Other forms: things

Use the noun thing to refer to something without naming it specifically. You might describe your sister's bizarre outfit by saying, "She was wearing this puffy orange thing around her waist and a tall, feathered thing on her head."

If you can't name something or don't want to for some reason, you can use the word thing instead. You can also use it to talk about an action, as in "You did the right thing when you got lost," or a quality, like "your favorite thing about parties is spending time with your friends." The phrase "do your thing," which is associated with the 1960s, was actually first used in the 1840s to mean "follow your particular predilection."

Definitions of thing
  1. noun
    a separate and self-contained entity
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    content, depicted object, subject
    something (a person or object or scene) selected by an artist or photographer for graphic representation
    body of water, water
    the part of the earth's surface covered with water (such as a river or lake or ocean)
    inessential, nonessential
    anything that is not essential
    essential, necessary, necessity, requirement, requisite
    anything indispensable
    part, piece
    a portion of a natural object
    reservoir, source
    anything (a person or animal or plant or substance) in which an infectious agent normally lives and multiplies
    building block, unit
    a single undivided natural thing occurring in the composition of something else
    something that is likely to vary; something that is subject to variation
    body part
    any part of an organism such as an organ or extremity
    the main part of an organ or other bodily structure
    a needlelike part or structure of a plant or animal or crystal; as a spine or bristle or crystal
    something added to another thing but not an essential part of it
    a body of water that was created by a flood or tide or by being held or forced back by a dam
    the bottom or lowest part
    bay, embayment
    an indentation of a shoreline larger than a cove but smaller than a gulf
    chain, chemical chain
    (chemistry) a series of linked atoms (generally in an organic molecule)
    a deep and relatively narrow body of water (as in a river or a harbor or a strait linking two larger bodies) that allows the best passage for vessels
    a projecting part where two sides or edges meet
    (physics) something joined by two equal and opposite forces that act along parallel lines
    the part of a continent that is stable and forms the central mass of the continent; typically Precambrian
    a piece cut off from the main part of something
    something desired as a necessity
    any large deep body of water
    the wide part of a river where it nears the sea; fresh and salt water mix
    a body of water that has been created by deliberately flooding an area
    crossing, ford
    a shallow area in a stream that can be forded
    a piece broken off or cut off of something else
    an arm of a sea or ocean partly enclosed by land; larger than a bay
    high sea, international waters
    the open seas of the world outside the territorial waters of any nation
    hunk, lump
    a large piece of something without definite shape
    inlet, recess
    an arm off of a larger body of water (often between rocky headlands)
    a body of (usually fresh) water surrounded by land
    briny, main
    any very large body of (salt) water
    the water that is well below the surface but also well above the bottom
    a necessary or essential thing
    need, want
    anything that is necessary but lacking
    nub, stub
    a small piece
    a large body of water constituting a principal part of the hydrosphere
    the part of the sea that can be seen from the shore and is beyond the anchoring area
    a stretch of open water surrounded by ice (especially in Arctic seas)
    pool, puddle
    a small body of standing water (rainwater) or other liquid
    a division of an ocean or a large body of salt water partially enclosed by land
    one of the parts into which something naturally divides
    seven seas
    an informal expression for all of the oceans of the world
    shallow, shoal
    a stretch of shallow water
    a thin flat piece cut off of some object
    a large ocean inlet or deep bay
    stream, watercourse
    a natural body of running water flowing on or under the earth
    a relatively long narrow piece of something
    territorial waters
    the waters surrounding a nation and its territories over which that nation exercises sovereign jurisdiction
    unit cell
    the smallest group of atoms or molecules whose repetition at regular intervals in three dimensions produces the lattices of a crystal
    falls, waterfall
    a steep descent of the water of a river
    a navigable body of water
    a part of the earth that can be considered separately
    chemical group, group, radical
    (chemistry) two or more atoms bound together as a single unit and forming part of a molecule
    (physics and chemistry) the simplest structural unit of an element or compound
    type of:
    physical entity
    an entity that has physical existence
  2. noun
    an entity that is not named specifically
    “I couldn't tell what the thing was”
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    a thing that is different
    anything that freshens
    anathema, horror
    something that inspires dislike; something horrible
    crackerjack, doozy, jimdandy, jimhickey
    something excellent of its kind
    anything that serves to pacify
    security blanket
    anything that an adult person uses to reduce anxiety
    anything that gives off an offensive odor (especially a cheap cigar)
    whacker, whopper
    something especially big or impressive of its kind
    type of:
    that which is perceived or known or inferred to have its own distinct existence (living or nonliving)
  3. noun
    an artifact
    “how does this thing work?”
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    the chief one of a related group
    something that resembles a tablet of medicine in shape or size
    something that is extraordinary or remarkable or prominent
    something that can be relied on when needed
    an artifact that deviates from a norm or standard
    something that wobbles
    bastard, mongrel
    derogatory term for a variation that is not genuine; something irregular or inferior or of dubious origin
    vitamin pill
    a pill containing one or more vitamins; taken as a dietary supplement
    type of:
    artefact, artifact
    a man-made object taken as a whole
  4. noun
    any attribute or quality considered as having its own existence
    “the thing I like about her is ...”
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    type of:
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
  5. noun
    an event
    “a funny thing happened on the way to the...”
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    something experienced with great delight
    type of:
    happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
    an event that happens
  6. noun
    an action
    “how could you do such a thing?”
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    type of:
    something done (usually as opposed to something said)
  7. noun
    a special situation
    “this thing has got to end”
    “it is a remarkable thing
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    type of:
    situation, state of affairs
    the general state of things; the combination of circumstances at a given time
  8. noun
    a special abstraction
    “a thing of the spirit”
    things of the heart”
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    type of:
    abstract, abstraction
    a concept or idea not associated with any specific instance
  9. noun
    a vaguely specified concern
    things are going well”
    synonyms: affair, matter
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    something that is of no importance
    type of:
    something that interests you because it is important or affects you
  10. noun
    a statement regarded as an object
    “to say the same thing in other terms”
    “how can you say such a thing?”
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    type of:
    a message that is stated or declared; a communication (oral or written) setting forth particulars or facts etc
  11. noun
    a persistent illogical feeling of desire or aversion
    “he has a thing about seafood”
    “she has a thing about him”
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    type of:
    the experiencing of affective and emotional states
  12. noun
    a special objective
    “the thing is to stay in bounds”
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    type of:
    aim, object, objective, target
    the goal intended to be attained (and which is believed to be attainable)




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DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘thing'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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