Definition of thermos in US English:


(also thermos bottle)


  • A container that keeps a drink or other fluid hot or cold by means of a double wall enclosing a vacuum.

    • ‘My advice is to pack a thermos of tea, because it gets cold in London, and your sleeping bag, and camp outside the Western Union office and wait.’
    • ‘I have watched the chaps on our local bowling green, and lunch is invariably ham sandwiches on white bread, neatly wrapped in greaseproof paper, and a Thermos of tea, with very few variations permitted on this theme.’
    • ‘Middle-aged men threw their Thermos flasks in the air; young women jigged; the many children at Old Trafford dreamed, ‘That could be me.’’
    • ‘I drank the last sip of my coffee and put my thermos away.’
    • ‘Now when I go there, I take along a Thermos of coffee and a small sandwich.’
    • ‘I packed a good variety of snack foods and a thermos of hot orange drink in my large backpack, then bundled up in my thickest gear in case the weather turned foul.’
    • ‘Some people, more prepared than I was, had brought biscuits, thermoses and sleeping bags.’
    • ‘She turned back to the sink, and began rinsing out a Thermos flask.’
    • ‘Am I awake and drinking from this red thermos of coffee or am I asleep, dreaming of sitting in my chair drinking this coffee?’
    • ‘Should any part of you or your kit freeze up, Thermos flasks of boiling water are always close to hand to warm your gloves or unfreeze your camera.’
    • ‘I remember eating dinners from a Thermos flask in the back of my mum's car on the way to something.’
    • ‘These include her passport, money belt and traveler's checks; pens, notebooks and maps; a Thermos, mug and knife.’
    • ‘No thank you, I have some tea here in my old Thermos.’
    • ‘If the entry fee is low enough, there need not be anything much to see as long as there is somewhere to sit with ‘a Thermos of tea and three types of sandwich, two with chunky brown pickle’.’
    • ‘Born in west London in 1923, Howard remembers long walks in Kensington Gardens with nannies who gathered with Marie biscuits and Thermos flasks of Bovril.’
    • ‘I am not like those who go out with their sandwiches and Thermos flask, walking 18 holes with their favourite player.’
    • ‘Use an insulated thermos or ice pack to keep beverages cold.’
    • ‘Also, carry a map, compass or GPS, flashlight, knife, matches and a thermos with hot fluids.’
    • ‘One gave me a hug and a cup of tea from a Thermos flask.’
    • ‘If you want something warm, take along a couple of thermoses - one containing soup and another filled with tea.’
    • ‘Several times a day she would clatter downstairs to the kitchen with a Thermos that she would fill with her favourite hooch - a mixture of hot tea and sherry.’
    • ‘We fill bottles, pots, thermoses, buckets - anything that will hold water.’
    • ‘Hilda does much of the talking, between trips to the narrow kitchen where she retrieves a silver thermos of coffee and a chocolate chip cake.’
    • ‘Once down, I picked up a large Thermos of boiled water, which was waiting for the morning tea, removing the lid.’
    • ‘Armed with my Thermos of tea and Tupperware box of sandwiches, I headed for the beaches of Bournemouth to find out.’
    • ‘All penknives, soft drink bottles and thermoses were confiscated, but demonstrators were allowed to keep their banners and leaflets.’
    • ‘I carry a Thermos of strong tea with me every day, carefully doling out my cups to avoid getting a pounding headache.’
    • ‘Normally we would pack some crackers, cheese, salami, cereal bars, chocolate, nuts, and a thermos of hot orange or lemon drink.’
    • ‘On the stage is a lectern, a leather armchair, a potted palm and a table with a Thermos flask: enter the speaker in a beige cardigan.’
    • ‘She took the plastic cup from the top of a thermos and poured me a drink.’
    • ‘Others simply lean against the sea wall, thermoses at the ready, their faces turned to the sun.’
    • ‘As I've mentioned, she brings around a cake every Sunday, and they also bring other meals; a thermos of goulash, that kind of thing.’
    • ‘But don't forget a Thermos of hot tea - just in case it pours.’
    • ‘The agent put on rubber gloves and opened my thermos and swirled the coffee around.’
    • ‘Their plastic cups came from visitors from a mosque in Swindon who arrived one afternoon with Thermoses of sweet tea and samosas still warm from the oven.’
    • ‘It was still dark, of course, and our coach was full of elderly nuns and young children in pushchairs, all carrying picnics and giant thermoses of tea.’
    • ‘Then I had a drink from my thermos and a comforting chunk of chocolate.’
    • ‘Store chiefs said the spending boom was more like a holiday weekend as customers cleared the shelves of salt, soup, ski jackets, sledges and Thermos flasks.’
    • ‘Consider making a thermos of green tea to drink at work.’
    • ‘Boil one liter of water for five minutes, then pour it into a thermos or other type of heat-retentive container.’
    bottle, container, vessel
    View synonyms


Early 20th century: from Greek, literally ‘hot’.