n.1 a material or non-material entity, idea, action, etc., that is or may be thought about or perceived.
2 an inanimate material object (take that thing away).
3 an unspecified object or item (have a few things to buy).
4 an act, idea, or utterance (a silly thing to do).
5 an event (an unfortunate thing to happen).
6 a quality (patience is a useful thing).
7 (with ref. to a person) expressing pity, contempt, or affection (poor thing!; a dear old thing).
8 a specimen or type of something (the latest thing in hats).
9 colloq. one's special interest or concern (not my thing at all).
10 colloq. something remarkable (now there's a thing!).
11 (prec. by the) colloq. a what is conventionally proper or fashionable. b what is needed or required (your suggestion was just the thing). c what is to be considered (the thing is, shall we go or not?). d what is important (the thing about them is their reliability).
12 (in pl.) personal belongings or clothing (where have I left my things?).
13 (in pl.) equipment (painting things).
14 (in pl.) affairs in general (not in the nature of things).
15 (in pl.) circumstances or conditions (things look good).
16 (in pl. with a following adjective) all that is so describable (all things Greek).
17 (in pl.) Law property.
Phrases and idioms:
do one's own thing colloq. pursue one's own interests or inclinations. do things to colloq. affect remarkably. have a thing about colloq. be obsessed or prejudiced about. make a thing of colloq.
1. regard as essential.
2 cause a fuss about. one (or just one) of those things colloq. something unavoidable or to be accepted.
Etymology: OE f. Gmc