[ thangks-giv-ing ]
/ ˌθæŋksˈgɪv ɪŋ /


the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God.
an expression of thanks, especially to God.
a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness.
a day set apart for giving thanks to God.
(initial capital letter) Thanksgiving Day.

Origin of thanksgiving

1525–35; thank + -s3 + giving
Related formspre-Thanks·giv·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thanksgiving

British Dictionary definitions for thanksgiving


/ (ˈθæŋksˌɡɪvɪŋ, US θæŋksˈɡɪvɪŋ) /


the act of giving thanks
  1. an expression of thanks to God
  2. a public act of religious observance or a celebration in acknowledgment of divine favours
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 thanksgiving



1530s, "the giving of thanks," from thanks (n.) + present participle of give (v.). In the specific sense of "public celebration acknowledging divine favors" thanksgiving dates from 1630s (the first one in America was held October 1621 by Plymouth Colony Pilgrims in appreciation of assistance from members of the Massasoit tribe and celebration of the first harvest); though Thanksgiving Day itself is not attested until 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper