a thing of the past meaning, a thing of the past definition | English Cobuild dictionary

Collins

thing

  
  ( things    plural  )
1       n-count   You can use thing to refer to any object, feature, or event when you cannot, need not, or do not want to refer to it more precisely.  
usu with supp  
`What's that thing in the middle of the fountain?'<emdash10001`Some kind of statue, I guess.'..., She was in the middle of clearing the breakfast things..., If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?..., A strange thing happened...     
2       n-count   Thing is used in lists and descriptions to give examples or to increase the range of what you are referring to.  
usu pl, usu with supp  
These are genetic disorders that only affect males normally. They are things like muscular dystrophy and haemophilia..., The Earth is made mainly of iron and silicon and things like that...     
3       n-count   Thing is often used after an adjective, where it would also be possible just to use the adjective. For example, you can say it's a different thing instead of it's different.  
adj N  
To be a parent is a terribly difficult thing...     
4       n-sing   Thing is often used instead of the pronouns `anything,' or `everything' in order to emphasize what you are saying.  
oft with brd-neg     (emphasis)    It isn't going to solve a single thing..., Don't you worry about a thing...     
5       n-count   Thing is used in expressions such as such a thing or things like that, especially in negative statements, in order to emphasize the bad or difficult situation you are referring back to.  
usu with brd-neg, with supp     (emphasis)    I don't believe he would tell Leo such a thing...     
6       n-count   You can use thing to refer in a vague way to a situation, activity, or idea, especially when you want to suggest that it is not very important.  
INFORMAL   supp N, usu n N     (vagueness)    I'm a bit unsettled tonight. This war thing's upsetting me...     
7       n-count   You often use thing to indicate to the person you are addressing that you are about to mention something important, or something that you particularly want them to know.  
with supp, oft adj N  
One thing I am sure of was that she was scared..., The funny thing is that the rest of us have known that for years...     
8       n-count   Thing is often used to refer back to something that has just been mentioned, either to emphasize it or to give more information about it.  
I never wanted to be normal. It was not a thing I ever thought desirable...     
9       n-count   A thing is a physical object that is considered as having no life of its own.  
It's not a thing, Beauchamp. It's a human being!     
10       n-count   Thing is used to refer to something, especially a physical object, when you want to express contempt or anger towards it.  
SPOKEN, disapproval   Turn that thing off!     
11       n-count   You can call a person or an animal a particular thing when you want to mention a particular quality that they have and express your feelings towards them, usually affectionate feelings.  
INFORMAL   adj N  
You really are quite a clever little thing...     
12       n-plural   Your things are your clothes or possessions.  
poss N  
Sara told him to take all his things and not to return...     
13       n-plural   Things can refer to the situation or life in general and the way it is changing or affecting you.  
Everyone agrees things are getting better...     
14       n-sing   If you say that something is the thing, you mean that it is fashionable or popular.  
the N, oft N to-inf  
I feel under pressure to go out and get drunk because it's the thing to do...     
15    If, for example, you do the right thing or do the decent thing in a situation, you do something which is considered correct or socially acceptable in that situation.  
do the decent/democratic/right/wrong/honourable thing      phrase   V inflects  
People want to do the right thing and buy `green'..., Carrington did the honourable thing and resigned...     
16    If you say that something is the done thing, you mean it is the most socially acceptable way to behave.  
  (BRIT)  
the done thing      phrase   oft with brd-neg, v-link PHR  
It was not the done thing. In those days the man was supposed to be the provider.     
17    If you do something first thing, you do it at the beginning of the day, before you do anything else. If you do it last thing, you do it at the end of the day, before you go to bed or go to sleep.  
first/last thing      phrase   PHR after v, PHR with cl, oft PHR prep  
I'll go see her, first thing..., I always do it last thing on a Saturday...     
18    If you have a thing about someone or something, you have very strong feelings about them.  
INFORMAL  
have a thing about      phrase   V inflects, PHR n/-ing  
I had always had a thing about red hair..., He's got this thing about ties.     
19    You say it is a good thing to do something to introduce a piece of advice or a comment on a situation or activity.  
it is a good/bad thing to      phrase   PHR inf  
Can you tell me whether it is a good thing to prune an apple tree?...     
20    If you make a thing of something or make a thing about it, you talk about it or do it in an exaggerated way, so that it seems much more important than it really is.  
INFORMAL  
make a thing about/out of      phrase   V inflects, PHR n/-ing  
Gossips made a big thing about him going on shopping trips with her...     
21    You can say that the first of two ideas, actions, or situations is one thing when you want to contrast it with a second idea, action, or situation and emphasize that the second one is much more difficult, important, or extreme.  
be one thing      phrase   V inflects, oft it PHR to-inf     (emphasis)    It was one thing to talk about leaving; it was another to physically walk out the door...     
22    You can say for one thing when you are explaining a statement or answering a question, to suggest that you are not giving the whole explanation or answer, and that there are other points that you could add to it.  
for one thing      phrase   PHR with cl  
She was a monster. For one thing, she really enjoyed cruelty...     
23    You can use the expression `one thing and another' to suggest that there are several reasons for something or several items on a list, but you are not going to explain or mention them all.  
