Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


grateful for something, or pleased that something unpleasant is no longer happening, or did not happen

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary

Origin and usage

The adjective thankful is formed from the noun ‘thank(s)’ and the suffix ‘ful’. It was first used in the 16th century.


Today is Thanksgiving in the US (the Canadian holiday is celebrated in October). As for other festivities, this year’s Thanksgiving will be a very different kind of celebration, with many people choosing to stay away from their extended families for fear of infecting older friends and relatives. Presumably many will also eschew the traditional turkey-based feast in favour of something more suited to a smaller gathering. Next time the holiday comes around we may be celebrating in the usual way again. Meanwhile, if my viewing of American sitcoms is a reliable guide, people across the US will be trying to think of things they are thankful for. Most of us can probably think of one or more reasons to be grateful, although the phrase be thankful for small mercies has rarely if ever been more apposite.


I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, I think it must be gratitude.
(Benjamin Disraeli)

Related Words

grateful, appreciative, glad

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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