Definify.com

Webster 1913 Edition


Thing

Thing

(thĭng)
,
Noun.
[AS.
þing
a thing, cause, assembly, judicial assembly; akin to
þingan
to negotiate,
þingian
to reconcile, conciliate, D.
ding
a thing, OS.
thing
thing, assembly, judicial assembly, G.
ding
a thing, formerly also, an assembly, court, Icel.
þing
a thing, assembly, court, Sw. & Dan.
ting
; perhaps originally used of the transaction of or before a popular assembly, or the time appointed for such an assembly; cf. G.
dingen
to bargain, hire, MHG.
dingen
to hold court, speak before a court, negotiate, Goth.
þeihs
time, perhaps akin to L.
tempus
time. Cf.
Hustings
, and
Temporal
of time.]
1.
Whatever exists, or is conceived to exist, as a separate entity, whether animate or inanimate; any separable or distinguishable object of thought.
God made . . . every
thing
that creepeth upon the earth after his kind.
Gen. i. 25.
He sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good
things
of Egypt.
Gen. xiv. 23.
A
thing
of beauty is a joy forever.
Keats.
2.
An inanimate object, in distinction from a living being; any lifeless material.
Ye meads and groves, unconscious
things
!
Cowper.
3.
A transaction or occurrence; an event; a deed.
[And Jacob said] All these
things
are against me.
Gen. xlii. 36.
Which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these
things
.
Matt. xxi. 24.
4.
A portion or part; something.
Wicked men who understand any
thing
of wisdom.
Tillotson.
5.
A diminutive or slighted object; any object viewed as merely existing; – often used in pity or contempt.
See, sons, what
things
you are!
Shakespeare
The poor
thing
sighed, and . . . turned from me.
Addison.
I’ll be this abject
thing
no more.
Granville.
I have a
thing
in prose.
Swift.
6.
pl.
Clothes; furniture; appurtenances; luggage;
as, to pack or store one's
things
.
[Colloq.]
☞ Formerly, the singular was sometimes used in a plural or collective sense.
And them she gave her moebles and her
thing
.
Chaucer.
Thing was used in a very general sense in Old English, and is still heard colloquially where some more definite term would be used in careful composition.
In the garden [he] walketh to and fro,
And hath his
things
[i. e., prayers, devotions] said full courteously.
Chaucer.
Hearkening his minstrels their
things
play.
Chaucer.
7.
(Law)
Whatever may be possessed or owned; a property; – distinguished from person.
8.
[In this sense pronounced tĭng.]
In Scandinavian countries, a legislative or judicial assembly.
Longfellow.
Things personal
.
(Law)
Same as
Personal property
, under
Personal
.
Things real
.
Same as
Real property
, under
Real
.

Webster 1828 Edition


Thing

THING

,
Noun.
[The primary sense of thing is that which comes, falls or happens, like event, from L. evenio.]
1.
An event or action; that which happens or falls out, or that which is done, told or proposed. This is the general signification of the word in the Scriptures; as after these things, that is, events.
And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son. Gen.21.
Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, the thing proceedeth from the Lord. Gen.24.
And Jacob said, all these things are against me. Gen.42.
I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Matt.21.
These things said Esaias when he saw his glory. John 12.
In learning French, choose such books as will teach you things as well as language.
2.
Any substance; that which is created; any particular article or commodity.
He sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt-- Gen.42.
They took the things which Micah had made. Judges 18.
3.
An animal; as every living thing; every creeping thing. Gen.1.
[This application of the word is improper, but common in popular and vulgar language.]
4.
A portion or part; something.
Wicked men who understand any thing of wisdom--
5.
In contempt.
I have a thing in prose.
6.
Used of persons in contempt.
See, sons, what things you are,
The poor thing sigh'd.
I'll be this abject thing no more.
7.
Used in a sense of honor.
I see thee here,
Thou noble thing!

Definition 2021


Thing

Thing

See also: thing and þing

English

Noun

Thing (plural Things)

  1. (chiefly historical) A public assembly or judicial council in a Germanic country.
    • 1894, George W. Dasent (translator), The Orkneyingers Saga, Icelandic Sagas, volume 3:
      But when the earl held a Thing, then Thorkell spoke on behalf of the freemen, told the need of the men, and bade the earl spare his people.
    • 1988, Patrick J. Geary, Chapter II, "The Barbarian World in the Sixth Century", 'Germanic Culture', Before France and Germany: the creation and transformation of the Merovingian world, page 55:
      The supreme political unit of the tribe was the assembly of its free male warriors. This assembly, called the "Thing", served as the court of highest instance for dealing with individuals who had broken fundamental elements of the tribal pact, an occasion to meet and to reinforce ties among members, and, often, an assembly which preceded a military campaign.
    • 1997, Bernard Scudder (trans.), Egil's Saga, Penguin 2001 (The Sagas of Icelanders), page 168:
      Before Thorstein left home, he and Asgerd decided to take Arinbjorn's gift, the silk cloak, out of Egil's chest, and Thorstein wore it to the Thing.
    • 2004, Sjúrður Skaale, The Right to National Self-Determination: the Faroe Islands and Greenland, page 46:
      1928 The Executive Committee of the Law Thing is created to assume executive powers from the Governor.