SPOKEN  
one thing and another      phrase   oft with PHR  
What with one thing and another, it was fairly late in the day when we returned to Shrewsbury...     
24    If you say it is just one of those things you mean that you cannot explain something because it seems to happen by chance.  
it is just/simply one of those things      phrase   V inflects  
`I wonder why.' Mr. Dambar shrugged. `It must be just one of those things, I guess.'     
25    You say one thing led to another when you are explaining how something happened, but you do not really want to give the details or you think people will be able to imagine the details.  
one thing led to another      phrase   V inflects  
He came by on Saturday to see if she was lonely. One thing led to another and he stayed the night.     
26    If you do your own thing, you live, act, or behave in the way you want to, without paying attention to convention or depending on other people.  
INFORMAL  
do your own thing      phrase   V inflects  
We accept the right of all men and women to do their own thing, however bizarre...     
27    If something is a thing of the past, it no longer exists or happens, or is being replaced by something new.  
a thing of the past             phrase   v-link PHR, PHR after v  
Painful typhoid injections are a thing of the past, thanks to the introduction of an oral vaccine...     
28    If you say that someone is seeing or hearing things, you mean that they believe they are seeing or hearing something that is not really there.  
seeing/hearing things      phrase   V inflects, usu cont  
Dr Payne led Lana back into the examination room and told her she was seeing things...     
29    You can say there is no such thingas something to emphasize that it does not exist or is not possible.  
no such thing      phrase   usu v-link PHR, oft PHR as n     (emphasis)    There really is no such thing as a totally risk-free industry...     
30    You say the thing is to introduce an explanation, comment, or opinion, that relates to something that has just been said. The thing is is often used to identify a problem relating to what has just been said.  
SPOKEN  
the thing is      phrase   PHR cl  
`What does your market research consist of?'<emdash>`Well, the thing is, it depends on our target age group.'...     
31    If you say that something is just the thing or is the very thing, you are emphasizing that it is exactly what is wanted or needed.  
just the thing/the very thing      phrase   usu v-link PHR, oft PHR for n, PHR to-inf     (emphasis)    Kiwi fruit are just the thing for a healthy snack...     
32    If you say that a person knows a thing or two about something or could teach someone a thing or two about it, you mean that they know a lot about it or are good at it.  
a thing or two      phrase   PHR after v, oft PHR about n  
Patricia Hewitt knows a thing or two about how to be well-organised..., The peace movement has learnt a thing or two from Vietnam.     
33   
    other things being equal  
    equal  
    first things first  
    first  
    the real thing  
    real  
    the shape of things to come  
    shape  
Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  
Collins
thing     ( things    plural  )
1       n-count   You can use thing to refer to any object, feature, or event when you cannot, need not, or do not want to refer to it more precisely.  
usu with supp  
`What's that thing in the middle of the fountain?'<emdash10001`Some kind of statue, I guess.'..., She was in the middle of clearing the breakfast things..., If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?..., A strange thing happened...     
2       n-count   Thing is used in lists and descriptions to give examples or to increase the range of what you are referring to.  
usu pl, usu with supp  
These are genetic disorders that only affect males normally. They are things like muscular dystrophy and haemophilia..., The Earth is made mainly of iron and silicon and things like that...     
3       n-count   Thing is often used after an adjective, where it would also be possible just to use the adjective. For example, you can say it's a different thing instead of it's different.  
adj N  
To be a parent is a terribly difficult thing...     
4       n-sing   Thing is often used instead of the pronouns `anything,' or `everything' in order to emphasize what you are saying.  
oft with brd-neg     (emphasis)    It isn't going to solve a single thing..., Don't you worry about a thing...     
5       n-count   Thing is used in expressions such as such a thing or things like that, especially in negative statements, in order to emphasize the bad or difficult situation you are referring back to.  
usu with brd-neg, with supp     (emphasis)    I don't believe he would tell Leo such a thing...     
6       n-count   You can use thing to refer in a vague way to a situation, activity, or idea, especially when you want to suggest that it is not very important.  
INFORMAL   supp N, usu n N     (vagueness)    I'm a bit unsettled tonight. This war thing's upsetting me...     
7       n-count   You often use thing to indicate to the person you are addressing that you are about to mention something important, or something that you particularly want them to know.  
with supp, oft adj N  
One thing I am sure of was that she was scared..., The funny thing is that the rest of us have known that for years...     
8       n-count   Thing is often used to refer back to something that has just been mentioned, either to emphasize it or to give more information about it.  
I never wanted to be normal. It was not a thing I ever thought desirable...     
9       n-count   A thing is a physical object that is considered as having no life of its own.  
It's not a thing, Beauchamp. It's a human being!     
10       n-count   Thing is used to refer to something, especially a physical object, when you want to express contempt or anger towards it.  
SPOKEN, disapproval   Turn that thing off!     
11       n-count   You can call a person or an animal a particular thing when you want to mention a particular quality that they have and express your feelings towards them, usually affectionate feelings.  
INFORMAL   adj N  
You really are quite a clever little thing...     
