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[thangk-lis] /ˈθæŋk lɪs/
not likely to be appreciated or rewarded; unappreciated:
a thankless job.
not feeling or expressing gratitude or appreciation; ungrateful:
a thankless child.
Origin of thankless
1530-40; thank + -less
Related forms
thanklessly, adverb
thanklessness, noun
1. unacknowledged, vain, unrewarding, profitless. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thankless
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • His heart swells, and he longs to embrace the thankless Church to which he writes.

  • I love them dearly; no people could ever be kinder to a thankless creature than they always are to me.

    Little Dorrit Charles Dickens
  • You can become an actor probably if you work for some years, but why toil at this thankless task?

    The Growth of a Soul August Strindberg
  • The middle course is the most difficult one to take and the most thankless.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • Explaining the fascination of anything seems to be a thankless kind of task, and in any case to be a work of supererogation.

    The Soul of Golf Percy Adolphus Vaile
British Dictionary definitions for thankless


receiving no thanks or appreciation: a thankless job
ungrateful: a thankless pupil
Derived Forms
thanklessly, adverb
thanklessness, 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
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Word Origin and History for thankless

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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