Definition of tank in English:

tank

noun

  • 1A large receptacle or storage chamber, especially for liquid or gas.

    • ‘He had breached several conditions of his licence by failing to notify the Petroleum Licensing Authority of his intention to discontinue the use of petroleum spirit storage tanks.’
    • ‘The toxic waste flooded footpaths, flowed through a forest and onto playing fields after the storage tank on the road overflowed.’
    • ‘There are eight raw storage tanks plus an outdoor silo for all liquid ingredients, with capacity totaling 54,000 gallons.’
    • ‘As you can see from the figure below, the baffle extends to the top of the tank, and the liquid passes through holes below the water line.’
    • ‘Currently, the plant has two cream storage tanks and three raw milk storage tanks.’
    • ‘In fact, the effective storage of most hydro tanks is about 18 percent of the total volume.’
    • ‘The underground storage tanks for these chemicals (and you can be sure there were many in the Silicon Valley) sometimes leaked.’
    • ‘Only two tonnes of liquid chlorine spilt from a storage tank after an equipment failure, but it was enough to cause plenty of drama.’
    • ‘Moreover, much of the water supply is deliberately contaminated by willful destruction of sewers, water pipes and storage tanks.’
    • ‘Sperm is traditionally stored in large liquid nitrogen tanks together with a protective chemical that must be removed before fertilisation.’
    • ‘In Atlanta, a retired attorney of impeccable reputation was arrested for trying to take photos of some storage tanks.’
    • ‘Its oil refinery and farms of storage tanks disburse petroleum products to much of South-East Asia.’
    • ‘Storage tanks will also be built to treat stormwater.’
    • ‘The rainwater falling on the rooftop, which acts as the catchment area, is directed to the storage tank with the help of specially made channels using PVC pipes.’
    • ‘New emission limits will be imposed on the company when recycled liquid fuel is used and purpose-built secure on-site storage tanks will be used to store the fuel.’
    • ‘The protest forced the field to halt production in order to prevent its 2,000-barrel storage tanks from overflowing.’
    • ‘There are temperature controlled fermenters and storage tanks, and good new oak barrels for maturation.’
    • ‘We understand that there is a gas leak and a possible shearing of an oil storage tank as well or a leak in a storage tank.’
    • ‘Probably the best system would have been to run them off natural gas and to have created storage tanks near the pumps in case the gas lines failed.’
    • ‘With the boiler and storage tanks removed from the cinder block building, that seemed to be the best first place to look.’
    1. 1.1 The container holding the fuel supply in a motor vehicle, aircraft, etc.
      • ‘I get a free car for a week, brand spanking new, with that gorgeous new-car smell and most probably a full tank of petrol, to drive wherever I want?’
      • ‘In the aftermath of a collision cars with full fuel tanks tend to go up in flames killing the occupants who might have survived the collision.’
      • ‘Fuel tanks in the racing cars are located to the left of the driver so a two-seat conversion requires it to be moved to the rear of the car - no small job.’
      • ‘The fuel tank still contained gasoline and the majority of rubber hoses and other rubber items were in such condition that they could be reused if wanted.’
      • ‘The rear seat sat above the fuel tank, which was accessed via a filler door located low on the body side, just behind the driver's door.’
      • ‘Then the airflow is diffused, only to be recompressed and diffused again as it moves along the underside of the car past the muffler and the fuel tank.’
      • ‘Fuel tanks could be considered the container of the lifeblood of your Mazda.’
      • ‘The car has been plagued by two recalls and at least six repair notices, ranging from faulty fuel tanks to seat belt flaws.’
      • ‘Both plastic fuel tanks and plastic intake manifolds have experienced significant gains since 1995.’
      • ‘With a full tank of fuel, the weight bias shifts rearwards slightly, which helps traction, as does the standard limited slip differential.’
      • ‘The fuel tank and exhaust pipe routing were modified slightly to accommodate the new subframe.’
      • ‘This fitting design actually pressurizes the fuel tank and forces gasoline out of the fill pipe and it flows into the bilge.’
      • ‘After spinning out in Saturday's qualifying, he would have started in the back of the pack anyway, so his team gave his car a fresh engine and a full tank of fuel as soon as the race started.’
      • ‘He notes, for example that there are additional opportunities for plastic fuel tanks.’
      • ‘A look at old race cars, with their exposed fuel tanks and absence of seatbelts, is a sobering reminder of just how vulnerable the drivers once were.’
      • ‘This is why drivers are asked to turn off their automobile engines, and not smoke, when filling fuel tanks with gasoline.’
      • ‘If so, he will not be as quick with a fuller tank of fuel come the first race.’
      • ‘Self-sealing crashworthy fuel tanks have explosion suppression and non-return valves.’
      • ‘But remember, a full tank of fuel costs £77 and lasts just over 300 miles.’
      • ‘In rural areas, there are normally only a few service stations, so when travelling long distances, be sure to leave with a full tank of fuel.’
      container, receptacle, vat, cistern, barrel, storage chamber, repository, reservoir, holder, basin
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A receptacle with transparent sides in which to keep fish; an aquarium.
      • ‘The stimulus tanks also were supplied with airstones, but none of the tanks contained filters because they would have impeded the view of both the focal fish and the observer.’
      • ‘The aquarium has also done some research and development on pressurized tanks to display fish, but a window on such a system has to be so small that only one or two people can look into a tank at a time.’
      • ‘Fish were held in large plastic tanks or large aquaria when not being used, and they were fed frozen chironomids and live damselfly larvae.’
      • ‘Feeding guppies in a fish tank has never been so much fun.’
      • ‘At other shops the undercover vets found tarantulas and scorpions within reach of children, fish in murky tanks and ignorant staff who recommended dangerous animals for family homes.’
      • ‘We were walking through the aquarium, glass fish tanks surrounding us on all sides.’
      • ‘I would have to say fish - I wanted a dog and my parents got us a fish tank.’
      • ‘I soon go sit down in front of my fish tank and do a little meditation.’
      • ‘You can tell that the ‘underwater’ shots are filmed behind a tank of aquarium fish, plastic plants and all.’
      • ‘Staff were asked to replace damaged glass tops to aquarium tanks, and they were also told that keeping an incubation facility in the zoo kitchen is ‘inappropriate’.’
      • ‘The first story is about a young Clownfish named Nemo who gets captured from his home in the ocean and wants to escape the domesticated captivity of a fish tank and find his way back to the sea.’
      • ‘A new shark has been introduced with the sand tiger sharks into the tanks of a British aquarium.’
      • ‘After wiping mud from the fish she put it on its side in a tank of water and soon enough it was swimming around.’
      • ‘One couple was shown exchanging vows submerged in an aquarium tank, diving bells over their heads, while tropical fish swam past.’
      • ‘Despite the size of the sharks, she felt at ease in the underwater environment and helped clean the tank and feed the aquariums other fish.’
      • ‘They garden in the small areas around the house, put out the bird food, and feed the fish in the fish tanks.’
      • ‘The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will continue to need access to the site to work on its 80 fish tanks.’
      • ‘The workers raise chickens, grow their own vegetables, have a fish tank and rent out space for horses.’
      • ‘A fish tank bubbled quietly next to the sliding glass doors which looked out upon the lake.’
      • ‘Custom tanks for large specialty fish can run in the thousands of dollars, plus extra for proper heating and filtration.’
      aquarium, bowl
      View synonyms
  • 2A heavy armored fighting vehicle carrying guns and moving on a continuous articulated metal track.

