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[tang-kerd] /ˈtæŋ kərd/
a large drinking cup, usually with a handle and a hinged cover.
Origin of tankard
1275-1325; Middle English: bucket; compare Middle Dutch tanckaert, Middle French tanquart Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for tankard
Historical Examples
  • I picked up the tankard of wine which was on the table and flung it at him with all my might.

    The Making of a Saint William Somerset Maugham
  • "This—on information received," replied Easleby, as he lifted his tankard.

    The Chestermarke Instinct J. S. Fletcher
  • "I'll wager a tankard of cider that you'll not nick my mark," exclaimed the soldier who had fired.

    The Young Cavalier Percy F. Westerman
  • Now and then, because his mouth was dry, he took a sip of beer from his tankard.

    Long Live the King Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • He rushed in, and after striking the tankard out of her hand, seized her by the bad arm, twisted it till the bone again separated.

  • You order cold beef and pickles, with a pint of bitter in a tankard.

  • And let Treve keep the tankard faithfully, and never part with it.

    Trevlyn Hold Mrs. Henry Wood
  • "I doubt it not, mon ami," quoth the archer, going back to his tankard.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • "This looks like the cidre mousseux I drank at Littry," he said, and taking up his tankard tossed it off at a draught.

    Between Whiles Helen Hunt Jackson
  • He paused, and made a gesture of raising a tankard to his lips.

    To Have and To Hold Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for tankard


  1. a large one-handled drinking vessel, commonly made of silver, pewter, or glass, sometimes fitted with a hinged lid
  2. the quantity contained in a tankard
Word Origin
C14: related to Middle Dutch tankaert, French tanquart
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
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Word Origin and History for tankard

c.1300, "large tub-like vessel," corresponding to Middle Dutch tanckaert, meaning the same thing, but both of unknown origin. A guess hazarded in OED is that it is a transposition of *kantard, from Latin cantharus. Meaning "drinking vessel" is first recorded late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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