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thing /θɪŋ/ noun


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thing
[noun]
Synonyms:
- object, article, being, body, entity, something, substance
- obsession, bee in one's bonnet, fetish, fixation, hang-up (informal), mania, phobia, preoccupation
- things: possessions, belongings, clobber (Brit. slang), effects, equipment, gear, luggage, stuff
Antonyms: nonentity, nonexistence
Contrasted words: attribute, characteristic, property, quality
Related Words: exploit, feat, stunt, entity, item, particular
English Thesaurus: thing, something, object, item, article, ...

[TahlilGaran] English Synonym Dictionary

thing S1 W1 /θɪŋ/ noun
[Language: Old English; Origin: 'meeting, council, thing']

1. IDEA/ACTION/FEELING/FACT [countable] an idea, action, feeling, or fact that someone thinks, does, says, or talks about, or that happens:
People say things they don’t mean when they are angry.
It was a horrible thing to happen.
I plan to do all the things I’ve been meaning to do for ages.
The first thing to do is to give them food and shelter.
That’s a terrible thing to say.
do the right/decent/honourable etc thing
I kept wondering if I was doing the right thing.
this/that/what sort of thing
A priest has to arrange funerals, marriages, that sort of thing.
Getting more American ideas into British business would be a good thing.
‘I did no such thing,’ he protested.
I know a thing or two (=a lot) about dogs.
In a democracy, it is no bad thing to be able to compromise (=it is good, even though it may not seem good).

2. OBJECT [countable] an object that you are talking about without saying its name, or whose name you do not know:
What’s that red thing?
I’ll just switch this thing off.
There was a round metal thing on the path.
... and things (=and other similar things)
The shed is where we keep our tools and things.

3. CLOTHES/POSSESSIONS things [plural] especially British English clothes and possessions Synonym : stuff American English
sb’s things
Jim began to unpack his things.
I want to sell some of my things, but they aren’t worth much.

4. EQUIPMENT things [plural] especially British English the tools, equipment, clothes etc that you need for a particular job, sport etc Synonym : stuff American English
sb’s writing/school/Christmas etc things
I left my swimming things at home.
the shed where he kept his gardening things

5. SITUATION things [plural] life in general and the way it is affecting people:
By the end of 1942, things were starting to change.
Things could be worse.
As things turned out, we didn’t have much time.
How are things with you, Sarah?
make things easy/difficult/hard
She would get angry quickly, which made things difficult for me.
We can’t change the way things are.

6. NOTHING [singular, uncountable] used as part of a negative statement to mean ‘anything’
not a thing
I couldn’t find a thing that I wanted to buy.
He took his glasses off and couldn’t see a thing.
Don’t worry about a thing.
There’s no such thing as ghosts (=they do not exist).

7. PERSON/ANIMAL [countable] used to talk to or about a person or animal, when you are describing what they are like or showing sympathy for them:
The baby is a nice little thing when he’s not screaming.
She was terribly upset, poor thing.

8. MAKE A COMMENT [countable usually singular] used to say something about a particular part of a situation, person etc
thing about
The thing about teaching is that it takes more time to prepare than most people realize.
the funny/strange/best etc thing
The funny thing is, I really enjoyed it, even though I hadn’t expected to.
It’s a good thing you saw her before she saw you.

9. the thing is spoken used when you are going to explain something, give the reason for something, or give an opinion:
‘It sounds like a good idea. Why don’t you invest?’ ‘Well, the thing is, I can’t afford to.’
the thing is that
The thing is that you can’t always judge your own work.

10. the last thing somebody wants/expects/needs etc something that someone does not want, expect etc at all:
The last thing I want is to upset him.
The last thing I should have done was let her move into my house.

11. last thing British English at the end of a day, afternoon, evening etc:
She likes a hot bath last thing at night.

12. first thing at the beginning of a day, morning, afternoon etc:
Jean liked to go for a swim first thing in the morning.

