Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

  

English definition of “thing”

thing

noun (IDEA/EVENT)    /θɪŋ/
A2 [C] used to refer in an approximate way to an idea , subject , event , action , etc.: That was an unkind thing to say. I've got so many things to do I don't know where to start . Your information is correct but you left out one thing. "What's the matter ?" "It's this insurance thing. I'm really worried about it."Objects - general words the thing [C] the exact fact , object , idea , event , etc.: Your letter has told me precisely the thing I needed to know .Information and messages the real thing something that is not false or a copy : The fire alarm goes off accidentally so often that when it's the real thing (= when it really does happen ) nobody will take any notice .Reality and truth the same thing B1 the same: Training isn't the same thing as education .Similar and the sameDescribing people with the same qualities the whole thing B2 everything that has been planned or discussed : Let's call the whole thing off. I want to forget the whole thing.Something, anything, nothing, and everything above all things more than everything else : I value my freedom above all things.Large in number or quantity in all things in every situation or subject ; in everything: Be true to yourself in all things.Expressions used to describe situations if there's one thing I want to know, find out, etc. said before describing what it is that you especially want to know : If there's one thing I want to know , it's where he goes on Thursday afternoons . Grammar:Thing and stuffGrammar:ThingWe use the general noun thing more commonly in speaking than in writing.Grammar:StuffStuff is one of the most common nouns in speaking. It is more informal than thing. It is not at all common in writing.
(Definition of thing noun (IDEA/EVENT) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of thing

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Objects - general words, but you might be interested in these topics from the Objects topic area:

Definitions of “thing” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

cookery

the skill or activity of preparing and cooking food

Word of the Day

Blog

Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More