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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishthingthing /θɪŋ/ ●●● S1 W1 noun  1 idea/action/feeling/fact [countable]THING 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]THING 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 things4 things5 things6 nothingNONE/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]TALK TO somebody 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 etcthing 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 is10 the last thing somebody wants/expects/needs etc11 last thing12 first thing13 among other things14 for one thing15 be a thing of the past16 it’s a good thing (that)17 something is just one of those things18 the thing about/with somebody/something19 all (other) things being equal20 just the thing/the very thing21 of all things22 do your own thing23 it’s a girl/football/music etc thing24 all things considered25 be all things to all men/people26 be onto a good thing27 make a big thing of/about/out of something28 the done thing29 it’s one thing to ..., (it’s) another thing to ..., 30 what with one thing and another31 have a thing about somebody/something32 one thing leads to another33 the (latest) thing34 (do/try) the ... thing35 there's only one thing for it36 one (damn/damned) thing after another37 taking one thing with another38 do things to somebody amount/come to the same thing at same1(4), → the best thing since sliced bread at sliced bread(2), → first things first at first1(7), → living things at living1(1), → be hearing things at hear(10), → be seeing things at see1(27)COLLOCATIONSMeaning 3: verbsthings go well/badly etcIf things went well, we would double our money in five years.How did things go?things changeThings have changed dramatically over the last few years.things improveThings appear to be improving.things get worseAs the recession proceeds, things will get worse.phrasesmake things worse/easier/difficultMeasures 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.
THESAURUSthing used when you do not need to say the name, or when you do not know the nameWhat’s that thing on the kitchen table?Have you got all your things?something a thing – used when you are not sure what the thing isThere’s something on your shirt.object especially written a solid thinga sharp metal objectitem formal a particular kind of thing, or one of a group of thingshousehold itemsa luxury iteman item of equipmentThe items included pieces of old pottery.You are not allowed to take sharp items onto the plane.article formal a particular kind of thing, or one of a group of things. Article is very formal, and is used especially in the phrase an article of clothingThey found several articles of clothing in the bushes.suspicious articlesEach article has a card with it giving more information.artifact (also artefact) formal an object that someone has made, especially one that is very old and has historical valueThe museum has a collection of early Roman artifacts.thingy (also thingamajig/thingamabob) spoken informal a thing – used especially when you cannot remember the name of the thing, but often the other person knows what you are talking aboutCan you pass me the thingy?
Examples from the Corpus
thingI don't have a thing to wear!All that lovely fresh air -- that's the best thing about living in the country.I have better things to do with my time.I know I shouldn't have hit him - it was a dumb thing to do.He's got one of those electronic things, you know, that you can record all your addresses in.In the new version of the story, a few things have been changed.The first thing I'm going to do when I get home is take a nap.The first thing we have to discuss is the price.The first thing we need to do is call Becky.The first thing you should do is connect the printer to the computer.The first thing they realised was that they would have to slow things down.A funny thing happened to me on the way to work this morning.She was wearing one of those Spanish type jacket things.So many things have happened since I last saw you.Sources say most things work but hundreds of fine points have to be checked.That was a really nice thing to do - I know Leona enjoys your visits.The nicest thing about Richard is that he doesn't mind being criticized.There was a sense of importance, of being at the heart of things.The only thing she ever talks about is her boyfriend.He has a good point, but there are other things to consider.The most outstanding thing about the palace is the ceilings in several rooms.He gave her half the money because it was the right thing to do.She was never in doubt about one single thing in her entire life.One of the things I like about Susan is the way she always keeps smiling, even when there are problems.The thing that I really hate about this job is having to work late at night.I cried during the whole thing.it is no bad thing toIn a new democracy, it is no bad thing to master the art of compromise.With the temperature at -15°C maybe it is no bad thing to run them slowly.... and thingsAnd things that are truer than true.And things weren't going as well as hoped.Barnum started it all more than 150 years ago, and things have never been rosier for self-promoters.There were a lot of fights at dances and things like that.The business is going downhill fast, and things are even worse between me and your father.But soon the rain set in and things began to go wrong.People and Things Children will be fascinated by the wealth of information in this book.Leaders Sunderland made the short trip to Seaham and things looked close at half time as they nosed in front 19-14.no such thing asSince there is normally no movement of funds there can be no such thing as exact financial statistics.For Leibniz, there can be no such thing as a perfect vacuum.We had no strong drink, no such thing as whiskey, before the white man came to our country.But in spite of what is often claimed, there is no such thing as a dead marriage.There is no such thing as deciding to do something, at least as this is usually understood.There is no such thing as Higley, Arizona.poor thingWhat a poor thing you must all think me!My pigeon can't fly, poor thing.She was at the funeral, Victorine said: she would go, poor thing.Whack, the sound of the hatchet decapitating the poor thing.Even if they are fictional characters, it doesn't bode well for the poor things.Interracial couples were under surveillance wherever the poor things raised their heads anywhere in the city.The poor thing lives in Brooklyn.It’s a ... thingIt's one thing failing to see some white posts.It's the other things, like the Exhilarator - a playground for young executives.Of course, marriage is impossible, and, anyway, it's the last thing you'd want.With the recession in this country, it's the last thing I expected.As you know it's the only thing that brings Gesner to heel.Male speaker It's a cowardly thing to do.I think it's a blow-up thing - you know, like a rubber ring you go swimming with.Looking at it from a businessman's point of view, it's the obvious thing to do.
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