13. among other things used when you are giving one fact, reason, effect etc but want to suggest that there are many others:
The substance is used in the manufacture of cosmetics and drugs, among other things.

14. for one thing used to give one reason for something:
Well, for one thing, it’s too big.
He’s not that wonderful. He’s bad-tempered for one thing.

15. be a thing of the past to no longer exist or happen:
Before AIDS, many health care experts believed that large-scale infectious diseases were a thing of the past.

16. it’s a good thing (that) spoken used to say that it is lucky or good that something has happened:
It’s a good thing we brought some food with us.

17. something is just one of those things used to say that something unpleasant or unlucky cannot be prevented:
It wasn’t really the driver’s fault; it was just one of those things.

18. the thing about/with somebody/something used to say what the problem with someone or something is:
The thing about talk shows is that you never know how they will turn out.

19. all (other) things being equal used to say that something is true in general, but that other things may cause the situation to change:
All things being equal, smaller animals need smaller brains.

20. just the thing/the very thing exactly the thing that you want or that is necessary:
A holiday is probably just the thing for you.

21. of all things used to show that you are surprised or shocked by something that someone has done or said:
She gave up a promising career as a stockbroker to become a weaver, of all things.

22. do your own thing informal to do something in the way that you like instead of copying other people or following strict rules:
I just want to live my own life and do my own thing.

23. it’s a girl/football/music etc thing informal used to say that something involves or affects a particular group of people only:
Computer games aren’t just a guy thing.

24. all things considered when you consider all the parts or events of a situation:
All things considered, we had surprisingly few injuries.

25. be all things to all men/people to try to please or be useful to all of many different groups, often without succeeding:
In order to get votes, he tries to be all things to all men.

26. be onto a good thing informal if you are onto a good thing, you are in a situation that is very helpful, comfortable, or profitable for you
think/know you are onto a good thing
Directors who take dividends instead of salary may think they are onto a good thing but could have problems on retirement.

27. make a big thing of/about/out of something to make something seem more important than it really is:
You can apologise without making a big thing out of it.

28. the done thing British English old-fashioned informal the way of behaving or doing something that is socially acceptable:
It is not the done thing for teachers to hit children.

29. it’s one thing to ..., (it’s) another thing to ..., used to say that doing one thing is very different from doing another thing, especially where the second thing is more difficult, important, or serious:
It’s one thing being able to run fast, but quite another to win a marathon.

30. what with one thing and another British English spoken used to explain that you have had a lot of work, problems, or jobs that you had to do:
I’ve been so busy these last few days, what with one thing and another.

31. have a thing about somebody/something informal to like or dislike someone or something very much, often without a good reason:
She’s always had a thing about Peter.

32. one thing leads to another used to explain how a series of events caused something to happen without giving any details:
One thing led to another and, before I knew it, I had invited her family to stay.

33. the (latest) thing informal something that is popular or fashionable at the moment:
When Amelia bought a new car it had to be the latest thing.

34. (do/try) the ... thing American English spoken used to talk about an activity and everything that is involved with it:
Jody tried the college thing but finally dropped out.

35. there is only one thing for it British English spoken used to say that there is only one action that you can take:
There’s only one thing for it. We’ll have to call the police.

36. one (damn/damned) thing after another used to say that a lot of unpleasant or unlucky things keep happening to you

37. taking one thing with another British English considering all the facts

38. do things to somebody to have a strong effect on someone
amount/come to the same thing at same1(4), ⇒ the best thing since sliced bread at slice2(4), ⇒ first things first at first1(7), ⇒ living things at living1(1), ⇒ be hearing things at hear(10), ⇒ be seeing things at see1(28)

