Definition for THING

THING, n. [Sax. thing, a thing, a cause; for his thingon, for his cause or sake; also, thing and gething, a meeting, council or convention; thingan, thingian, to hold a meeting, to plead, to supplicate; thingere, an intercessor; thingung, intercession; G. ding, a thing, a court; dingen, to go to law, to hire or haggle; Dingstag, Tuesday, (thing's day;) beding, condition, clause; bedingen, to agree, to bargain or contract, to cheapen; D. ding, thing, business; dingen, to plead, to attempt, to cheapen; dingbank, the bar; dingdagen, session-days; dinger, dingster, a pleader; dingtaal, plea; Dingsdag, Tuesday; beding, condition, agreement; bedingen, to condition; Sw. ting, thing, cause, also a court, assizes; tinga, to hire, bargain or agree; Dan. ting, a thing, affair, business, case, a court of justice; tinger, to strike up a bargain, to haggle; tingbog, records of a court, (thing-book;) tingdag, the court day, the assizes; tinghold, jurisdiction; tingmænd, jurors, jury, (thing-men;) tingsag, a cause or suit at law, (thing-sake.) The primary sense of thing is that which comes, falls or happens, like event, from L. evenio. The primary sense of the root, which is tig or thig, is to press, urge, drive or strain, and hence its application to courts, or suits at law; a seeking of right. We observe that Dingsdag, Dingdag, in some of the dialects signifies Tuesday, and this from the circumstance that that day of the week was, as it still is in some states, the day of opening courts; that is, litigation day, or suitors' day, a day of striving for justice; or perhaps combat-day, the day of trial by battle. This leads to the unfolding of another fact. Among our ancestors, Tig or Tiig, was the name of the deity of combat and war, the Teutonic Mars; that is, strife, combat deified. This word was contracted into tiw or tu, and hence Tiwes-dæg or Tues-dæg, Tuesday, the day consecrated to Tiig, the god of war. But it seems this is merely the day of commencing court and trial; litigation day. This Tiig, the god of war, is strife, and this leads us to the root of thing, which is to drive, urge, strive. So res, in Latin, is connected with reus, accused. For words of like signification, see Sake and Cause.]

  1. An event or action; that which happens or falls out, or that which is done, told, or proposed. This is the general signification of the word in the Scriptures; as, after these things, that is, events. And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight, because of his son. Gen. xxi. Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, The thing proceedeth from the Lord. Gen. xxiv. And Jacob said, All these things are against me. Gen. xlii. I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Matth. xxi.. These things said Esaias when he saw his glory. John xii. In learning French, choose such books as will teach you things as well as language. Jay to Littlepage.
  2. Any substance; that which is created; any particular article or commodity. He sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt. Gen. xlii. They took the things which Micah had made. Judges xviii.
  3. An animal; as, every living thing; every creeping thing. Gen. i. [This application of the word is improper, but common in popular and vulgar language.]
  4. A portion or part; something. Wicked men who understand any thing of wisdom. Tillotson.
  5. In contempt. I have a thing in prose. Swift.
  6. Used of persons in contempt. See, sons, what things you are. Shak. The poor thing sigh'd. Addison. I'll be this abject thing no more. Granville.
  7. Used in a sense of honor. I see thee here, / Thou noble thing! Shak.

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