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[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 forms
pre-Thanksgiving, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thanksgiving
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Why not ask a blessing on the cup of bitterness as well as upon the cup of thanksgiving?

    Talks To Farmers Charles Haddon Spurgeon
  • thanksgiving originated with the pilgrims who came from England in the Mayflower.

    Games For All Occasions Mary E. Blain
  • I tell you again, reader, it was a thanksgiving dinner worthy to be remembered.

    Fashion and Famine Ann S. Stephens
  • Are you coming to see us play, or are you going away for thanksgiving?

    Marjorie Dean Pauline Lester
  • "Well, everybody eats a lot at thanksgiving," said the little girl.

    The Curlytops Snowed In Howard R. Garis
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
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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
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