    • ‘First, the front warhead destroys the reactive armour and then the rear warhead has free passage to penetrate the main body armour of the tank.’
    • ‘Other reports indicated that hundreds of people were being indiscriminately mowed down by tanks and armoured vehicles in various suburbs.’
    • ‘There were tanks on both sides of the border and his regime imprisoned many Soviet sympathizers (real or just suspected).’
    • ‘The mission of the aircraft is ground attack against tanks, armoured vehicles and installations, and close air support of ground forces.’
    • ‘In short, tanks and troops alone will not win this struggle.’
    • ‘In the late hours of 16 November tanks, armoured vehicles and elite army units started to move towards the city centre.’
    • ‘It was used in Baghdad last year to attack side streets where tanks were thought to be hiding.’
    • ‘The Marines have captured two bridges and moved hundreds of tanks, armoured vehicles, fuel trucks, Humvees and other military vehicles across them in the past few days.’
    • ‘Among the advantages, few of the Army's tanks and armored fighting vehicles were lost to enemy action, and in most cases, their crews survived.’
    • ‘Following its use as a storage site for tanks during the war, the road has been kept usable by constant patching up.’
    • ‘There is no doubt we have the finest tanks and infantry fighting vehicles in the world.’
    • ‘That night the cabinet rounded up the strike leaders and flooded Glasgow with tanks and trainloads of troops to break the strike.’
    • ‘Within a week, Hitler had occupied the Sudetenland, and six months later German tanks rolled into Prague.’
    • ‘The helicopters, accompanied by tanks and heavy Bradley fighting vehicles, arrived later than many expected.’
    • ‘They fought tanks, armored personnel carriers, jets and precision munitions with Datsun pickups.’
    • ‘Both tanks contained full combat loads of high explosive rounds, as well as .50 caliber and 7.62 rounds.’
    • ‘Also for sale are evocative photographs of the Queen's Park works which was switched from making steam locomotives to producing tanks during the Second World War.’
    • ‘Correspondingly, would Rommel have achieved even greater success with his tactical genius and an endless supply of tanks and fuel?’
    • ‘My tanks reached the northern side of the bridge leading to Saigon.’
    • ‘Sophisticated hardware including helicopters, tanks and armoured vehicles is often useless because it is an easy target for enemies.’
    armoured vehicle, armoured car, combat vehicle
    View synonyms
  • 3North American informal A cell in a police station or jail.

