Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to tank: Tank Army
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

empty the tank

To contribute, expend, or put forth the utmost of one's effort, ability, and/or energy. The veteran singer still empties the tank at each and every one of his performances. All right, ladies. There's two minutes left and we need four more points to win the game, so go out there and empty the tank!
See also: empty, tank

built like a tank

Having a physique or structure that is strong and physically imposing. Man, you're built like a tank! You'd be a great addition to the football team as a linebacker! If you're going out in this snow, take my car—it's built like a tank!
See also: built, like, tank

think tank

An organization or group of people working to perform research and propose solutions and courses of action to another organization or group, often political parties, government bodies, or the military. President Ronald Reagan based many of his policies on the results of a study done by the Heritage Foundation, an influential conservative think tank.
See also: tank, think

be built like a tank

To have a physique or structure that is strong and physically imposing. George started going to the gym every day since January—now he's built like a tank! These bomb shelters are built like tanks by design, so they can withstand anything.
See also: built, like, tank

tank up (on something)

1. To fill the fuel tank of a vehicle (with a particular type of fuel). We'll need to tank up before we get on the highway tomorrow. I'm going to tank up on gas at the next rest stop.
2. To eat or drink (something) until one is full. We're going to be having dinner soon, so don't tank up on chips and candy. We stopped halfway to tank up on trail mix and water.
3. To drink alcohol to the point of intoxication. Don't tank up during lunch—we don't want any mistakes during the meeting this afternoon. He just sat silently at the bar, tanking up on whiskey and soda.
4. To ply someone with alcohol to the point of intoxication. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "tank" and "up." It was my 21st birthday, so my friends tanked me up on all manner of liquor. Someone spiked the punch to try to tank up the entire auditorium of students.
5. Of a substance, to cause someone to become intoxicated due to having been ingested. In this usage, a noun or pronoun is used between "tank" and "up." Wow, that cocktail you made me really tanked me up!
See also: tank, up

tiger in (one's) tank

A lot of vigor, determination, and motivation. A reference to an advertising slogan of the oil company Esso: "Put a tiger in your tank." The company had a tiger in its tank in the late '90s, a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut in the industry, but a series of awful business decisions and the economic crash led it to bankruptcy in 2013. The manufacturers advertise the energy supplement as being able to put a tiger in your tank when you're feeling tired.
See also: tank, tiger

tank up

 (on something) and tank up with something
1. Lit. to fill one's fuel tank with something. I need to tank up on premium gas to stop this engine knock. It's time to stop and tank up. We need to tank up with gas.
2. Sl. to drink some kind of alcoholic beverage. toby spent the evening tanking up on bourbon. Jerry tanked up with gin and went to sleep.
See also: tank, up

tank up

1. Fill a gas tank with fuel, as in As soon as we tank up the car we can leave. [First half of 1900s]
2. Drink to the point of intoxication. F. Scott Fitzgerald used this expression in The Great Gatsby (1926): "I think he'd tanked up a good deal at luncheon." This expression often is put in the passive, meaning "be or become intoxicated," as in My roommate really got tanked up last night. [Slang; c. 1900]
See also: tank, up

think tank

A group or organization dedicated to problem-solving and research, especially in such areas as technology, social or political strategy, and the military. For example, The congressional leaders rely too heavily on that conservative think tank. This term originated about 1900 as a facetious colloquialism for brain and was given its new meaning about 1950.
See also: tank, think

built like a tank

1. If someone is built like a tank, they are very big and strong. He was built like a tank and always sat alone in the bar.
2. If an object is built like a tank, it is very strong and will last a long time. Once I had a Czechoslovakian motorbike. It was built like a tank, weighed a ton, and was pure joy to ride.
See also: built, like, tank

a tiger in your tank

energy, spirit, or animation.
This expression originated as a 1960s advertising slogan for Esso petrol: ‘Put a tiger in your tank’.
See also: tank, tiger

be built like a ˈtank

(also be built like a ˌbrick ˈshithouse taboo, slang) (of a person) be very big and strong: He’s a wrestler? Well, that doesn’t surprise me — he’s built like a tank!
See also: built, like, tank

