- an object, fact, affair, circumstance, or concept considered as being a separate entity
- any inanimate object
- an object or entity that cannot or need not be precisely named
- informal a person or animal regarded as the object of pity, contempt, etc: you poor thing
- an event or act
- a thought or statement
- any object or right that may be the subject of property (as distinguished from a person)
- a device, means, or instrument
- (often plural) a possession, article of clothing, etc
- informal a mental attitude, preoccupation or obsession (esp in the phrase have a thing about)
- an activity or mode of behaviour satisfying to one's personality (esp in the phrase do one's (own) thing)
- the thing ⇒ the latest fashion
- make a thing of ⇒ to make a fuss about; exaggerate the importance of
WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
- an object, usually not a person or animal:A noun is the name of a person, place, or thing.
- an object not specifically named or designated:Hand me that thing. What is that thing, anyway?
- anything that is an object of thought or discussion:another thing I want to talk to you about.
- things, matters;
circumstances in general:How are things?
- a particular fact or circumstance:His death was a terrible thing.
- Informal. a satisfying activity:a fun thing to do; Bicycling is his thing.
- an achievement, deed, or accomplishment:I expect great things from our production team.
- a detail, esp. particular detail:Do we have to go over every little thing?
objective:The thing is to enjoy yourself.
- an article of clothing:didn't have a thing to wear.
- utensils for a purpose:the breakfast things.
- possessions that one owns:Pack your things and leave at once!
- a task;
chore:I've got things to do.
- a living being;
creature:That baby is a cute little thing, isn't he?
- a thought;
observation:I had a thing or two to say about that.
- Informal TermsInformal. a special or strong attitude about something, either positive or negative:She has a thing about cats (= She likes/dislikes them). He has a thing for Irish music (= He likes it).
- the thing, something that is correct or fashionable:Wearing baseball caps backward is the thing.
- do one's thing, [Informal.]to follow a way of life that allows one to express oneself:Let the kids do their own thing and establish their independence.
- for one thing, (used to introduce something to support what has been said):The economy is in a shambles. For one thing, unemployment is sky-high.
- Idiomssee or hear things, to hallucinate:After taking the drug he began to see things, and he couldn't shut them out of his mind.
- a material object without life or consciousness;
an inanimate object.
- some entity, object, or creature that is not or cannot be specifically designated or precisely described:The stick had a brass thing on it.
- anything that is or may become an object of thought:things of the spirit.
- things, matters;
affairs:Things are going well now.
- a fact, circumstance, or state of affairs:It is a curious thing.
- an action, deed, event, or performance:to do great things; His death was a horrible thing.
- a particular, respect, or detail:perfect in all things.
objective:The thing is to reach this line with the ball.
- an article of clothing:I don't have a thing to wear.
- implements, utensils, or other articles for service:I'll wash the breakfast things.
- personal possessions or belongings:Pack your things and go!
- a task;
chore:I've got a lot of things to do today.
- a living being or creature:His baby's a cute little thing.
- a thought or statement:I have just one thing to say to you.
- Informal Termsa peculiar attitude or feeling, either positive or negative, toward something;
mental quirk:She has a thing about cats.
- something signified or represented, as distinguished from a word, symbol, or idea representing it.
- Lawanything that may be the subject of a property right.
- do or find one's own thing, [Informal.]to pursue a lifestyle that expresses one's self. Also, do or find one's thing.
- make a good thing of, [Informal.]to turn (a situation, experience, etc.) to one's own profit;
benefit by:She made a good thing of her spare-time hobbies.
- Music, Music and Dancenew thing, [Jazz.]See free jazz.
- not to get a thing out of:
- to be unable to obtain information or news from:The police couldn't get a thing out of him.
- to fail to appreciate, understand, or derive aesthetic pleasure from:My wife likes opera, but I don't get a thing out of it.
- see or hear things, [Informal.]to have hallucinations.
- the thing:
- something that is correct or fashionable:That café is the thing now.
- that which is expedient or necessary:The thing to do is to tell them the truth.
- bef. 900; Middle English; Old English: origin, originally, meeting; see thing2
thing2 (thing, ting),USA pronunciation n.
- Old Norse: assembly; cognate with thing1, Dutch ding, German Ding thing, origin, originally, meeting; akin to Gothic theihs time