Definition of thank in English:



[with object]
  • 1Express gratitude to (someone), especially by saying ‘Thank you’

    ‘Mac thanked her for the meal and left’
    • ‘Editors always seem to be thanking people and now I know without doubt that they mean it.’
    • ‘We've been overwhelmed with the support given to us and we can't thank people enough.’
    • ‘I could bore you all by thanking the little people who helped me to where I am today.’
    • ‘He went on to thank the people of Shipley for putting their trust in him and said news of the win had not yet sunk in.’
    • ‘Many people were thanked for their help in making Mickleton a good place to live in.’
    • ‘I was really impressed with the turnout and would like to thank people for their support.’
    • ‘Through your newspaper I would like to thank the person who found the letters and posted them.’
    • ‘It is so nice for us to think that what we did has not been forgotten and we can't thank people enough.’
    • ‘We sometimes get letters from people thanking us for reconnecting them quickly.’
    • ‘A charity worker has thanked people in Harwich for their support ahead of a mercy mission to Romania.’
    • ‘We thanked the people who called the fire brigade and the crews, who were here quickly.’
    • ‘He also thanked the many people who drove him around the area to visit various places.’
    • ‘They wish to thank the many people who helped to make the day the great success it was.’
    • ‘This man got up and read a little piece thanking the people of Ireland for their generosity.’
    • ‘By thanking people you are building good will and empathy with their support.’
    • ‘Mr Dolan thanked the people of Bingley and surrounding areas for their support.’
    • ‘A pensioner injured after she was knocked off her bike has thanked the people who came to her aid.’
    • ‘The committee would like to thank many people who helped to make the day such a success.’
    • ‘Mr Ackroyd thanked the people of nearby villages for their help and support over the years.’
    • ‘He thanked the many people who sent him so many cards when he was sick last year.’
    express gratitude to, express one's gratitude to, express one's thanks to, extend thanks to, offer thanks to, say thank you to, show appreciation to
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    1. 1.1 Used ironically to assign blame or responsibility for something.
      ‘you have only yourself to thank for the plight you are in’
      • ‘So we get a way to accept inevitable death, some good social rules and someone to thank or blame for it all.’
      blame, hold responsible
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  • I will thank you to do something

    • Used to make a request conveying reproach or annoyance.

      ‘I'll thank you not to interrupt me again’
      • ‘I am not a dragon and I will thank you to pass that on to any others your age who share this absurd phobia!’
      • ‘If [a trader should] take the bill to the banker's, at whose house it is made payable, and say, ‘Gentlemen, I will thank you to inform me if the accepter of this bill be a respectable man - May I safely give goods or money in exchange for it?’’
      • ‘‘No ‘buts,’ sir, and I will thank you to leave now.’’
      • ‘I am your Supreme Commander for this operation, and I will thank you to remember it.’
      • ‘My heart is mine and mine alone, and I will thank you to provide me with the privacy I deserve!’
  • thank goodness (or God or heavens)

    • Used as an expression of relief.

      ‘thank goodness no one was badly injured’
      • ‘He didn't quite get the allusion, thank heavens.’
      • ‘Saturday's bolts of lightning were about the most honest the weather's been this past two weeks - thank heavens I spent a little bit of it in the Catalan sunshine.’
      • ‘Such bad food yes, but thank heavens for such large portions.’
      • ‘And thank heavens for the support that I've had from this country, because without it I wouldn't have a job.’
      • ‘Gasping with relief I say, It could have broken but thank goodness it did not.’
      • ‘When it comes down to basics I'm no less selfish than anyone else I know and, thank heavens, I'm not foolish enough to think otherwise.’
      • ‘The station survived just fine, thank heavens.’
      • ‘I went to bed at 2:00 am this morning… thank heavens it was a Friday yesterday.’
      • ‘Thank goodness for a free press; and thank goodness for our imperfect system of Democracy.’
      • ‘I even like go-karting - thank heavens for those really large rubber bumpers!’
      fortunately, happily, providentially, opportunely, by good luck, by good fortune, as luck would have it, propitiously
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  • thank one's lucky stars

    • Feel grateful for one's good fortune.

      • ‘You certainly thank your lucky stars for what you've got when you see the kind of poverty a lot of people live in.’
      • ‘Instead, everyone will greet each day with a cheerful heart and a song on their lips, thanking their lucky stars for living in this fine historic city.’
      • ‘Bullock thanks her lucky stars that she had been working for a number of years before hitting the Hollywood jackpot.’
      • ‘Michael, 54, has been left thanking his lucky stars for being a ‘big bloke’ after he found himself jammed in the hole created - protecting him from a much longer fall into a disused cellar.’
      • ‘The couple are thanking their lucky stars because, if the crash had happened minutes earlier, Sarah and daughter Tegan, two, would have been in the lounge when the car crashed.’
      • ‘If you do have to work, then thank your lucky stars that you have an afternoon off to spend with a book.’
      • ‘A family from Burbage, near Marlborough, are thanking their lucky stars that a meteorological ‘kink’ spared their new holiday home in Florida from the ravages of the recent Hurricane Charley.’
      • ‘Mellisa thanks her lucky stars for having attended St Joseph's Convent where the many extra-curricular activities - drama, singing, elocution, poetry - helped tremendously in developing her talent.’
      • ‘There we wrapped ourselves in the great white robes, flopped on the giant bed, and thanked our lucky stars that we were already home and dry, instead of out on the streets fighting our way back to some place miles away from the action.’
      • ‘We just thank our lucky stars that she is still with us and is doing so well in her recovery.’


Old English thancian, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German danken; compare with thanks.