thou·​sand | \ ˈthau̇-zᵊn(d) How to pronounce thousand (audio) \
plural thousands or thousand

Definition of thousand

1 : a number equal to 10 times 100 — see Table of Numbers
2 : a very large number thousands of ants

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Other Words from thousand

thousand adjective
thousandfold \ ˈthau̇-​zᵊn(d)-​ˌfōld How to pronounce thousand (audio) \ adjective or adverb
thousandth \ ˈthau̇-​zᵊn(t)th How to pronounce thousand (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of thousand in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The massacre in Tiananmen Square was a violent repression of pro-democracy students by Chinese Communist security forces, as the regime killed hundreds or even thousands of dissidents rather than reform. Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, "Senior House Democrat links Tiananmen Square crackdown to Trump's clearing of Lafayette Park," 5 June 2020 Hundreds, if not thousands, of interview requests have flooded in. Linda Tirado, The New Republic, "Police Blinded Me in One Eye. I Can Still See Why My Country’s on Fire.," 4 June 2020 In mainland China, officials ban most discussions of the crackdown in which the government turned its troops and tanks on crowds of protesters, killing hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Austin Ramzy,, "Defying Beijing, thousands in Hong Kong hold Tiananmen vigil," 4 June 2020 Hundreds of thousands of them had been marching for over a year, even after toppling the previous president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in April 2019. The Economist, "Streets with no rage Algeria’s protest movement considers how and when to come back," 4 June 2020 June 4 marks 31 years since the Chinese government declared martial law and violently suppressed demonstrations in and around Tiananmen Square in Beijing, resulting in hundreds—if not thousands—of deaths. Naomi Xu Elegant, Fortune, "As protest roil the U.S., Beijing seizes the moment to call out ‘hypocrisy’," 3 June 2020 These guidelines are being adopted as the baseline health and cleaning requirements at thousands of hotels, with many determined to go beyond the recommendations. Jill K. Robinson, Travel + Leisure, "What Luxury Hotels Stays Will Be Like After Coronavirus, From Check-in to Check-out," 28 May 2020 At Lake of the Ozarks, hundreds — if not thousands — gathered for a packed pool party over the holiday. Elly Belle,, "Officials Demand Lake Of The Ozark Partygoers All Enter Self-Quarantine," 26 May 2020 But experts had to look at hundreds or even thousands of records to prove that smoking was the cause. Jared D. Taylor, The Conversation, "What’s an epidemiologist?," 21 May 2020

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thousand

Middle English, from Old English thūsend; akin to Old High German dūsunt thousand, Lithuanian tūkstantis, and probably to Sanskrit tavas strong, Latin tumēre to swell — more at thumb entry 1

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Time Traveler for thousand

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for thousand

Cite this Entry

“Thousand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for thousand



English Language Learners Definition of thousand

: the number 1,000
: an amount that is more than 2,000
: a very large number


thou·​sand | \ ˈthau̇-zᵊnd How to pronounce thousand (audio) \

Kids Definition of thousand

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : ten times one hundred : 1000
2 : a very large number thousands of things to do



Kids Definition of thousand (Entry 2 of 2)

: being 1000

More from Merriam-Webster on thousand

Nglish: Translation of thousand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thousand for Arabic Speakers

Comments on thousand

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