Definition of thank in US English:



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

    ‘Mac thanked her for the meal and left’
    • ‘By thanking people you are building good will and empathy with their support.’
    • ‘This man got up and read a little piece thanking the people of Ireland for their generosity.’
    • ‘I could bore you all by thanking the little people who helped me to where I am today.’
    • ‘A charity worker has thanked people in Harwich for their support ahead of a mercy mission to Romania.’
    • ‘We sometimes get letters from people thanking us for reconnecting them quickly.’
    • ‘They wish to thank the many people who helped to make the day the great success it was.’
    • ‘He also thanked the many people who drove him around the area to visit various places.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Mr Dolan thanked the people of Bingley and surrounding areas for their support.’
    • ‘Through your newspaper I would like to thank the person who found the letters and posted them.’
    • ‘I was really impressed with the turnout and would like to thank people for their support.’
    • ‘A pensioner injured after she was knocked off her bike has thanked the people who came to her aid.’
    • ‘We thanked the people who called the fire brigade and the crews, who were here quickly.’
    • ‘Editors always seem to be thanking people and now I know without doubt that they mean it.’
    • ‘Many people were thanked for their help in making Mickleton a good place to live in.’
    • ‘He thanked the many people who sent him so many cards when he was sick last year.’
    • ‘Mr Ackroyd thanked the people of nearby villages for their help and support over the years.’
    • ‘The committee would like to thank many people who helped to make the day such a success.’
    • ‘We've been overwhelmed with the support given to us and we can't thank people enough.’
    • ‘It is so nice for us to think that what we did has not been forgotten and we can't thank people enough.’
    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 or command and implying a reproach or annoyance.

      ‘I'll thank you not to interrupt me again’
      • ‘‘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.’
      • ‘I am not a dragon and I will thank you to pass that on to any others your age who share this absurd phobia!’
      • ‘My heart is mine and mine alone, and I will thank you to provide me with the privacy I deserve!’
      • ‘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?’’
  • thank goodness (or God or heavens)

    • An expression of relief.

      ‘thank goodness no one was badly injured’
      • ‘He didn't quite get the allusion, thank heavens.’
      • ‘I went to bed at 2:00 am this morning… thank heavens it was a Friday yesterday.’
      • ‘I even like go-karting - thank heavens for those really large rubber bumpers!’
      • ‘Such bad food yes, but thank heavens for such large portions.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Thank goodness for a free press; and thank goodness for our imperfect system of Democracy.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And thank heavens for the support that I've had from this country, because without it I wouldn't have a job.’
      • ‘The station survived just fine, thank heavens.’
      • ‘Gasping with relief I say, It could have broken but thank goodness it did not.’
      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.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If you do have to work, then thank your lucky stars that you have an afternoon off to spend with a book.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You certainly thank your lucky stars for what you've got when you see the kind of poverty a lot of people live in.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We just thank our lucky stars that she is still with us and is doing so well in her recovery.’
      • ‘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.’


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