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.

1525–35; thank + -s3 + giving

pre-Thanksgiving, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
thanksgiving (ˈθæŋksˌɡɪvɪŋ, US θæŋksˈɡɪvɪŋ)
1.  the act of giving thanks
2.  a.  an expression of thanks to God
 b.  a public act of religious observance or a celebration in acknowledgment of divine favours

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1530s, "the giving of thanks," from thanks (n.) + giving. The noun thanks is attested from mid-14c., from the verb thank. In the specific sense of "public celebration acknowledging divine favors" thanksgiving dates from 1632 (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 1674.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Thanksgiving dinner doesn't have to be the kickoff to a month of holiday
Thanksgiving dinner is a wonderful time to be with your family.
Thanksgiving puts serious demands on any cook, and therefore makes a great
  excuse to invest in the latest cooking gadgets.
Greedy and laziness are the weak points of human beings but human nature also
  contains devoting and thanksgiving spirit.
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