thing

Definitions

  • "'It is a terrible thing, is a wreck on this coast.'"
    "'It is a terrible thing, is a wreck on this coast.'"
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n thing a separate and self-contained entity
    • n thing an action "how could you do such a thing?"
    • n thing an artifact "how does this thing work?"
    • n thing an entity that is not named specifically "I couldn't tell what the thing was"
    • n thing any attribute or quality considered as having its own existence "the thing I like about her is ..."
    • n thing a vaguely specified concern "several matters to attend to","it is none of your affair","things are going well"
    • n thing a special abstraction "a thing of the spirit","things of the heart"
    • n thing a special objective "the thing is to stay in bounds"
    • n thing a statement regarded as an object "to say the same thing in other terms","how can you say such a thing?"
    • n thing an event "a funny thing happened on the way to the..."
    • n thing a persistent illogical feeling of desire or aversion "he has a thing about seafood","she has a thing about him"
    • n thing a special situation "this thing has got to end","it is a remarkable thing"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

368 Began to Sell Things To Dad 368 Began to Sell Things To Dad
Wouldn't yer like ter 'ave one o' them things Wouldn't yer like ter 'ave one o' them things
These trailers are splendid things These trailers are splendid things
Queen Victoria sent over some things Queen Victoria sent over some things
Come to pry into things, and look about and find out, that wuzn't a real ship Come to pry into things, and look about and find out, that wuzn't a real ship
The Queer Side of Things The Queer Side of Things
Si Being Worked for a 'good Thing.' 175 Si Being Worked for a 'good Thing.' 175
THE FIRST THING WE SAW WERE TWO HUGE ELEPHANTS THE FIRST THING WE SAW WERE TWO HUGE ELEPHANTS

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The stringy thing that is seen in egg whites is called "chalazae."
    • Thing A diminutive or slighted object; any object viewed as merely existing; -- often used in pity or contempt. "See, sons, what things you are!""The poor thing sighed, and . . . turned from me.""I'll be this abject thing no more.""I have a thing in prose."
    • Thing A portion or part; something. "Wicked men who understand any thing of wisdom."
    • Thing A transaction or occurrence; an event; a deed. "And Jacob said] All these things are against me.""Which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things ."
    • Thing An inanimate object, in distinction from a living being; any lifeless material. "Ye meads and groves, unconscious things !"
    • Thing Clothes; furniture; appurtenances; luggage; as, to pack or store one's things . "And them she gave her moebles and her thing .""In the garden [he] walketh to and fro,
      And hath his things i. e., prayers, devotions] said full courteously."
      "Hearkening his minstrels their things play."
    • Thing In Scandinavian countries, a legislative or judicial assembly.
    • n Thing In Scandinavian countries, a legislative or judicial assembly; -- used, esp. in composition, in titles of such bodies. See Legislature Norway.
    • Thing 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.""He sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt.""A thing of beauty is a joy forever."
    • Thing (Law) Whatever may be possessed or owned; a property; -- distinguished from person.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The thing that hangs from the top of the beak of a turkey is called the snood
    • n thing That which is or may become the object of thought; that which has existence, or is conceived or imagined as having existence; any object, substance, attribute, idea, fact, circumstance, event, etc. A thing may be either material or ideal, animate or inanimate, actual, possible, or imaginary.
    • n thing In more limited applications— A particular existence or appearance which is not or cannot be more definitely characterized; a somewhat; a something.
    • n thing A living being: applied to persons or animals, either in admiration, tenderness, or pity, or in contempt; as, a poor sick thing; a poor foolish thing.
    • n thing A material object lacking life and consciousness.
    • n thing That which is done; an act, doing, undertaking, business, affair, etc.; also, something which is to be done; a duty or task; in the passage from Chaucer, below, in the plural, prayers or devotions.
    • n thing A composition, as a tale, a poem, or a piece of music: used informally or depreciatingly.
    • n thing [Usually plural] Personal accoutrements, equipments, furniture, etc.; especially, apparel; clothing; in particular, outdoor garments; wraps.
    • n thing plural In law, sometimes, the material objects which can be subject to property rights; sometimes, those rights themselves. The distinction which is often made between corporeal and incorporeal things is a consequence of the confusion of these two meanings. Things real comprehend lands, tenements, and hereditaments, including rights and profits issuing out of land; things personal comprehend goods and chattels; and things mixed are such as partake of the characteristics of the two former, as a title-deed.
    • n thing plural Circumstances.
    • n thing A portion, part, or particular; an item; a particle; a jot, whit, or bit: used in many adverbial expressions, especially after or in composition with no, any, and some. See nothing, anything, something.
    • n thing Cause; sake.
    • n thing In Scandinavian countries and in regions largely settled by Scandinavians (as the east and north of England), an assembly, public meeting, parliament, or court of law. Also ting. See Althing, Landsthing, Storthing, Folkething.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It's been said that Adolph Hitler was a coprophiliac, which means he had a fetish for women's feces. He also had a thing for being urinated on by women.
    • n Thing thing an inanimate object: a living being (in tenderness or in contempt): an event: a part:
    • n Thing ting a parliament, or a court of law, in Scandinavian countries.
    • n Thing thing (pl.) clothes, wraps
    • ***

