1 item, (inanimate) object, article, possession:
They went without leaving a thing behind.
2 item, subject, matter, detail, feature, aspect, affair, constituent, element, factor, point:
There's one thing that I forgot to mention. It's a small thing, but I like coffee with my breakfast.
3 fad, trend, fashion:
Let me show you the latest thing in sports cars.
4 feeling, reaction, attitude, sentiment, emotional attachment; quirk, fixation, preoccupation, obsession; fetish or fetich, idée fixe, affection, liking, partiality, predilection, fancy, love, passion, mania; phobia, fear, terror, aversion, loathing, horror, detestation, dislike, Colloq hang-up:
A chocoholic has a thing about chocolate. Pet snakes are not Patricia's thing. Roger has a thing about going out in public.
5 device, item, gadget, object, entity, mechanism, contrivance, apparatus, instrument, utensil, Colloq dingus, doodad, whatchamacallit, thingumajig, whosis, whatsis, thingummy, thingumabob, Chiefly US and Canadian gismo or gizmo:
Where's the thing that is supposed to hold the flywheel in place?
6 chore, task, responsibility, matter; act, action, deed, activity, proceeding:
The first thing I must do is to phone home.
7 opportunity, chance, possibility:
See me first thing tomorrow.
(a) affairs, matters, business, concerns:
I have to take care of some things at the office today.
(b) circumstances, events, happenings:
Things are rarely what they seem.
(c) belongings, luggage, baggage, impedimenta, possessions, paraphernalia, effects, clothes, clothing, goods; equipment, tools, utensils, implements, apparatus, Colloq gear, stuff, Slang Brit clobber, US crap, junk, Taboo Slang US shit:
Take your things and leave at once! The plumber left his things at the shop.
1 used instead of the name of an object
I need to buy a few basic things like bread and milk.
VERB + THING
He makes things out of wood.
2 things: objects/clothing/tools
swimming, tennis, etc. | breakfast, lunch, etc.
He hadn't washed up the dinner things yet.
VERB + THING
get together, pack
Come on kids, get your things together?we're going.
| put on, take off
Hang on a second?I'll just take off my painting things (= clothes).
| clear away/up, put away, tidy away/up
Clear your painting things (= materials)away.
3 (used with negatives) anything
VERB + THING
hear, know, notice, see
I can't see a thing without my glasses.
I'm going to arrive early, because I don't want to miss a thing.
She's tricked you, and you can't do a thing about it.
I haven't eaten a thing all day.
Nobody said a thing when he appeared with a wig on.
Fame and fortune don't mean a thing if you don't have happiness.
good, great, positive
It's a good thing you remembered to turn off the gas! The best thing would be to apologize straight away. If she works hard she's capable of great things. Try to look on your rejection as a positive thing.
| lovely, nice, wonderful | bad, negative
Too much studying can be a bad thing. It's no bad thing to express your anger.
| appalling, awful, dreadful, horrible, terrible
That was a horrible thing to say to her.
| amazing, curious, exciting, extraordinary, funny, interesting, remarkable, startling, strange, striking, surprising, weird
The amazing thing is, he wouldn't accept any money!
| ridiculous | frightening, worrying | annoying | foolish, silly, stupid
I admit it was a foolish thing to do.
damn/damned | crucial, key, main, important, vital
The key thing is to remain calm.
| little, the slightest, small, trivial
I give thanks for every little thing. He loses his temper at the slightest thing. It's such a small thing to ask.
Apologizing is never the easiest thing to do.
| hard | brave, dangerous, risky | natural
Entertaining people is the most natural thing in the world for her.
| close, close-run
I managed to get on the train, but it was a close-run thing (= I almost missed it).
| rare | everyday
She helped with the everyday things like shopping and cooking.
I did my usual thing of losing my keys.
| nearest, next best
He's the nearest thing to a film star I've ever met. I wanted to be a musician, but teaching music is the next best thing.
It's just a practice, not the real thing.
| the whole
Let's forget the whole thing.
The last thing she wanted was to upset her parents.
loads, lots, plenty
I've got loads of things to do today.
VERB + THING
He has a funny way of doing things. It's impossible to get things done when you're looking after a baby.
| make up, say
Who's been saying things about me?
| be hearing/imagining/seeing
There's nobody at the door?you must have been imagining things!
THING + VERB
go on, happen, occur
There are some weird things going on in that house. A funny thing happened to me this morning …
The best thing about Alan is he's always honest.
among/amongst other things
Amongst other things, I have to deal with mail and keep the accounts.
| have better things to do
I've got better things to do than stand here chatting all day!
| kind/sort of thing
They go canoeing, climbing, that sort of thing.
| know/learn/teach sb a thing or two
Jack knows a thing or two about kids?he's got five.
| no such thing
There's no such thing as ghosts (= they don't exist).
| such a thing/a thing like that
People defraud their companies every day, but Mike would never do such a thing!
| a thing of the past
Books may one day become a thing of the past.
5 things: general situation, as it affects sb
VERB + THING
She's taken a few days off to think things over.
| look at, see
Try to look at things from my point of view.
| discuss, talk over, talk through
We arranged to meet and talk things over.
| explain | accept
You should suggest changes, rather than accept things as they are.
| change | arrange, deal with, handle, look after, run, sort out
Who's going to look after things while you're away? I want to get things sorted out before I go away.
| straighten out | mess up, spoil | patch up
They patched things up a week after their quarrel.
| speed along/up
It might speed things up if you phone them.
| delay, hold up, slow down
THING + VERB
As things stand at present, he seems certain to win.
| be going
He asked me how things were going.
| change | go (according) to plan, go well, work (out)
I just don't know if things are going to work out.
| get better, improve, look up
We were in trouble but now things are looking up.
| look bright/good/promising/rosy
There was a week to go to the deadline and things were looking good.
| look bleak/grim
Things looked bleak for the future of the factory.
| be in/get into a mess, get out of hand, get/run out of control, go wrong | get worse, go downhill | turn out
I'm sure things will turn out OK.
| come to a head
Things came to a head when money was found to be missing from the account.
| get to sb
Try not to let things get to you.
all/other things being equal
All other things being equal, the bigger fighter should win.
| all things considered
All things considered, I think we've done a good job.
| get/keep things going/moving
They hired temporary staff to keep things going over the summer.
| get/put things straight
I marched into his office to get a few things straight.
| have/keep things in hand/under control
He offered to help, but she assured him she had things in hand.
| have things on your mind
We chatted about school, but I could tell she had other things on her mind.
| let things slide/slip
She'd started the term studying hard, but now was beginning to let things slip.
| let things take their course/happen
Don't worry about it?just let things take their course.
| make things better, easier, difficult, worse, etc.
Her apology only served to make things worse.
| put things right
He apologized, and asked for a chance to put things right.
| things to come
The pay cut was just a taste of things to come.
6 what is needed/socially acceptable
He did the right thing and went back to his wife. I did all the right things but I couldn't get the engine to start.
She always manages to say the wrong thing.
| logical, obvious, prudent, sensible
Calling a doctor seemed the logical thing to do.
| decent, done, honourable
He did the decent thing and resigned. It's not the done thing to ask someone how much they earn.
Iced tea?the very thing!
VERB + THING
do | say
just the thing, not quite the thing
It wouldn't be quite the thing to turn up in running gear.
7 a person/an animal
The baby's a pretty little thing.
| silly | poor
You must be starving, you poor thing!
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