something

See also: -something

English

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Etymology

From Middle English somthing, some-thing, som thing, sum thinge, sum þinge, from Old English sum þing (literally some thing), equivalent to some +‎ thing. Compare Old English āwiht (something, literally some thing, any thing), Swedish nånting (something, literally some thing, any thing).

Pronunciation

Pronoun

something

  1. An uncertain or unspecified thing; one thing.
    I must have forgotten to pack something, but I can't think what.
    I have something for you in my bag.
    I have a feeling something good is going to happen today.
  2. (colloquial, of someone or something) A quality to a moderate degree.
    The performance was something of a disappointment.
    That child is something of a genius.
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, with something of the stately pose which Richter has given his Queen Louise on the stairway, and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
  3. (colloquial, of a person) A talent or quality that is difficult to specify.
    She has a certain something.
  4. (colloquial, often with really or quite) Somebody or something who is superlative in some way.
    He's really something! I've never heard such a great voice.
    She's quite something. I can't believe she would do such a mean thing.

Synonyms

  • (unspecified thing): sth (especially in dictionaries)

Derived terms

Descendants

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Related terms

Adjective

something (not comparable)

  1. Having a characteristic that the speaker cannot specify.
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      "Very poetic." They came to a halt before the outer door. "It's very something," Rusty said wistfully. "How do you do it?"
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      "It's very — it's very something," said Lucy. "It's a kind of love-letter, isn't it?"
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      If it isn't large, I certainly can't say it's small. But it's very something.
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      'How proud they have become,' I said, 'how disobedient. I must say, all in all, it's very something.'

Adverb

something (not comparable)

  1. (degree) Somewhat; to a degree.
    The baby looks something like his father.
  2. (degree, colloquial) To a high degree.
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      You can't thrash when you have rheumatic fever – though you want to something awful, Mrs. White says.
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      Seeing him here, though, I all of a sudden feel more like I been gone from home three years, instead of three weeks, and I miss my people something fierce.
    • Lua error in Module:quote at line 165: The first parameter (language code) is missing.
      And then she put the coffin right out on her front porch. Jim told everyone he'd built it kind of roomy since Bobby Lee was on the stout side, but that it better get used quick because sycamore tends to warp something terrible.

Derived terms

Verb

something (third-person singular simple present somethings, present participle somethinging, simple past and past participle somethinged)

  1. Applied to an action whose name is forgotten by, unknown or unimportant to the user, e.g. from words of a song.
    • 1890, William Dean Howells, A Hazard of New Fortunes [1]
      He didn’t apply for it for a long time, and then there was a hitch about it, and it was somethinged—vetoed, I believe she said.
    • 2003, George Angel, “Allegoady,” in Juncture, Lara Stapleton and Veronica Gonzalez edd. [2]
      She hovers over the something somethinging and awkwardly lowers her bulk.
    • 2005, Floyd Skloot, A World of Light [3]
      Oh how we somethinged on the hmmm hmm we were wed. Dear, was I ever on the stage?”

Noun

something (plural somethings)

  1. An object whose nature is yet to be defined.
  2. An object whose name is forgotten by, unknown or unimportant to the user, e.g., from words of a song. Also used to refer to an object earlier indefinitely referred to as 'something' (pronoun sense).
    • 1999, Nicholas Clapp, The Road to Ubar [4]
      What was the something the pilot saw, the something worth killing for?
    • 2004, Theron Q Dumont, The Master Mind [5]
      Moreover, in all of our experience with these sense impressions, we never lose sight of the fact that they are but incidental facts of our mental existence, and that there is a Something Within which is really the Subject of these sense reports—a Something to which these reports are presented, and which receives them.
    • 2004, Ira Levin, The Stepford Wives [6]
      She wiped something with a cloth, wiped at the wall shelf, and put the something on it, clinking glass.