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thousand

[thou-zuh nd]
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noun, plural thou·sands, (as after a numeral) thou·sand.
  1. a cardinal number, 10 times 100.
  2. a symbol for this number, as 1000 or M.
  3. thousands. the numbers between 1000 and 999,999, as in referring to an amount of money: Property damage was in the thousands.
  4. a great number or amount.
  5. 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.
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adjective
  1. amounting to 1000 in number.
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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. 2018

Examples from the Web for thousands

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • This system, once invented, was developed during thousands of years.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

  • There are thousands of them in use on rifles, but they've never been able to use them on revolvers before.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • I had handled thousands and thousands before, and never felt that way.

    Thoroughbreds

    W. A. Fraser

  • The Malakand garrison was being overwhelmed by thousands of tribesmen.

  • Thousands of animals drank from it daily; and after drinking had stood or wallowed in it.

    The Leopard Woman

    Stewart Edward White


British Dictionary definitions for thousands

thousand

noun
  1. the cardinal number that is the product of 10 and 100See also number (def. 1)
  2. a numeral, 1000, 10³, M, etc, representing this number
  3. (often plural) a very large but unspecified number, amount, or quantitythey are thousands of miles away
  4. (plural) the numbers 2000–9999the price of the picture was in the thousands
  5. the amount or quantity that is one hundred times greater than ten
  6. something represented by, representing, or consisting of 1000 units
  7. maths the position containing a digit representing that number followed by three zerosin 4760, 4 is in the thousand's place
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determiner
    1. amounting to a thousanda thousand ships
    2. (as pronoun)a thousand is hardly enough
  1. amounting to 1000 times a particular scientific unit
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Related formsRelated prefix: kilo-Related adjective: millenary

Word Origin

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

Word Origin and History for thousands

thousand

n.

Old English þusend, from Proto-Germanic *thusundi (cf. Old Frisian thusend, Dutch duizend, Old High German dusunt, German tausend, Old Norse þusund, Gothic þusundi).

Related to words in Balto-Slavic (cf. Lithuanian tukstantis, Old Church Slavonic tysashta, Polish tysiąc, Czech tisic), and probably ultimately a compound with indefinite meaning "several hundred" or "a great multitude" (with first element perhaps related to Sanskrit tawas "strong, force").

Used to translate Greek khilias, Latin mille, hence the refinement into the precise modern meaning. There was no general Indo-European word for "thousand." Slang shortening thou first recorded 1867. Thousand island dressing (1916) is presumably named for the region of New York on the St. Lawrence River.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with thousands

thousand

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

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