in the ˈtank

(American English, informal, business) (about the price of shares, bonds, etc.) falling quickly: Technology stocks are doing well, but everything else is in the tank.
See also: tank

tank up

1. To fill the tank of a motor vehicle with gasoline: Gas prices are so high, I can barely afford to tank up. Don't tank up with low-quality gasoline.
2. To eat, drink, or accumulate a supply of food or drink: Midway through the hike, we stopped by a stream to tank up on water. The travelers pulled into a roadside diner and tanked up.
3. Slang To intoxicate someone: Someone poured a bottle of vodka in the punch and tanked up the unsuspecting partygoers. The kids got tanked up on soda pop and ran around in the yard. Many of the revelers were too tanked up to drive home.
4. Slang To drink to the point of intoxication: The losing team is tanking up at the bar.
5. Slang To be consumed to the point of intoxicating someone: That last glass of whiskey really tanked me up.
See also: tank, up

avenue tank

n. a bus. Watch out for them avenue tanks when you cross the street.
See also: avenue, tank

drunk tank

n. a jail cell where drunks are kept. (see also junk tank.) They hose down the drunk tank every hour on Friday and Saturday nights.
See also: drunk, tank

junk tank

n. a jail cell where addicts are kept. (see also drunk tank.) That junk tank is a very dangerous place.
See also: junk, tank

on the tank

and on a tank
mod. on a drinking bout. All the guys were on the tank last Saturday.
See also: on, tank

on a tank

See also: on, tank


1. and tank up in. to drink too much beer; to drink to excess. Let’s go out this Friday and tank a while.
2. n. a drunkard. (Usually tank-up.) You’re turning into a real tank, Harry.
3. n. a jail cell for holding drunks. One night in the tank was enough to make John take the pledge.
4. tv. & in. to lose a game deliberately. The manager got wind of a plan to tank Friday’s game.
5. in. for something to fail. The entire stock market tanked on Friday.

tank up

See tank
See also: tank, up


n. a place where great minds are assembled to try to think up solutions to problems or to envision the future. She spent a few months in a California think-tank, then came back to teach.

in the tank

1. In reserve: a runner who didn't have enough in the tank to hold the lead.
2. In a state of decline or failure: Stocks have been in the tank for months.
3. Enthusiastically partial; strongly favoring: a reporter accused of being in the tank for a candidate.
See also: tank
References in periodicals archive ?
Alliance Tank Service is a turnkey tank service provider that offers premium tank-storage applications.
The finalists and the official 2017 Tank of the Year will be announced on Friday, October 27.
Diyana Mikhailov, a military expert, said that the T-72 tank merely sustained some small damage during the test, adding that the optimization process was successful.
The patent will secure the company's current innovations in tank design, add greater control over the final wine contact surface and provide more longevity to the tanks.
In addition, information has been added showing how expansion tank sizing formulas were derived (see sidebar, "Expansion Tank Sizing Formulas"), and typical expansion tank piping requirements are described in detail (see sidebar, "Typical Expansion Tank Piping").
Tank Destroyers: These are armoured fighting vehicles and are usually the snipers (as always, there are exceptions).
But construction issues identified for these tanks, such as weld rejection rates, are cause for concern" and raise "uncertainty of long-term tank integrity," Wyden wrote.
Every permitted tank in Oregon is checked for leaks "at least every three years" by the DEQ, he added.
One of the tanks being emptied now, Tank C-107, is using the new Mobile Arm Retrieval System, or MARS, a robotic arm that's much larger, stronger and more sophisticated than previous retrieval systems inserted down risers into the enclosed, underground tanks.
AUCRT is required for assessing the spares requirement for the entire life of the tank besides evaluation of reliability of tank.
A brief rundown of H1 variant flamethrower tank losses demonstrates how important infantry support was to the tanks.
Options: Stainless-steel tanks, variable-speed agitator, glass blending stations.
Each of the tank machines can produce 68 units per hour; filler pipes can be made at a rate of 120 per hour.
WASHINGTON -- The Abrams tank is growing a TUSK--that's Tank Urban Survival Kit, a series of improvements, including some still in development.
MOJAVE - XCOR Aerospace will develop a lightweight composite cryogenic tank under a $7 million contract to support NASA's initiative to return to the moon.