Meaning of “thing” - Learner’s Dictionary


noun uk us /θɪŋ/

A1 used to refer to an object without saying its name:

How do I switch this thing off?
I need to get a few things in town.

B2 used to refer to a person or animal when you are expressing your feelings towards them:

You look tired, you poor thing.
He's spending three months in Barbados, lucky thing!
IDEA [ C ]

A2 used to refer to an idea, event, or activity:

I can't believe Nick would say such a thing!
Meeting Nina was the best thing that's ever happened to me.
for one thing

used to give a reason for something:

You can't give Amy that shirt - for one thing it's too small for her.
the thing is informal

B2 used to introduce a problem that relates to something that you have just said:

I'd love to go out tonight, but the thing is, I've got to finish my report.
a thing

B1 used instead of 'anything' in order to emphasize what you are saying:

I haven't got a thing to wear!
have a thing about sth/sb informal

to like or dislike something or someone very much:

He's got a thing about blonde women.
it's a good thing informal

B2 If it is a good thing that something happened, it is lucky that it happened:

[ + (that) ] It's a good thing that Jo was there to help you.
first/last thing informal

at the beginning/end of the day:

I'll phone him first thing and tell him I can't come.
She likes a glass of milk last thing at night.
be sb's thing informal

If an activity or subject is someone's thing, they are very interested in it and like doing it:

Jogging's just not my thing - I prefer team sports.

(Definition of “thing” from the Cambridge Learner’s Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)