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  1. not likely to be appreciated or rewarded; unappreciated: a thankless job.
  2. not feeling or expressing gratitude or appreciation; ungrateful: a thankless child.
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Origin of thankless

First recorded in 1530–40; thank + -less
Related formsthank·less·ly, adverbthank·less·ness, noun

Synonyms for thankless

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for thankless


  1. receiving no thanks or appreciationa thankless job
  2. ungratefula thankless pupil
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Derived Formsthanklessly, adverbthanklessness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for thankless


"likely to not be rewarded with thanks," 1540s, from thank + -less. Related: Thanklessly.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper