thing

noun

1
: an object or entity not precisely designated or capable of being designated
use this thing
2
a
: 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
4
a
: 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.
5
a
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
6
a
: 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
7
a
: 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 thingPhilip Larkin
b
: a mild obsession or phobia
has a thing about driving
also : the object of such an obsession or phobia
8
a
: detail, point
checks every little thing
b
: a material or substance of a specified kind
avoid fatty things
9
a
: 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

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?
Recent Examples on the Web The success, though gratifying, has been far from the most reward thing about the process, Keys says. Dave Quinn, Peoplemag, 12 May 2024 The most important thing, though, here is that the First Amendment? Protected. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 12 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for thing 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'thing.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near thing

Cite this Entry

“Thing.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thing. Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

thing

noun
1
a
: a matter of concern : affair
many things to do
b
plural : state of affairs
things are improving
c
: situation sense 3
look at this thing another way
d
: event sense 1a, circumstance
the flood was a terrible thing
e
: something one does well or likes to do
do your thing
2
a
: deed entry 1 sense 1, act
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
3
: a particular object
especially : a lifeless object
how do you work this thing?
4
a
plural : belongings
pack your things
b
: an article of clothing
not a thing to wear
5
a
: detail entry 1 sense 1b
checks every little thing
b
: a material or substance of a particular kind
avoid starchy things
6
: idea sense 2, notion
says the first thing that comes to mind
7
: individual entry 2
poor little thing
8
: a piece of news or information
couldn't get a thing out of him
9
: the proper or fashionable way of behaving, talking, or dressing
used with the
it is the thing to wear
10
: a usually mild fear or obsession
has a thing about snakes
11
: something (as an activity) that makes a strong appeal to the individual
allowed to do their own thing

More from Merriam-Webster on thing

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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