12       n-plural   Your things are your clothes or possessions.  
poss N  
Sara told him to take all his things and not to return...     
13       n-plural   Things can refer to the situation or life in general and the way it is changing or affecting you.  
Everyone agrees things are getting better...     
14       n-sing   If you say that something is the thing, you mean that it is fashionable or popular.  
the N, oft N to-inf  
I feel under pressure to go out and get drunk because it's the thing to do...     
15    If, for example, you do the right thing or do the decent thing in a situation, you do something which is considered correct or socially acceptable in that situation.  
do the decent/democratic/right/wrong/honourable thing      phrase   V inflects  
People want to do the right thing and buy `green'..., Carrington did the honourable thing and resigned...     
16    If you say that something is the done thing, you mean it is the most socially acceptable way to behave.  
  (BRIT)  
the done thing      phrase   oft with brd-neg, v-link PHR  
It was not the done thing. In those days the man was supposed to be the provider.     
17    If you do something first thing, you do it at the beginning of the day, before you do anything else. If you do it last thing, you do it at the end of the day, before you go to bed or go to sleep.  
first/last thing      phrase   PHR after v, PHR with cl, oft PHR prep  
I'll go see her, first thing..., I always do it last thing on a Saturday...     
18    If you have a thing about someone or something, you have very strong feelings about them.  
INFORMAL  
have a thing about      phrase   V inflects, PHR n/-ing  
I had always had a thing about red hair..., He's got this thing about ties.     
19    You say it is a good thing to do something to introduce a piece of advice or a comment on a situation or activity.  
it is a good/bad thing to      phrase   PHR inf  
Can you tell me whether it is a good thing to prune an apple tree?...     
20    If you make a thing of something or make a thing about it, you talk about it or do it in an exaggerated way, so that it seems much more important than it really is.  
INFORMAL  
make a thing about/out of      phrase   V inflects, PHR n/-ing  
Gossips made a big thing about him going on shopping trips with her...     
21    You can say that the first of two ideas, actions, or situations is one thing when you want to contrast it with a second idea, action, or situation and emphasize that the second one is much more difficult, important, or extreme.  
be one thing      phrase   V inflects, oft it PHR to-inf     (emphasis)    It was one thing to talk about leaving; it was another to physically walk out the door...     
22    You can say for one thing when you are explaining a statement or answering a question, to suggest that you are not giving the whole explanation or answer, and that there are other points that you could add to it.  
for one thing      phrase   PHR with cl  
She was a monster. For one thing, she really enjoyed cruelty...     
23    You can use the expression `one thing and another' to suggest that there are several reasons for something or several items on a list, but you are not going to explain or mention them all.  
SPOKEN  
one thing and another      phrase   oft with PHR  
What with one thing and another, it was fairly late in the day when we returned to Shrewsbury...     
24    If you say it is just one of those things you mean that you cannot explain something because it seems to happen by chance.  
it is just/simply one of those things      phrase   V inflects  
`I wonder why.' Mr. Dambar shrugged. `It must be just one of those things, I guess.'     
25    You say one thing led to another when you are explaining how something happened, but you do not really want to give the details or you think people will be able to imagine the details.  
one thing led to another      phrase   V inflects  
He came by on Saturday to see if she was lonely. One thing led to another and he stayed the night.     
26    If you do your own thing, you live, act, or behave in the way you want to, without paying attention to convention or depending on other people.  
INFORMAL  
do your own thing      phrase   V inflects  
We accept the right of all men and women to do their own thing, however bizarre...     
27    If something is a thing of the past, it no longer exists or happens, or is being replaced by something new.  
a thing of the past      phrase   v-link PHR, PHR after v  
Painful typhoid injections are a thing of the past, thanks to the introduction of an oral vaccine...     
28    If you say that someone is seeing or hearing things, you mean that they believe they are seeing or hearing something that is not really there.  
seeing/hearing things      phrase   V inflects, usu cont  
Dr Payne led Lana back into the examination room and told her she was seeing things...     
29    You can say there is no such thingas something to emphasize that it does not exist or is not possible.  
no such thing      phrase   usu v-link PHR, oft PHR as n     (emphasis)    There really is no such thing as a totally risk-free industry...     
30    You say the thing is to introduce an explanation, comment, or opinion, that relates to something that has just been said. The thing is is often used to identify a problem relating to what has just been said.  
SPOKEN  
the thing is      phrase   PHR cl  
`What does your market research consist of?'<emdash>`Well, the thing is, it depends on our target age group.'...     
31    If you say that something is just the thing or is the very thing, you are emphasizing that it is exactly what is wanted or needed.  
just the thing/the very thing      phrase   usu v-link PHR, oft PHR for n, PHR to-inf     (emphasis)    Kiwi fruit are just the thing for a healthy snack...     
32    If you say that a person knows a thing or two about something or could teach someone a thing or two about it, you mean that they know a lot about it or are good at it.  
a thing or two      phrase   PHR after v, oft PHR about n  
Patricia Hewitt knows a thing or two about how to be well-organised..., The peace movement has learnt a thing or two from Vietnam.     
33   
    other things being equal  
    equal  
    first things first  
    first  
    the real thing  
    real  
    the shape of things to come  
    shape  

