thing [ θıŋ ] noun count ***
▸ 1 object/item
▸ 2 action/activity
▸ 3 situation/event
▸ 4 fact/condition
▸ 5 aspect of life
▸ 6 idea/information
▸ 7 something not specific
▸ 8 someone/something young you like
1. ) an object or ITEM. This word is used when you cannot or do not want to refer to the object or item in a more specific way:
What's that thing over there on the table?
I gave her a little thing for her birthday.
It's one of those gadget things, isn't it?
a ) things plural the objects that belong to a particular person or are used for a particular purpose:
I'll pack my things for the trip tomorrow.
b ) an object that you are not familiar with or do not know much about:
It's a thing used for looking inside people's ears.
c ) SPOKEN used when you are angry or for referring to an object you do not like:
Turn that thing off and do your homework!
2. ) an action or activity:
I have a lot of things to do today.
I would have done the same thing in his situation.
do the right thing: I gave back the money. Did I do the right thing?
a ) do your own thing INFORMAL to perform an activity in the way you prefer and not in the way other people want or expect you to:
I don't like organized tours because I can't do my own thing.
3. ) a situation or event:
A funny thing happened to me today.
I think we should just forget the whole thing.
be onto a good thing (=in a good situation, job, arrangement, etc.): We're onto a good thing working here.
have a good thing going (=be enjoying a good situation): Brenda has a good thing going with her new bakery.
in all things: Above all else, you must be honest in all things.
make a big thing out of something (=behave as if something is more important, serious, dangerous, etc. than it really is): Don't make a big thing out of this I just said I'd be late!
kind/sort of thing: She doesn't find that kind of thing funny.
a ) (just) one of those things a situation or event that you cannot prevent or change:
Injuries are just one of those things when you play football.
b ) one thing after another INFORMAL used for saying that you are very angry or upset because you have a lot of problems to deal with
4. ) usually plural a fact or condition related to a particular situation, activity, person, etc.:
The first thing I want is a hot bath.
If you could change three things about your job, what would they be?
have/want things both ways (=avoid choosing between two different things): I'd like to live close to the beach and close to my office, but I can't have things both ways.
all good things come to an end/must pass: Our vacation was great, but all good things come to an end.
a ) used for referring to a particular aspect of a situation that you are making a comment about:
The thing I really like about Theresa is her sense of humor.
the sad/weird/funny etc. thing is: The sad thing is, she never loved him.
it's a good/bad thing that: It's a good thing that you don't need to work late.
b ) things plural all of the aspects of a particular situation:
The police soon got things under control.
Try to see things from your wife's perspective.
all things considered: All things considered, I think you'll be happier if you switch jobs.
as things stand (=as they are): As things stand, it will be difficult to raise prices further.
put things (=describe or show a situation in a particular way): The official government report puts things quite differently.
c ) things plural used for talking about life in a general way:
Things have been getting better lately.
The government hasn't done much to change things in the countryside.
d ) how are things? used as a general greeting when you meet someone:
I haven't seen you for years! Tell me, how are things?
5. ) an aspect of life:
I've become less concerned about material things.
a thing of the past: His financial worries were a thing of the past.
6. ) an idea, comment, or piece of information:
There are some interesting things in your report.
I have few things to say to you.
If anyone asks you what I said, don't say a thing.
have things on your mind (=be thinking about them): I have a few things on my mind right now.
the last thing on someone's mind (=something that someone is not thinking about now): On vacation, work is the last thing on my mind.
7. ) used for referring to other examples or details, especially when you cannot or do not want to refer to them in a more specific way:
What other things did he say to you?
My parents send me money for food, rent, and other things.
Racism means different things to different people.
that kind/sort of thing: We spent the day swimming, playing on the beach, and that kind of thing.
things like: I need to get a few things like milk, bread, and eggs.
8. ) SPOKEN a young person or animal that you like. This word is used for saying something nice to them or about them:
You poor thing, you cut your finger.
Who's that pretty young thing I saw you with yesterday?
all things to all men/people
used for saying that someone is trying to please everyone, especially by doing many different things or by changing the way they behave when they are with different people
among other things
used for saying that there are other details, examples, etc. in addition to the ones you are mentioning
first thing
early in the morning:
I'll do it first thing.
for one thing MAINLY SPOKEN
used when you are explaining something, for saying that the reason, detail, example, etc. you are giving is not the only one:
Well, for one thing, I'm not tall enough to play basketball.
have a thing for/about INFORMAL
to have very strong feelings about someone or something, especially feelings that are unusual or unreasonable:
I have a thing about flying in airplanes; it scares me.
it's one thing to..., it's another/a different thing to... MAINLY SPOKEN
used for comparing two things when the second is much more important, serious, difficult, etc. than the first:
It's one thing to forecast the weather, it's another thing to get it right!
it's a...thing SPOKEN
used for saying that something affects or involves a particular group of people and not others:
You wouldn't understand, it's a girl thing.
last thing
late at night, before you go to bed:
I always check that all the doors are locked last thing.
no such thing
used for emphasizing that something does not exist or did not happen:
There's no such thing as a free advertisement.
one thing leads to another
used when you cannot or do not want to give a lot of details about how something happens. This expression is often used when you are talking about sex:
We kissed, and, well, one thing led to another...
(quite) the thing INFORMAL
very fashionable or popular:
Baggy jeans have become quite the thing among teenagers.
see/hear things
to think that you see or hear something that is not really there:
There's nobody over there. I think you're seeing things.
the thing is SPOKEN
used for introducing an answer, comment, or explanation related to something that was just mentioned:
Why didn't you invite me? Well, the thing is, I didn't think you would want to come.
a thing or two INFORMAL
a few things:
I need to get a thing or two at the store.
tell someone a thing or two (=tell someone why you are angry with them): The next time he calls I'm going to tell him a thing or two.
what with one thing and another
used for referring to many different events in a way that is not specific. You use this expression in order to explain why something did or did not happen:
What with one thing and another, I didn't get home until after midnight.

Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • thing — W1S1 [θıŋ] n ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(idea/action/feeling/fact)¦ 2¦(object)¦ 3¦(situation)¦ 4¦(nothing)¦ 5¦(person/animal)¦ 6¦(make a comment)¦ 7 the thing is 8 the last thing somebody wants/expects/needs etc 9 last thing …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Thing — (th[i^]ng), n. [AS. [thorn]ing a thing, cause, assembly, judicial assembly; akin to [thorn]ingan to negotiate, [thorn]ingian to reconcile, conciliate, D. ding a thing, OS. thing thing, assembly, judicial assembly, G. ding a thing, formerly also,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Thing — may refer to:In philosophy: * An object (philosophy), being, or entity * Thing in itself (or noumenon ), the reality that underlies perceptions, a term coined by Immanuel KantIn history: * Thing (assembly), also transliterated as ting or þing , a …   Wikipedia

  • thing — 1 matter, concern, business, *affair 2 Thing, object, article are comprehensive terms applicable to whatever is apprehended as having actual, distinct, and demonstrable existence. They vary, however, in their range of application. Thing is the… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • thing — thing1 [thiŋ] n. [ME < OE, council, court, controversy, akin to Ger ding, ON thing (orig. sense, “public assembly,” hence, “subject of discussion, matter, thing”) < IE * tenk , to stretch, period of time < base * ten , to stretch >… …   English World dictionary

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  • thing — [n1] something felt, seen, perceived affair, anything, apparatus, article, being, body, business, circumstance, commodity, concept, concern, configuration, contrivance, corporeality, creature, device, element, entity, everything, existence,… …   New thesaurus

  • Thing — Thing, Ting Ting, n. [Dan. thing, ting, Norw. ting, or Sw. ting.] In Scandinavian countries, a legislative or judicial assembly; used, esp. in composition, in titles of such bodies. See {Legislature}, Norway. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • thing — ► NOUN 1) an inanimate material object. 2) an unspecified object. 3) (things) personal belongings or clothing. 4) an action, activity, concept, or thought. 5) (things) unspecified circumstances or matters: how are things? 6) …   English terms dictionary

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