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

The whole thing starts off with Hannah in a Cinderella-blue ballgown and beauty queen regalia wandering through a forest. Anna Moeslein, Glamour, "Hannah Brown's First The Bachelorette Trailer Is Here, and It’s Incredible," 5 Apr. 2019 At the time, Orlando was still dating Katy Perry, so the blogs were quick to call the whole thing a messy love triangle. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Everything You Need To Know About Selena Gomez's Love Life," 4 Apr. 2019 That kind of relaxed attitude about the whole thing is highly refreshing, actually, and very Meghan. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Why Meghan Markle Reportedly Likes to Do Her Own Makeup," 3 Apr. 2019 These three all have one thing—or person—in common: Nolan Hotchkiss (Chris Mason), a conniving, chiseled sociopath whose family basically owns BHU. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "I Never Thought I’d Love the Pretty Little Liars Spin-off More Than the Original, but Here We Are," 20 Mar. 2019 One thing has changed since the book came out, though. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Good Omens Is Getting a TV Adaptation Starring David Tennant and Michael Sheen," 18 Mar. 2019 Heading into menopause might change things as well. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "How Bad Is It to Switch Up Your Skin-Care Products All the Time?," 7 Mar. 2019 People from all over the world believe that when a full moon comes out, magical things will happen (hello, werewolves). Blake Bakkila, Good Housekeeping, "How to Create Your Own Full Moon Ritual, According to an Expert," 5 Mar. 2019 But things would have to get really bad before that ever happened. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Everything to Know About the Alleged Travis Scott and Kylie Jenner Cheating Scandal," 4 Mar. 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.

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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

8 Apr 2019

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

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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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

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about thing

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