Quotations

  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
  • Henry David Thoreau
    Henry%20David%20Thoreau
    “Things do not change, we do.”
  • Jawaharlal Nehru
    Jawaharlal%20Nehru
    “Every little thing counts in a crisis.”
  • Martin Luther
    Martin%20Luther
    “Every man must do two things alone; he must do his own believing and his own dying.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Enthusiasm: A little thing that makes a BIG difference.”
  • Mark Twain
    Mark%20Twain
    “Man will do many things to get himself loved; he will do all things to get himself envied.”

Idioms

A little learning is a dangerous thing - A small amount of knowledge can cause people to think they are more expert than they really are.eg. he said he'd done a course on home electrics, but when he tried to mend my table lamp, he fused all the lights! I think a little learning is a dangerous thing
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All things to all people - When we try to be all things to all people, we try to satifsy everyone, and often end up satisfying no one.
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Best thing since sliced bread - If something is the best thing since sliced bread, it is excellent. ('The greatest thing since sliced bread' is also used.)
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Money makes many things - This means that money is important.
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Saying is one thing; doing is another - It's harder to do something than it is to say that you will do it.
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Sweep things under the carpet - If people try to ignore unpleasant things and forget about them, they sweep them under the carpet.
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Worse things happen at sea - This idiomatic expression is used as a way of telling someone not to worry so much about their problems.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
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
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. thing, thinc; Ger. ding.

Usage

In literature:

They can half do a great many things, but can't do any one thing well, to a finish.
"Pushing to the Front" by Orison Swett Marden
But, as for Dolph, he was a thing of beauty and, what was more, a thing of life, not a soggy bundle like himself.
"The Brentons" by Anna Chapin Ray
Is it not a heinous thing for a young man to do these things?
"The Comedies of Terence" by Publius Terentius Afer, (AKA) Terence
Horse sense is one of the most valuable things in the business world, and it is one of the rarest things.
"Dollars and Sense" by Col. Wm. C. Hunter
They said if they put the things out there, and put a family of Negroes there the Yankees would not bother the things.
"Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States" by Various
It would be a great thing; a very great thing.
"Orley Farm" by Anthony Trollope
The heaven things are understood at once, and things of the earth sphere.
"Quiet Talks on the Crowned Christ of Revelation" by S. D. Gordon
She didn't know any of the young things and the gay things.
"Mistress Anne" by Temple Bailey
Things mount up you ken, and we maun try and guide things.
"Janet's Love and Service" by Margaret M Robertson
The next thing we'll have him in a nigger minstrel band, or playing on a fiddle!
"A Little Girl of Long Ago" by Amanda Millie Douglas
There were things to think of, things deep and strange.
"The History of Sir Richard Calmady" by Lucas Malet
It is a bad thing for little girls.
"A Little Girl in Old Boston" by Amanda Millie Douglas
You have the genius of distinction, even in small things.
"Jewel Weed" by Alice Ames Winter
I intended to say so, as politely as such a thing can be said.
"Gossamer" by George A. Birmingham
Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things.
"Expositions of Holy Scripture" by Alexander Maclaren
Having thus dispatcht these things, that I may handle things togeather, I shall here inserte 2. other letters from M^r.
"Bradford's History of 'Plimoth Plantation'" by William Bradford
You are the most wonderful thing in the world to me, and you hate these things too, don't you?
"The Day of Judgment" by Joseph Hocking
Say, you can just leave those things alone.
"The Twins of Suffering Creek" by Ridgwell Cullum
I think it the biggest thing ever known.
"Ireland as It Is" by Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)
The only thing I'm not allowed to do is to marry, and it's the only thing I care for.
"Is He Popenjoy?" by Anthony Trollope
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In poetry:

