[ thou-zuhnd ]
/ ˈθaʊ zənd /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: thousand / thousands on Thesaurus.com

noun, plural thou·sands, (as after a numeral) thou·sand.
a cardinal number, 10 times 100.
a symbol for this number, as 1000 or M.
thousands. the numbers between 1000 and 999,999, as in referring to an amount of money: Property damage was in the thousands.
a great number or amount.
Also thousand's place .
  1. (in a mixed number) the position of the fourth digit to the left of the decimal point.
  2. (in a whole number) the position of the fourth digit from the right.
amounting to 1000 in number.
Hold your head up high as you embark on this quiz that explores some of the synonyms and meanings of “pride.”
Question 1 of 7
What does "dignity" mean?

Origin of thousand

before 900; Middle English; Old English thūsend; cognate with Dutch duizend,Old High German dūsunt,Old Norse thūsund,Gothic thūsindi
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does thousand mean?

A thousand is a number equal to 10 times 100. In numerals, it’s 1,000 or 1000.

The word thousand is almost always preceded by the word a (as in a thousand, which means the same thing as 1,000) or by another number, as in two thousand (2,000), ten thousand (10,000), or nine hundred ninety-nine thousand (999,000).

You wouldn’t say “I have thousand dollars”—you would say “I have a thousand dollars” or “I have one thousand dollars.”

In the context of math, the range of numbers between 1,000 and 999,999 is called the thousands (just as the range between 100 and 999 is called the hundreds).

In general, the plural form thousands typically refers to a large but unspecified number or amount somewhere in the thousands, as in The repairs will cost thousands of dollars. Generally, this means between 2,000 and 9,999. The term tens of thousands could be used for a higher amount (typically between 10,000 and 99,999). The phrase the thousands can also be used to refer to a large number or amount without giving the exact total, as in I don’t know how many people were at the concert, but it had to be in the thousands. 

Thousand and thousands are also often used to exaggerate the number or amount of something, as in I heard about a thousand excuses from my students today or I have thousands of things I need to get done. 

In Roman numerals, the number one thousand is represented by the letter M.

Example: There must have been a thousand people playing in the park today.

Where does thousand come from?

The first records of the word thousand come from before the year 900. It comes from the Old English thūsend.

A thousand is what we call a nice, round number—which basically means it ends in 0. We use round numbers like 100 and 1,000 in estimates instead of giving more specific amounts. This means that a thousand is a very commonly used word. It’s also commonly used in exaggerated amounts, as in I have like a thousand text messages. However, when people really want to exaggerate, they usually go bigger, like eighty billion.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to thousand

What are some words that share a root or word element with thousand

What are some words that often get used in discussing thousand?

How is thousand used in real life?

Thousand is very commonly used in all kinds of contexts. It’s often used in exaggerations about how much of something there is.



Try using thousand!

Is thousand used correctly in the following sentence?

I ordered a pack of a thousand so we wouldn’t run out.

How to use thousand in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for thousand

/ (ˈθaʊzənd) /

  1. amounting to a thousanda thousand ships
  2. (as pronoun)a thousand is hardly enough
amounting to 1000 times a particular scientific unit

Other words from thousand

Related prefix: kilo-Related adjective: millenary

Word Origin for thousand

Old English thūsend; related to Old Saxon thūsind, Old High German thūsunt, Old Norse thūsund
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with thousand


see bat a thousand; by the dozen (thousand); one in a million (thousand); picture is worth a thousand words.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.