thing

[[t]θɪ̱ŋ[/t]]
things
1) N-COUNT: usu with supp You can use thing to refer to any object, feature, or event when you cannot, need not, or do not want to refer to it more precisely.

`What's that thing in the middle of the fountain?' - `Some kind of statue, I guess.'...

She was in the middle of clearing the breakfast things...

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?...

A strange thing happened...

We get blamed for all kinds of things.

2) N-COUNT: usu pl, usu with supp Thing is used in lists and descriptions to give examples or to increase the range of what you are referring to.

These are genetic disorders that only affect males normally. They are things like muscular dystrophy and haemophilia...

The Earth is made mainly of iron and silicon and things like that...

Big things, such as hospitals and social security, are paid for by the Government...

You can spot them fairly easily because of their short haircuts and things.

3) N-COUNT: adj N The word thing is often used after an adjective, where it would also be possible just to use the adjective. For example, you can say it's a different thing instead of it's different.

Of course, literacy isn't the same thing as intelligence...

To be a parent is a terribly difficult thing...

Perhaps it's a good thing that Dizzy retired.

4) N-SING: oft with brd-neg (emphasis) The word thing is often used instead of the pronouns `anything,' or `everything' in order to emphasize what you are saying.

It isn't going to solve a single thing...

Don't you worry about a thing...

`It's all here,` she said. `Every damn thing.'

5) N-COUNT: usu with brd-neg, with supp (emphasis) The word thing is used in expressions such as such a thing or things like that, especially in negative statements, in order to emphasize the bad or difficult situation you are referring back to.

I don't believe he would tell Leo such a thing...

`Are you accusing me of being a thief?' - `I have done no such thing, Tony.'...

How do you actually go about discovering a thing like that?...

I'm trying to cope. These things happen. You have to cope.

6) N-COUNT: supp N, usu n N (vagueness) You can use thing to refer in a vague way to a situation, activity, or idea, especially when you want to suggest that it is not very important. [INFORMAL]

I'm a bit unsettled tonight. This war thing's upsetting me...

These folks clearly take this ballroom thing very seriously.

...the man who had spoken dismissively of the `vision thing' when running for the presidency in 1988.

7) N-COUNT: n N You can use thing when you are referring to something that you are uncertain or vague about, after mentioning something that it resembles or could possibly be. [INFORMAL]

She'd actually taken it home and she put it in this jar thing...

The captain of the submarine has got this periscope thing.

8) N-COUNT: with supp, oft adj N You often use the word thing to indicate to the person you are addressing that you are about to mention something important, or something that you particularly want them to know.

One thing I am sure of was that she was scared...

The first thing parents want to know is: will the baby survive?...

The funny thing is that the rest of us have known that for years...

The most important thing to remember about fish is to buy it really fresh.

9) N-COUNT Thing is often used to refer back to something that has just been mentioned, either to emphasize it or to give more information about it.

Getting drunk is a thing all young men do...

I never wanted to be normal. It was not a thing I ever thought desirable...

The Captain stretched his left leg on one of the empty chairs. He knew it was not a polite thing to do.

Syn:
10) N-COUNT A thing is a physical object that is considered as having no life of its own.

It's not a thing, Beauchamp. It's a human being!

11) N-COUNT (disapproval) Thing is used to refer to something, especially a physical object, when you want to express contempt or anger towards it. [SPOKEN]

This thing's virtually useless...

Turn that thing off!...

They're armed with sub-machine-guns or machine-pistols or whatever you call those things.

12) N-COUNT: adj N You can call a person or an animal a particular thing when you want to mention a particular quality that they have and express your feelings towards them, usually affectionate feelings. [INFORMAL]

You really are quite a clever little thing...

Oh you lucky thing!

13) N-PLURAL: poss N Your things are your clothes or possessions.

Sara told him to take all his things and not to return...

Is there anything you'd like to borrow, before your own things are unpacked?

14) N-PLURAL Things can refer to the situation or life in general and the way it is changing or affecting you.

Everyone agrees things are getting better...

A change of ownership might improve things...

How are things going?

15) N-PLURAL: with supp, oft N of n, adj N Things can refer to a particular aspect of life, such as the physical or spiritual aspect.

...a movement away from the things of this world to the things of the spirit...

I think I'm more aware now of some spiritual things and I do believe in good and evil.

16) N-COUNT You can refer to something that is too frightening, strange, or horrible to describe clearly as a thing.

...John W. Campbell, author of `The Thing From Another World.'

17) N-SING: the N, oft N to-inf If you say that something is the thing you mean that it is fashionable or popular.

I feel under pressure to go out and get drunk because it's the thing to do...

They were obviously of the opinion that his taste was not quite the thing.

18) PHRASE: n/adj PHR, PHR after v In all things means in every situation and at all times. [LITERARY]

Sara wished Franklin to follow family tradition, in this as in all things.

...the old rule of health, which prescribes moderation in all things.

19) PHRASE: V inflects (disapproval) If you say that someone or something is trying to be all things to all men or to all people, you are criticizing them because they are trying to behave in a way that will please everyone, and this is impossible.

I realised I had a big problem. I wanted to be all things to all people...

The film tries to be all things to all men - comedy, romance, fantasy, and satire.

20) PHRASE: V inflects If, for example, you do the right thing or do the decent thing in a situation, you do something which is considered correct or socially acceptable in that situation.

People want to do the right thing and buy `green'...

Carrington did the honourable thing and resigned...

I think I did the wrong thing.

21) PHRASE: oft with brd-neg, v-link PHR If you say that something is the done thing, you mean it is the most socially acceptable way to behave. [BRIT]

It was not the done thing. In those days the man was supposed to be the provider.

22) PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR with cl, oft PHR prep If you do something first thing, you do it at the beginning of the day, before you do anything else. If you do it last thing, you do it at the end of the day, before you go to bed or go to sleep.

I'll go see her, first thing...

Take the money to your office without fail, first thing in the morning...

I always do it last thing on a Saturday...

Last thing at night, he thought of her.

23) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n/-ing If you have a thing about someone or something, you have very strong feelings about them. [INFORMAL]

I had always had a thing about red hair...

He's got this thing about ties.

24) PHRASE: PHR inf You say it is a good thing to do something to introduce a piece of advice or a comment on a situation or activity.

Can you tell me whether it is a good thing to prune an apple tree and does it apply to other fruit trees apart from apples?...

In a new democracy, it is no bad thing to master the art of compromise...

It is a terrible thing to doubt someone you have trusted all your life.

25) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n/-ing If you make a thing of something or make a thing about it, you talk about it or do it in an exaggerated way, so that it seems much more important than it really is. [INFORMAL]

Gossips made a big thing about him going on shopping trips with her...

I took his hand to make a big thing of introducing him to my mother...

I didn't have time to tell you, and anyway, I didn't want to make a big thing out of it.

26) PHRASE: V inflects, oft it PHR to-inf (emphasis) You can say that the first of two ideas, actions, or situations is one thing when you want to contrast it with a second idea, action, or situation and emphasize that the second one is much more difficult, important, or extreme.

It was one thing to talk about leaving; it was another to physically walk out the door...

Borrowing $100,000 is one thing. Owing $425,000 is another!

27) PHRASE: PHR with cl You can say for one thing when you are explaining a statement or answering a question, to suggest that you are not giving the whole explanation or answer, and that there are other points that you could add to it.

She was a monster. For one thing, she really enjoyed cruelty...

She was unable to sell it, because for one thing its size was awkward...

`How have the sanctions affected your life in Belgrade?' - `Well, for one thing, we already have shortages.'

28) PHRASE: oft with PHR You can use the expression `one thing and another' to suggest that there are several reasons for something or several items on a list, but you are not going to explain or mention them all. [SPOKEN]

What with one thing and another, it was fairly late in the day when we returned to Shrewsbury...

Everybody came in with their Christmas order for beer and spirits and port and one thing and another.

29) PHRASE: V inflects If you say it is just one of those things you mean that you cannot explain something because it seems to happen by chance.

`I wonder why.' Mr. Dambar shrugged. `It must be just one of those things, I guess.'...

It was simply one of those things, pure coincidence.

30) PHRASE: V inflects You say one thing led to another when you are explaining how something happened, but you do not really want to give the details or you think people will be able to imagine the details.

He came by on Saturday to see if she was lonely. One thing led to another and he stayed the night.

31) PHRASE: V inflects If you do your own thing, you live, act, or behave in the way you want to, without paying attention to convention or depending on other people. [INFORMAL]

We accept the right of all men and women to do their own thing, however bizarre...

She was allowed to do her own thing as long as she kept in touch by phone.

32) PHRASE: v-link PHR, PHR after v If something is a thing of the past, it no longer exists or happens, or is being replaced by something new.

Painful typhoid injections are a thing of the past, thanks to the introduction of an oral vaccine...

Cheap computers, faxes and phone calls will make commuting to work a thing of the past.

33) PHRASE: V inflects, usu cont If you say that someone is seeing or hearing things, you mean that they believe they are seeing or hearing something that is not really there.

Dr Payne led Lana back into the examination room and told her she was seeing things...

I thought I was hearing things yesterday. I thought I heard a cuckoo.

34) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR, oft PHR as n (emphasis) You can say there is no such thing as something to emphasize that it does not exist or is not possible.

There really is no such thing as a totally risk-free industry...

`I found a mermaid.' - `Don't be daft. There's no such thing.'

35) PHRASE: PHR cl You say the thing is to introduce an explanation, comment, or opinion, that relates to something that has just been said. The thing is is often used to identify a problem relating to what has just been said. [SPOKEN]

`What does your market research consist of?' - `Well, the thing is, it depends on our target age group.'...

I'm getting a grant for a speech therapy course. But the thing is, I don't know whether I want to do it any more.

36) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR, oft PHR for n, PHR to-inf (emphasis) If you say that something is just the thing or is the very thing, you are emphasizing that it is exactly what is wanted or needed.

Kiwi fruit are just the thing for a healthy snack...

I know the very thing to cheer you up.

37) PHRASE: PHR after v, oft PHR about n If you say that a person knows a thing or two about something or could teach someone a thing or two about it, you mean that they know a lot about it or are good at it.

Patricia Hewitt knows a thing or two about how to be well-organised...

They do agree Africa could teach America a thing or two about family values...

The peace movement has learnt a thing or two from Vietnam.

38) other things being equalsee equal
first things firstsee first
the real thingsee real
the shape of things to comesee shape

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

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 — [ 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 ▸ + PHRASES 1. ) an object or ITEM. This… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern 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 — 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

  • 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 — (n.) O.E. þing meeting, assembly, later entity, being, matter (subject of deliberation in an assembly), also act, deed, event, material object, body, being, from P.Gmc. *thengan appointed time (Cf. O.Fris. thing assembly, council, suit, matter,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • 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

  • Thing — Sn Volks und Gerichtsversammlung der Germanen erw. obs. (18. Jh.) Stammwort. Die Volksversammlung hieß ahd. ding, as. thing, das in normaler Entwicklung mit Bedeutungsveränderung nhd. Ding ergeben hat. Vermutlich wegen dieser… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • 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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