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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English thank, from Old English þanc ‎(thought, favour, grace, pleasure, satisfaction, thanks), from Proto-Germanic *þankaz ‎(thought, remembrance, gratitude), from Proto-Indo-European *tong-, *teng- ‎(to think). Cognate with Saterland Frisian Tonk, West Frisian tank, Dutch dank, Low German Dank, German Dank, Danish tak, Swedish tack, Faroese tøkk, Icelandic þökk.


thank ‎(plural thanks)

  1. (obsolete) An expression of appreciation; a thought.
    • Bible, Luke vi. 33
      If ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same.
    • Milton
      What great thank, then, if any man, reputed wise and constant, will neither do, nor permit others under his charge to do, that which he approves not, especially in matter of sin?

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English thanken, thankien, from Old English þancian, þoncian ‎(to thank, give thanks), from Proto-Germanic *þankōną ‎(to thank), from Proto-Germanic *þankaz ‎(thought, gratitude), from Proto-Indo-European *teng- ‎(to think, feel). Cognate with Saterland Frisian tonkje ‎(to thank), West Frisian tanke ‎(to thank), Dutch danken ‎(to thank), Low German danken ‎(to thank), German danken ‎(to thank), Danish takke ‎(to thank), Swedish tacka ‎(to thank), Icelandic þakka ‎(to thank). Related to thought.


thank ‎(third-person singular simple present thanks, present participle thanking, simple past and past participle thanked)

  1. (transitive) To express gratitude or appreciation toward.
    She thanked him for the lift.
    • 1900, L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Chapter 23
      The Scarecrow and the Tin Woodman and the Lion now thanked the Good Witch earnestly for her kindness; and Dorothy exclaimed: []
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 4, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I told him about everything I could think of; and what I couldn't think of he did. He asked about six questions during my yarn, but every question had a point to it. At the end he bowed and thanked me once more. As a thanker he was main-truck high; I never see anybody so polite.
  2. (transitive) To feel gratitude or appreciation toward.
    I'll thank you not to smoke in my house!
    • 1844, The Quarterly Review (volume 74, page 104)
      Our readers would not thank us for going into the badgerings which had for some time annoyed the chancellor on the subject of arrears in his court.
  3. (transitive) To credit or hold responsible.
    We can thank global warming for this weather.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, The Celebrity:
      But Miss Thorn relieved the situation by laughing aloud, [] . By the time we reached the house we were thanking our stars she had come. Mrs. Cooke came out from under the port-cochere to welcome her.
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Related terms[edit]



thank ‎(third-person singular present thanks, present participle thankin, past thankit, past participle thankit)

  1. to thank