W1S1 [θıŋ] n
6¦(make a comment)¦
7 the thing is
8 the last thing somebody wants/expects/needs etc
9 last thing
10 first thing
13 among other things
14 for one thing
15 be a thing of the past
16 it's a good thing (that)
17 something is just one of those things
18 the thing about/with somebody/something
19 all (other) things being equal
20 just the thing/the very thing
21 of all things
22 do your own thing
23 it's a girl/football/music etc thing
24 all things considered
25 be all things to all men/people
26 be onto a good thing
27 make a big thing of/about/out of something
28 the done thing
29 it's one thing to ..., (it's) another thing to ...,
30 what with one thing and another
31 have a thing about somebody/something
32 one thing leads to another
33 the (latest) thing
34 (do/try) the...thing
35 there is only one thing for it
36 one (damn/damned) thing after another
37 taking one thing with another
38 do things to somebody
[: Old English; Origin: 'meeting, council, 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)¦
an object that you are talking about without saying its name, or whose name you do not know
A red thing was caught in the branches.
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.
things [plural]
life in general and the way it is affecting people
By the end of 1942, things were starting to change.
Things could be worse.
As things turned out, we didn't have much time.
How are things with you, Sarah?
make things easy/difficult/hard
She would get angry quickly, which made things difficult for me.
We can't change the way things are .
4.) ¦(NOTHING)¦ [singular, U]
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) .
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 .
6.) ¦(MAKE A COMMENT)¦ [C usually singular]
used to say something about a particular part of a situation, person etc
thing 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.
7.) the thing is
spoken used when you are going to explain something, give the reason for something, or give an opinion
'It sounds like a good idea. Why don't you invest?' 'Well, the thing is, I can't afford to.'
the thing is that
The thing is that you can't always judge your own work.
8.) the last thing sb wants/expects/needs etc
something that someone does not want, expect etc at all
The last thing I want is to upset him.
The last thing I should have done was let her move into my house.
9.) last thing
BrE at the end of a day, afternoon, evening etc
She likes a hot bath last thing at night .
10.) first thing
at the beginning of a day, morning, afternoon etc
Jean liked to go for a swim first thing in the morning .
things [plural] especially BrE clothes and possessions
American Equivalent: stuffsb's things
Jim began to unpack his things.
I want to sell some of my things, but they aren't worth much.
12.) ¦(EQUIPMENT)¦
things [plural] especially BrE the tools, equipment, clothes etc that you need for a particular job, sport etc
American Equivalent: stuffsb's writing/school/Christmas etc things
I left my swimming things at home.
the shed where he kept his gardening things
13.) among other things
used when you are giving one fact, reason, effect etc but want to suggest that there are many others
The substance is used in the manufacture of cosmetics and drugs, among other things.
14.) for one thing
used to give one reason for something
Well, for one thing, it's too big.
He's not that wonderful. He's bad-tempered for one thing.
15.) be a thing of the past
to no longer exist or happen
Before AIDS, many health care experts believed that large-scale infectious diseases were a thing of the past.
16.) it's a good thing (that)
spoken used to say that it is lucky or good that something has happened
It's a good thing we brought some food with us.
17.) sth is just one of those things
used to say that something unpleasant or unlucky cannot be prevented
It wasn't really the driver's fault; it was just one of those things.
18.) the thing about/with sb/sth
used to say what the problem with someone or something is
The thing about talk shows is that you never know how they will turn out.
19.) all (other) things being equal
used to say that something is true in general, but that other things may cause the situation to change
All things being equal, smaller animals need smaller brains.
20.) just the thing/the very thing
exactly the thing that you want or that is necessary
A holiday is probably just the thing for you.
21.) of all things
used to show that you are surprised or shocked by something that someone has done or said
She gave up a promising career as a stockbroker to become a weaver, of all things.
22.) do your own thing informal
to do something in the way that you like instead of copying other people or following strict rules
I just want to live my own life and do my own thing.
23.) it's a girl/football/music etc thing informal
used to say that something involves or affects a particular group of people only
Computer games aren't just a guy thing.
24.) all things considered
when you consider all the parts or events of a situation
All things considered, we had surprisingly few injuries.
25.) be all things to all men/people
to try to please or be useful to all of many different groups, often without succeeding
In order to get votes, he tries to be all things to all men.
26.) be onto a good thing informal
if you are onto a good thing, you are in a situation that is very helpful, comfortable, or profitable for you
think/know you are onto a good thing
Directors who take dividends instead of salary may think they are onto a good thing but could have problems on retirement.
27.) make a big thing of/about/out of sth
to make something seem more important than it really is
You can apologise without making a big thing out of it.
28.) the done thing
BrE old-fashioned informal the way of behaving or doing something that is socially acceptable
It is not the done thing for teachers to hit children.
29.) it's one thing to ..., (it's) another thing to ...,
used to say that doing one thing is very different from doing another thing, especially where the second thing is more difficult, important, or serious
It's one thing being able to run fast, but quite another to win a marathon.
30.) what with one thing and another
BrE spoken used to explain that you have had a lot of work, problems, or jobs that you had to do
I've been so busy these last few days, what with one thing and another.
31.) have a thing about sb/sth informal
to like or dislike someone or something very much, often without a good reason
She's always had a thing about Peter.
32.) one thing leads to another
used to explain how a series of events caused something to happen without giving any details
One thing led to another and, before I knew it, I had invited her family to stay.
33.) the (latest) thing informal
something that is popular or fashionable at the moment
When Amelia bought a new car it had to be the latest thing.
34.) (do/try) the...thing
AmE spoken used to talk about an activity and everything that is involved with it
Jody tried the college thing but finally dropped out.
35.) there is only one thing for it
BrE spoken used to say that there is only one action that you can take
There's only one thing for it. We'll have to call the police.
36.) one (damn/damned) thing after another
used to say that a lot of unpleasant or unlucky things keep happening to you
37.) taking one thing with another
BrE considering all the facts
38.) do things to sb
to have a strong effect on someone
amount/come to the same thing atsame1 (4), the best thing since sliced bread atslice2 (4), first things first atfirst1 (7), living things atliving1 (1), be hearing things athear(10), be seeing things atsee1 (28)

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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