- The definition of a thing is an object, an act, or a step.
- An example of a thing is a bottle opener.
- An example of a thing is an exciting event in a person's life, a great thing.
- An example of a thing is the next action to be taken, the next thing.
- any matter, circumstance, affair, or concern: often used in pl.: how are things?
- that which is done, has been done, or is to be done; happening, act, deed, incident, event, etc.: to accomplish great things
- that which constitutes an end to be achieved, a step in a process, etc.: the next thing is to mix thoroughly
- anything conceived of or referred to as existing as an individual, distinguishable entity; specif.,
- any single entity distinguished from all others: each thing in the universe
- a tangible object, as distinguished from a concept, quality, etc.: paintings and other beautiful things
- an inanimate object
- an item, detail, etc.: go over each thing in the list
- the object or concept referred to or represented by a word, symbol, or sign; referent
- an object of thought; idea: think the right things
- personal belongings; also, clothes or clothing
- a dress, garment, etc.: not a thing to wear
- articles, devices, etc. used for some purpose
- a person: used in expressions of affection, pity, contempt, etc.: poor thing
- a being, object, or concept the exact term for which is not known or recalled or is avoided, as from disdain: where did you buy that thing?
- Informal a point of contention; issue: don't make a thing of it
- ☆ Informal a complex, often neurotic liking, fear, aversion, etc. with regard to some person, thing, or activity: to have a thing about flying
- ☆ Informal what one wants to do or is adept at: do one's own thing
- Law that which may be owned; a property
Origin of thingMiddle English ; from Old English council, court, controversy, akin to German ding, Old Norse thing (orig. sense, “public assembly,” hence, “subject of discussion, matter, thing”) ; from Indo-European an unverified form tenk-, to stretch, period of time ; from base an unverified form ten-, to stretch from source thin
- that which is wise, essential, etc.
- that which is the height of fashion or style
Origin of thingOld Norse assembly: see thing
- a. An object or entity that is not or cannot be named specifically: What is this thing for?b. An individual object, especially an inanimate object: There wasn't a thing in sight.c. A creature: That baby is the sweetest thing!d. An entity or item: How many things are there on the test?e. Something referred to by a word, symbol, sign, or idea; a referent.
- A possession or item in one's control, as:a. things Articles of clothing: Put on your things and let's go.b. things Possessions, including clothing; belongings: Pack your things; it's time to go.c. often things Law That which can be possessed or owned: things personal; things real.d. things The equipment needed for an activity or a special purpose.
- a. An act, deed, or work: promised to do great things.b. The result of work or activity: is always building things.c. A means to an end: just the thing to increase sales.
- a. A thought, notion, or utterance: What a rotten thing to say!b. A piece of information: wouldn't tell me a thing about the project.
- An end or objective: In blackjack, the thing is to get nearest to 21 without going over.
- a. A matter of concern: many things on my mind.b. A turn of events; a circumstance: The accident was a terrible thing.c. A particular state of affairs; a situation: Let's deal with this thing promptly.d. things The general state of affairs; conditions: “Beneath the smooth surface of things, something was wrong” (Tom Wicker).e. Informal The latest fad or fashion: Drag racing was the thing then.
- Informal A persistent feeling, interest, desire, or aversion: She has a thing for him and keeps talking about him. I have a thing about seafood and never eat it.
- Slang An activity uniquely suitable and satisfying to one: Let him do his own thing. Mountain climbing is really my thing.
- Informal Used to refer to something with disapproval or contempt: Where did you get that thing? I wouldn't drive that thing if you paid me.
Origin of thingMiddle English, from Old English.
- That which is considered to exist as a separate entity, object, quality or concept.
- A word, symbol, sign, or other referent that can be used to refer to any entity.
- An individual object or distinct entity.
- (informal) Something that is normal or generally recognised.
- Bacon pie? Is that a thing?
- (law) Whatever can be owned.
- The latest fad or fashion.
- (in the plural) Clothes, possessions or equipment.
- (informal) A unit or container, usually containing edible goods.
- get me a thing of apple juice at the store; I just ate a whole thing of jelly beans
- (informal) A problem, dilemma, or complicating factor.
- The car looks cheap, but the thing is, I have doubts about its safety.
- (slang) A penis.
- A living being or creature.
- you poor thing; she's a funny old thing, but her heart's in the right place; I met a pretty blond thing at the bar
- That which matters; the crux.
- that's the thing: we don't know where he went; the thing is, I don't have any money
- Used after a noun to refer dismissively to the situation surrounding the noun's referent.
- Oh yeah, I'm supposed to promote that vision thing.
- (chiefly historical) A public assembly or judicial council in a Germanic country.
- diminutives: thingy / thingie, thingo [Aus]
(third-person singular simple present things, present participle thinging, simple past and past participle thinged)
- (rare) To express as a thing; to reify.
From Middle English, from Old English þing (thing), from Proto-Germanic *þingą; compare West Frisian ding, Low German Ding, Dutch ding, German Ding, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian ting. The word originally meant "assembly", then came to mean a specific issue discussed at such an assembly, and ultimately came to mean most broadly "an object". Compare the Latin rēs, also meaning legal matter. Modern use to refer to a Germanic assembly is likely influenced by cognates (from the same Proto-Germanic root) like Old Norse þing (thing), Swedish ting, and Old High German ding with this meaning.