Translation English - Cobuild Collins Dictionary  

Collins

thing

  
1    affair, article, being, body, circumstance, concept, entity, fact, matter, object, part, portion, something, substance  
2    act, deed, event, eventuality, feat, happening, incident, occurrence, phenomenon, proceeding  
3    apparatus, contrivance, device, gadget, implement, instrument, machine, means, mechanism, tool  
4    aspect, detail, facet, factor, feature, item, particular, point, statement, thought  
5    baggage, belongings, bits and pieces, clobber     (Brit. slang)   clothes, effects, equipment, gear, goods, impedimenta, luggage, odds and ends, paraphernalia, possessions, stuff  
6      (informal)   attitude, bee in one's bonnet, fetish, fixation, hang-up     (informal)   idée fixe, mania, obsession, phobia, preoccupation, quirk  


near thing     
close shave     (informal)   narrow escape, near miss  

English Collins Dictionary - English synonyms & Thesaurus  

Collaborative Dictionary     English Cobuild
exp.
A thing which ought to be perfectly vertical but which through fault is slanting is said to be off plumb.
v.
to look for or expose information about a person's past, usually bad, and to therefore bring that person down or put them in a bad light
v.
transform into something English, render similar to an English person or thing
n.
characteristic of awesome people or things
exp.
expression meaning "things never change"
exp.
deliberately make things difficult for someone; sabotage
exp.
have everything together; have all things settled/organized
E.g.: Just when I had got all my ducks in a row and I was ready to go, I received a call and had to cancel my trip.
n.
fear of running out of things to read
[Psych.]
n.
Arotten apple is a member of a group, or a single element in a set of things, that is bad and likely to corrupt the other people or things in the group
Allusion to the expression "One bad apple spoils the barrel"
n.
When men have quality time together, and do "guy" things
n.
When men have quality time together, and do "guy" things.
[Slang] related to bro-mance
n.
Someone (usually a young man) who tries unsuccessfully to be funny by making lame jokes and doing stupid things
US English, colloquial
n.
"It's a list of all the people and things I hate so much I want to hit them in the face with a shovel." Concept coming from the Marian Keyes novel, The Mystery of Mercy Close (2012).
n.
a process by which two or more things affect each other
In my science class, I learned the interaction between humans and the Earth is getting more negative because people keep emitting the carbon dioxide.
n.
a process by which two or more things affect each other ()
I learned the idea of interactions in ecosystems. It was hard to understand because there are many kinds of interactions that made me feel confused.
n.
an ambitious woman who thinks her career really matters more than many things and is not willing to compromise on it
v.
used for saying that you think someone is spending too much money on things they do not need
exp.
take an action that will complicate things; do something with a negative impact
n.
expression used for describing a perfect compatibility (between people, things, factors etc.)
exp.
expression used for pointing out that, if you love someone, you accept also things and people dear to the person you love
exp.
it's said when someone has done things in the wrong order
exp.
to do two things at the same time using the effort needed to do only one
exp.
used to point out that small problems or unpleasant events can in the end help things get better

head

Reverso Community

  • Create your own vocabulary list
  • Contribute to the Collaborative Dictionary
  • Improve and share your linguistic knowledge
Advertising
"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"
Advertising