[TahlilGaran] Dictionary of Contemporary English

thing
noun
I. used instead of the name of an object
ADJ. basic, essential I need to buy a few basic things like bread and milk.
VERB + THING make He makes things out of wood.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
II. things: objects/clothing/tools
ADJ. swimming, tennis, etc. | breakfast, lunch, etc. He hadn't washed up the dinner things yet.
VERB + THING get together, pack Come on kids, get your things together?we're going.
put on, take off Hang on a second?I'll just take off my painting things (= clothes).
clear away/up, put away, tidy away/up Clear your painting things (= materials) away.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
III. (used with negatives) anything
VERB + THING hear, know, notice, see I can't see a thing without my glasses.
miss I'm going to arrive early, because I don't want to miss a thing.
do She's tricked you, and you can't do a thing about it.
eat I haven't eaten a thing all day.
say Nobody said a thing when he appeared with a wig on.
mean Fame and fortune don't mean a thing if you don't have happiness.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
IV. fact/event/situation/action
ADJ. good, great, positive It's a good thing you remembered to turn off the gas! The best thing would be to apologize straight away. If she works hard she's capable of great things. Try to look on your rejection as a positive thing.
lovely, nice, wonderful | bad, negative Too much studying can be a bad thing. It's no bad thing to express your anger.
appalling, awful, dreadful, horrible, terrible That was a horrible thing to say to her.
amazing, curious, exciting, extraordinary, funny, interesting, remarkable, startling, strange, striking, surprising, weird The amazing thing is, he wouldn't accept any money!
ridiculous | frightening, worrying | annoying | foolish, silly, stupid I admit it was a foolish thing to do.
bloody (taboo), damn/damned | crucial, key, main, important, vital The key thing is to remain calm.
little, the slightest, small, trivial I give thanks for every little thing. He loses his temper at the slightest thing. It's such a small thing to ask.
easy Apologizing is never the easiest thing to do.
hard | brave, dangerous, risky | natural Entertaining people is the most natural thing in the world for her.
close, close-run I managed to get on the train, but it was a close-run thing (= I almost missed it).
rare | everyday She helped with the everyday things like shopping and cooking.
usual I did my usual thing of losing my keys.
nearest, next best He's the nearest thing to a film star I've ever met. I wanted to be a musician, but teaching music is the next best thing.
real It's just a practice, not the real thing.
the whole Let's forget the whole thing.
last The last thing she wanted was to upset her parents.
QUANT. loads, lots, plenty I've got loads of things to do today.
VERB + THING do He has a funny way of doing things. It's impossible to get things done when you're looking after a baby.
make up, say Who's been saying things about me?
be hearing/imagining/seeing There's nobody at the door?you must have been imagining things!
THING + VERB go on, happen, occur There are some weird things going on in that house. A funny thing happened to me this morning …
PREP. ~ about The best thing about Alan is he's always honest.
PHRASES among/amongst other things Amongst other things, I have to deal with mail and keep the accounts.
have better things to do I've got better things to do than stand here chatting all day!
kind/sort of thing They go canoeing, climbing, that sort of thing.
know/learn/teach sb a thing or two Jack knows a thing or two about kids?he's got five.
no such thing There's no such thing as ghosts (= they don't exist).
such a thing/a thing like that People defraud their companies every day, but Mike would never do such a thing!
a thing of the past Books may one day become a thing of the past.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
V. things: general situation, as it affects sb
VERB + THING think over/through She's taken a few days off to think things over.
look at, see Try to look at things from my point of view.
discuss, talk over, talk through We arranged to meet and talk things over.
explain | accept You should suggest changes, rather than accept things as they are.
change | arrange, deal with, handle, look after, run, sort out Who's going to look after things while you're away? I want to get things sorted out before I go away.
straighten out | mess up, spoil | patch up They patched things up a week after their quarrel.
speed along/up It might speed things up if you phone them.
delay, hold up, slow down
THING + VERB stand As things stand at present, he seems certain to win.
be going He asked me how things were going.
change | go (according) to plan, go well, work (out) I just don't know if things are going to work out.
get better, improve, look up We were in trouble but now things are looking up.
look bright/good/promising/rosy There was a week to go to the deadline and things were looking good.
look bleak/grim Things looked bleak for the future of the factory.
be in/get into a mess, get out of hand, get/run out of control, go wrong | get worse, go downhill | turn out I'm sure things will turn out OK.
come to a head Things came to a head when money was found to be missing from the account.
get to sb Try not to let things get to you.
PHRASES all/other things being equal All other things being equal, the bigger fighter should win.
all things considered All things considered, I think we've done a good job.
get/keep things going/moving They hired temporary staff to keep things going over the summer.
get/put things straight I marched into his office to get a few things straight.
have/keep things in hand/under control He offered to help, but she assured him she had things in hand.
have things on your mind We chatted about school, but I could tell she had other things on her mind.
let things slide/slip She'd started the term studying hard, but now was beginning to let things slip.
let things take their course/happen Don't worry about it?just let things take their course.
make things better, easier, difficult, worse, etc. Her apology only served to make things worse.
put things right He apologized, and asked for a chance to put things right.
things to come The pay cut was just a taste of things to come.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
VI. what is needed/socially acceptable
ADJ. proper, right He did the right thing and went back to his wife. I did all the right things but I couldn't get the engine to start.
wrong She always manages to say the wrong thing.
logical, obvious, prudent, sensible Calling a doctor seemed the logical thing to do.
decent, done, honourable He did the decent thing and resigned. It's not the done thing to ask someone how much they earn.
very Iced tea?the very thing!
VERB + THING do | say
PHRASES just the thing, not quite the thing It wouldn't be quite the thing to turn up in running gear.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
VII. a person/an animal
ADJ. little, old The baby's a pretty little thing.
silly | poor You must be starving, you poor thing!