    • ‘Get thrown in the tank and they let me out at 6am and give me back my shoe laces and bifocal sunglasses I don't even remember them and just kind of smiled when the girl was emptying the bag.’
    • ‘And don't refrain from telling your friends: Among drunks, the real ones anyway, a night in the tank is a very large feather in the drinking cap.’
    • ‘I got thrown in once when I was underage, not to eventful though...tried to get a cop to drive me home, he said sure and drove me straight to the tank.’
    dungeon, oubliette, lock-up, prison
    View synonyms

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1Fill the tank of a vehicle with fuel.

    ‘the cars stopped to tank up’
    • ‘As gasoline prices climb ever higher and the U.S. Senate backs oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the possibility of a hydrogen economy – where drivers tank up on clean-burning hydrogen fuel – gleams more brightly.’
    • ‘The trick is figuring out how to hold hydrogen safely and at sufficient density to allow a typical car to go 500 kilometers or so before having to tank up.’
    • ‘"Let's go down to the town, tank the car up, get some flowers for your mother, and have lunch in MacDonald's".’
    • ‘Last August, GM showed the result: a gasoline processor that could allow fuel cell vehicles to tank up at local gas stations.’
    • ‘No drop in petrol prices so people will still head south to tank up while no drop in corporation tax means foreign investors will still favour the Irish Republic.’
    • ‘Yesterday evening, when I'd recovered from the journey, I went over to Minehead for provisions and to tank up the car.’
    1. 1.1be/get tanked upBritish informal Drink heavily; become drunk.
      ‘they get tanked up before the game’
      • ‘"They're getting tanked up on those alcopop drinks and by the time it comes to midnight they're all over the place," he said.’
      • ‘He was reclining in his chair getting tanked on Uncle's home brew.’
      • ‘Fortified by carry-outs of strong lager and vodka, he would get tanked up before setting out to cause mayhem in the area.’
      • ‘The ‘not so bright’ builder was tanked up on booze and decided that it would be fun to fire a loaded 11 mm pistol in a public area.’
      • ‘You can tank up on powerful Sake while you dine on their noodles, and you can knock back Martinis and Cosmos in the bar later on when the fashion elite make their entrances.’
      • ‘You all know those kinds of drunks that no matter how tanked they get they still seem to get keep their wits.’
      • ‘‘This will result in either people staying in and drinking or getting tanked up before they go out,’ he said.’
      • ‘They were apparently all going to an under-18 disco at the Club in Swanley and had decided to get tanked up beforehand.’
      • ‘They get out some booze and proceed to get tanked up like my Uncle at the ‘Family Reunion.’’
      • ‘Rather, it's the ones who travel to another country without any grasp of the language, get tanked up on booze, and sing ‘Two World Wars and One World Cup’ every time they see a German.’
      • ‘He, once it opened, headed straight to the bar, as if he hadn't drunk enough porter and whiskey and proceeded to tank up again.’
      • ‘So we were tanking up, smoking, talking nonsense, enjoying the once-a-month concession to our younger selves our wives allow us.’
      • ‘Did the previous writers mention that they dressed like they were hitting the beach at 3.00 a.m. tanked up on beer?’
      • ‘A reasonable person would not be with the drunk driver while he's getting even more tanked up and still put him back behind the wheel.’
      • ‘I was a cadet officer in those times - and I was a well-behaved one, before he tells me anything different - and one of the junior engineers got tanked up on a Greek plane with a Greek captain in charge.’
      • ‘The gist of it is, two fans are leaving a game, slightly tanked.’
      • ‘Perhaps alcohol consumption would be more responsible if fans could drink at grounds rather than feeling the need to get tanked up before the game.’
      • ‘It's unlicensed so if you need some bevvies to jumble up the courage, get tanked up elsewhere.’
      • ‘With most everyone tanked and soaked, the 10-hour nighttime drive to the Lake was unanimously the worst of the entire trip.’
      • ‘They are all out getting tanked in the marquee, as most members opposite were until a few minutes ago.’
  • 2US informal Fail completely, especially at great financial cost.

    • ‘As the rest of Asia's economies tanked during the financial crisis that began in 1997, Taiwan remained afloat.’
    • ‘Dot-coms may tank, but the empty offices they leave behind don't look quite as ugly.’
    • ‘But if the market continues to slide, the recession rears up, and Republican numbers keep tanking, it will take more than the gerrymanderer's art to keep him in control of the House.’
    • ‘The reason you haven't heard of them is because they tanked at the box office.’
    • ‘He was also a billionaire for a few months before the stock tanked.’
    • ‘After all, during the Gulf War, sales of large gas-consuming vehicles literally tanked.’
    • ‘Had the book tanked and gone the deep discount route of so many widely unwanted Canadian books, it would have seemed highly irregular for us to wonder why it had failed to connect with people.’
    • ‘After the music stopped and the stock tanked and they collapsed into bankruptcy, everyone on Wall Street pretended to be absolutely shocked that such a thing could happen.’
    • ‘It has been widely reported that profits have tanked over the past two years for OEMs and large publicly traded parts suppliers.’
    • ‘The fact the film tanked at the box office is likely an indication it's out of its time, culturally speaking.’
    • ‘Subsequently, the film tanked at the box office, proving that when terror is on the rise, folks don't want to spend nine dollars to watch even more realistic horror unfold in their local multiplex.’
    • ‘Some of these workers lost tens of thousands of dollars, in addition to their jobs, when the stock tanked and the company went bankrupt.’
    • ‘But, when the movie tanked, all bets for a sequel were off.’
    • ‘After a shaky second quarter, real gross domestic product entered the third quarter with a good head of steam even as the stock market was tanking.’
    • ‘That's because it's easy to point to the organization if a project tanks or gets cut off because of a perceived security hole.’
    • ‘For a movie that was so different, it should surprise no one that the movie tanked at the box office and was generally reviled by the critical press.’
    • ‘While most of the recent rash of trashy comedies tanked at the box office, I would not be surprised if at least some made money anyways with such low budgets.’
    • ‘I know a great deal about movies - what's tanking, what's opened wide, what's in turnaround, what the buzz is.’
    • ‘The sense that a candidate is tanking - or on a roll - can make the difference between a potential donor making a contribution or keeping his checkbook in his pocket.’
    • ‘As he points out, because of the market's gradual appreciation through the years – despite occasionally tanking as it did this spring – the longer the time horizon lower the variability of return on investment.’
    1. 2.1North American with object (in sports) deliberately lose or fail to finish (a game)
      ‘the lackluster performance prompted speculation that he tanked the second set’
      • ‘And I always tried my best; I wouldn't tank matches.’
      • ‘They simply tanked in the play-offs when he had to sit out with a hip injury…’
      • ‘In fact reports say he even had to dodge the question of whether the Indians tanked the match!’
      • ‘Fair or not, the team has earned a reputation as a team that tanks in tough situations.’
      • ‘No, but while some teams choose to tank, others have a tanked season forced upon them.’
      • ‘They became the second straight team with a top-ranked offense to tank on Super Bowl Sunday.’
      • ‘The team begins this season with a thrilling comeback against Washington State, then tanks the next three games.’
      • ‘There are any numbers of instances where top players have ‘tanked’ first round matches just to get home early.’
      • ‘Unless you'd rather believe that the Yankee hitters all hate him and are tanking deliberately in games when he starts.’
      • ‘When asked last week about the possibility of a team tanking in the final days to improve its playoff position, the deputy commissioner said the league was not concerned.’
      • ‘On the other hand, maybe they knew what the evil player was up to and tanked to deprive him of one last baseball thrill.’
      • ‘The team would see a spike in attendance, and depending on how bad he is, could actually get worse without looking like they're tanking to get the top draft pick.’
      • ‘People who accuse teams of tanking it in order to get a higher draft pick don't understand the mentality that is prevalent in the National Football League.’
      • ‘That would explain why the team tanked deceptively early this season, before suspicion could be aroused.’

Origin

Early 17th century: perhaps from Gujarati tānkũ or Marathi tānkẽ ‘underground cistern’, from Sanskrit tadāga ‘pond’, probably influenced by Portuguese tangue ‘pond’, from Latin stagnum. The military vehicle took its name from the use of tank as a secret code word during manufacture in 1915.

Pronunciation

tank

/taNGk//tæŋk/