verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
- to fill the gas tank of an automobile or other motor vehicle.
- Slang.to drink a great quantity of alcoholic beverage, especially to intoxication.
- failing, doing poorly, or declining: His grades were in the tank last quarter.
- favoring, colluding, or assisting in a partisan way (often followed by with or for): The talk-show host was in the tank with the Green Party.
Origin of tank
- an armoured combat vehicle moving on tracks and armed with guns, etc, originally developed in World War I
- (as modifier)a tank commander; a tank brigade
- a light-tight container inside which a film can be processed in daylight, the solutions and rinsing waters being poured in and out without light entering
- any large dish or container used for processing a number of strips or sheets of film
- a jail
- a jail cell
Word Origin for tank
"to lose or fail," 1976, originally in tennis jargon, but said there to be from boxing, from tank (n.) in some sense. Related: Tanked; tanking. Adjective tanked "drunk" is from 1893.
1610s, "pool or lake for irrigation or drinking water," a word originally brought by the Portuguese from India, ultimately from Gujarati tankh "cistern, underground reservoir for water," Marathi tanken, or tanka "reservoir of water, tank."
Perhaps from Sanskrit tadaga-m "pond, lake pool," and reinforced in later sense of "large artificial container for liquid" (1680s) by Portuguese tanque "reservoir," from estancar "hold back a current of water," from Vulgar Latin *stanticare (see stanch). But others say the Portuguese word is the source of the Indian ones.
Meaning "fuel container" is recorded from 1902. Military use originated 1915, partly as a code word, partly because they looked like benzene tanks. They were first used in action at Pozieres ridge, on the Western Front, Sept. 15, 1916. Slang meaning "detention cell" is from 1912.
In addition to the idiom beginning with tank
- tank up
- think tank