Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not feeling or showing gratitude; ungrateful.
  • adjective Not likely to be appreciated.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Unthankful; ungrateful; not acknowledging kindness or benefits.
  • Not deserving thanks, or not likely to be rewarded with thanks: as, a thankless task.
  • Synonyms See grateful.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Not acknowledging favors; not expressing thankfulness; unthankful; ungrateful.
  • adjective Not obtaining or deserving thanks; unacceptable.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective of a task not appreciated or rewarded
  • adjective of a person ungrateful or unappreciative

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective not feeling or showing gratitude
  • adjective not likely to be rewarded

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From thank +‎ -less.

Examples

  • That being said, natural charisma goes a long way and even in thankless, underwritten parts, my biggest complaint was that I wanted to see more of the characters.

    WHIP IT Blu-ray Review – Collider.com

  • KOINANGE (voice-over): Ten years of glitz and glamour, honoring the men and women who serve in what many here call a thankless profession.

    CNN Transcript Jul 16, 2005

  • European Powers is exhausted on Poland, and that neither pity nor shame will induce them to break a thankless neutrality, here; but in the face of all barely probable contingencies, I doubt no more of the ultimate result, than I doubt of the ultimate performance of the justice of God.

    Border and Bastille

  • GOLDMAN: The BCS hired Hancock in 2005, partly because he had the right temperament for what one BCS official calls a thankless job.

    NPR Topics: News

  • Not only didn't he mind being given a job often described as thankless, but in real life David

    latimes.com - News

  • Not only didn't he mind being given a job often described as thankless, but in real life David

    latimes.com - News

  • Not only didn't he mind being given a job often described as thankless, but in real life David

    latimes.com - News

  • The jobs, and many others that could be called thankless, fall to inmates at the Wicomico County Detention Center.

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  • Hopefully, the best parts of this game will be imitated and improved upon by future games in the genre, adding real strategy back into a group of games now best known as a thankless grind for bigger and bigger numbers.

    Verbal Spew

  • Hopefully, the best parts of this game will be imitated and improved upon by future games in the genre, adding real strategy back into a group of games now best known as a thankless grind for bigger and bigger numbers.

    Verbal Spew

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