Living is
a thing you do
now or never -
which do you?
"Living Is -" by Piet Hein
And-in each little thing
He can follow the King.
Yes-in each smallest thing
He can follow the King.
He can follow the Christ, the King.
That’s the very best thing he can do.
"What Can a Little Chap Do?" by John Oxenham
For she is kinder than all others are,
And weak things, sad things, gather where she dwells,
To reach and taste her strength and drink of her,
As thirsty creatures of clear water-wells.
"A Portrait" by Susan Coolidge
Oft thus I pause, I think, I muse,
And thous and vther things I chuse,
Wheirof their's no thing myne to geue.
Then geue I ouer my vane contentione,
And'st, yues in nought but apprehensione,
So rests your dettore while I leiue.
"The Avthor To His Patrone" by Patrick Gordon
Oh, happy land, where things come right!
We of the world where things go ill;
Where lovers love, but don't unite;
Where no one finds the Missing Will -
Dominion of the heart's delight,
Scribie, we've loved, and love thee still!
"Partant Pour La Scribie" by Andrew Lang
My tired soul could to itself confess
That she deserved a wiser love than mine;
To love more truly were to love her less,
And for this truth I still awoke to pine;
I had a dim belief that it would be
A better thing for her, a blessed thing for me.
"The Four Bridges" by Jean Ingelow

In news:

The US workplace is shrinking more now than ever, but whether that is a good thing or a bad thing remains to be seen.
Here's the thing: You put four programs, each storied in its own way, on a national stage in a place where basketball is a hallowed thing, you maybe get a sense for what used to be instead of what is these days .
In trapping, there's no such thing as a sure thing.
"But there were some things I couldn't get rid of, like my old books, my old albums, things like that," Long said.
Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things has compiled a list of 10 things this product will do that may surprise you.
The funny thing is that nearly every time I get a product sample from Michael Recchiuti, it's the same thing — with a different picture on the top.
In the era of iTunes and Spotify, holiday boxed-set season gives us a chance to revel in real, actual things, of all things.
In the grand scheme of things, the five consecutive wins the Dodgers just pulled out of nowhere could mean a couple things.
The first thing I ate when I landed Monday night was, of all things, a Colombian pizza.
One thing I have noticed over the last 12 years is that dog training, like so many other things in life, has its fads .
And Roosevelt felt that it was the right thing to do and that the job of his lawyers was to find a way for him to do the things that he thought he needed to do.
Niagara Gazette — Niagara men's basketball coach Joe Mihalich said there were "a few things to be discouraged about" from Friday night's season-opening loss at Oregon State, "but a lot of things to be encouraged about.
LEWISTON, Maine — The first thing the Sharks did was the last thing they wanted to do.
Ray Allegrezza The other day, a retailer challenged me to describe the best thing - and the worst thing - that has happened to the furniture sector.
Things here have been moving fast, with the short week things are compressed like crazy.
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In science:

The interesting thing is that this version leads directly to families of non-intersecting paths, namely the standard ones which can be used to obtain the Schur polynomials, , .
Non-intersecting Paths, Random Tilings and Random Matrices
For one thing, configurations of a single brane can be constructed with arbitrarily large N .
M(atrix) Theory: Matrix Quantum Mechanics as a Fundamental Theory
The only thing left to verify is the c.c.c. of the poset P1 and that is completely standard.
Duality Chipped
Lemma 1.2 of [Z] holds just the same, saying among other things that Pα is forcing equivalent to the countable support iteration of the poset P of length α.
Countable Support Iteration Revisited
Here one would like to express things in the asymptotic expansion of the heat kernel of e−tD ′ 2 instead of e−t(U ∗ i∗D ′ iU )2 .
Relative Zeta Functions, Determinants, Torsion, Index Theorems and Invariants for Open Manifolds
This means that there will be factors of i to make things invariant.
Large N limit of SO(N) gauge theory of fermions and bosons
The transition time tL between these two behaviors depends among other things on the length of the system.
Aging Continuous Time Random Walks
For one thing, the ”scattering potential” for light depends on frequency and it vanishes in the limit of zero frequency.
Coherent Random Lasing and "Almost Localized" Photon Modes
A first thing to notice is that the quantum random walk induces an asymmetric probability distribution on the positions, it is ’drifting’ to the left.
Quantum random walks - an introductory overview
For instance, hyperfine atomic structure states, even in a situation of intermediate magnetic decoupling, are possible; the only important thing is that the quantum states describing the internal variables should be orthogonal.
Large amplitude spin waves in ultra-cold gases
However, things are not entirely trivial since states and operators actually transform contragrediently.
Instability and Degeneracy in the BMN Correspondence
One should think of C as a set of computable things, e.g., trees, graphs, numbers, stacks, strings etc.
A Universal Approach to Self-Referential Paradoxes, Incompleteness and Fixed Points
This is due to . A natural thing to do is to investigate possibilities of defining Chern-classes of A-modules equipped with a VW -connection, generalizing the classical Chern-classes defined using the curvature of a connection.
Chern classes and Lie-Rinehart algebras
The first thing that occurs during the motion out of the quasiequilibrium initial conditions is appearance of the dissipation.
Geometry of irreversibility: The film of nonequilibrium states
In [Ka-Mi-L1], Kapovich, Millson, and Leeb have, among other things, proved Thompson’s conjecture for an arbitrary semi-simple Lie group G0 .
Thompson's conjecture for real semi-simple Lie groups
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