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing

things go well/badly etc
If things went well, we would double our money in five years.
How did things go?
things change
Things have changed dramatically over the last few years.
things improve
Things appear to be improving.
things get worse
As the recession proceeds, things will get worse.
make things worse/easier/difficult
Measures to slow down traffic on the main street have actually made things worse.
as things stand (=at present)
As things stand at the moment, I have no intention of becoming a candidate myself.
as things turned out (=used to say what happened or was discovered in the end)
Obviously, there had to be some mistake. As things turned out, there was.
the way things are (=the present situation)
I’m not at all dissatisfied with the way things are at the moment.

[TahlilGaran] Collocations Dictionary

thing
noun
1.
DUBIOUS: Being punctual is a very important thing.
GOOD: Being punctual is very important.

Usage Note:
Avoid using thing after an adjective when the adjective can be used on its own: 'To obtain a bank loan when you don't have a job can be very difficult.'
Note however the commonly used phrase a/the good thing : 'Most people agree that democracy is a good thing.' 'The good thing about this school is that the teachers are all so enthusiastic.'

2.
BAD: I have a very important thing to ask you.
GOOD: I have something very important to ask you.
BAD: If you need any special thing, please let me know.
GOOD: If you need anything special, please let me know.

Usage Note:
something + adjective, anything + adjective, somewhere + adjective, nothing + adjective, etc: 'Did you notice anything unusual?' 'Let's go somewhere different tonight.'

3.
DUBIOUS: My brother knows many things about England.
GOOD: My brother knows a lot about England.
DUBIOUS: Asian countries have learned many things from western countries.
GOOD: Asian countries have learned a great deal from western countries.

Usage Note:
The use of many things often sounds unnatural. Instead, use a lot, a great deal, etc : 'She said that she had a lot to do.' 'In just one or two sessions you can learn a great deal.'
Note also the phrase all about : 'The best person to ask is David - he knows all about tropical plants.' ( = he knows everything about ... )

4.
See BAD 2 (bad)

[TahlilGaran] Dictionary of Common Errors


TahlilGaran Online Dictionary ver 14.0
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