Translations

Derived terms

Anagrams


German

Etymology

Modern borrowing from Old Norse þing.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /tɪŋ/

Noun

Thing n (genitive Things, plural Thinge)

  1. Thing (historic Germanic council)

Declension

Synonyms

thing

thing

See also: Thing and þing

English

Noun

thing (plural things)

  1. That which is considered to exist as a separate entity, object, quality or concept.
    • 2013 June 21, Oliver Burkeman, The tao of tech”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 48:
      The dirty secret of the internet is that all this distraction and interruption is immensely profitable. Web companies like to boast about [], or offering services that let you [], "share the things you love with the world" and so on. But the real way to build a successful online business is to be better than your rivals at undermining people's control of their own attention.
  2. A word, symbol, sign, or other referent that can be used to refer to any entity.
  3. An individual object or distinct entity.
  4. (informal) Something that is normal or generally recognised.
    Bacon pie? Is that a thing?
  5. (law)
    1. Whatever can be owned.
    2. Corporeal object.
  6. (somewhat dated) The latest fad or fashion.
    What do you mean you don't twerk, Stacy? It's the latest thing!
  7. (in the plural) Clothes, possessions or equipment.
    Hold on, let me just grab my things.
  8. (informal) A unit or container, usually containing edible goods.
    get me a thing of apple juice at the store;  I just ate a whole thing of jelly beans
  9. (informal) A problem, dilemma, or complicating factor.
    The car looks cheap, but the thing is, I have doubts about its safety.
  10. (slang) A ****.
  11. A living being or creature.
    • 2013 August 3, Revenge of the nerds”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8847:
      Think of banking today and the image is of grey-suited men in towering skyscrapers. Its future, however, is being shaped in converted warehouses and funky offices in San Francisco, New York and London, where bright young things in jeans and T-shirts huddle around laptops, sipping lattes or munching on free food.
    you poor thing;  she's a funny old thing, but her heart's in the right place;  I met a pretty blond thing at the bar
  12. That which matters; the crux.
    that's the thing: we don't know where he went;  the thing is, I don't have any money
  13. Used after a noun to refer dismissively to the situation surrounding the noun's referent.
    Oh yeah, I'm supposed to promote that vision thing.
    • 1914, Eugene Gladstone O'Neill, The Movie Man [playscript]:
      Don’t forget to have Gomez postpone that shooting thing. (in reference to the execution of Fernandez)
  14. (informal) That which is favoured; personal preference. (Used in possessive constructions.)
  15. (chiefly historical) A public assembly or judicial council in a Germanic country.
    • 1974, Jón Jóhannesson, A History of the Old Icelandic Commonwealth: Íslendinga Saga, translated by Haraldur Bessason, page 46:
      In accordance with Old Germanic custom men came to the thing fully armed, [...]
    • 1974, Jakob Benediktsson, Landnám og upphaf allsherjarríkis, in Saga Íslands, quoted in 1988 by Jesse L. Byock in Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power, page 85:
      The goðar seem both to have received payment of thing-fararkaup from those who stayed home and at the same time compensated those who went to the thing, and it cannot be seen whether they had any profit from these transactions.
    • 1988, Jesse L. Byock, Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power, page 59:
      All Icelandic things were skap-thing, meaning that they were governed by established procedure and met at regular legally designated intevals at predetermined meeting places.

Quotations

  • 1611King James Version of the Bible, Luke 1:1
    Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us...

Synonyms

Derived terms

Related terms

Translations

External links

  • thing in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • thing in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Verb

thing (third-person singular simple present things, present participle thinging, simple past and past participle thinged)

  1. (rare) To express as a thing; to reify.

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: got · let · world · #194: thing · set · told · both

Anagrams


Mizo

Etymology

From Proto-Tibeto-Burman *siŋ

Noun

thing

  1. tree
  2. wood
  3. firewood

References

  • Matisoff, James A., Handbook of Proto-Tibeto-Burman, University of California Press.

Old Dutch

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *þingą. Compare Old Saxon thing, Old Frisian thing, Old English þing, Old High German ding, Old Norse þing.

Noun

thing n

  1. thing, object
  2. case, matter, issue

Declension

Descendants


Old Saxon

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *þingą. Compare Old Dutch thing, Old Frisian thing, Old English þing, Old High German ding, Old Norse þing.

Noun

thing n

  1. thing, object
  2. matter, case

Declension

Descendants

  • Middle Low German: dink
    • Low German: Ding, Dinkj

Portuguese

Noun

thing m f (plural things)

  1. (historical) Thing (public assembly)