grade for the first time, where everything is different," 15 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for thing

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for thing

Last Updated

18 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thing. Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

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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

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