thing-n; 3 Senses

Sense Number 1: a referential general term

Commentary: THING[+function][+reference]
NOTE: is coreferential with an implied substantive noun of the same category

This thing has got to end. (event)
The funniest thing happened yesterday. (event)
How could he do such a thing? (action)
Let's do our own thing. (action)
John wanted to know how the thing worked. (artifact)
Mary said the same thing to me yesterday. (statement)
One thing I don't like about the room is the wallpaper. (attribute)
These issues are things of the heart. (concern)
I've got several things to attend to before leaving work today. (concern)
The thing is to not get emotional during these negotiations. (objective)

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 3, 6, 10

Sense Number 2: a physical entity

Commentary: THING[+entity][+physical]

The small green thing blinked its eyes and scuttled behind the column.
How many things do you see on the table?
We were very excited to see the Thing on our night dive.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 8, 12

Sense Number 3: a strong emotion, either positive or negative

Commentary: THING[+state][+emotion][+strong]
NOTE: prep 'for' indicates positive feeling, prep 'about' indicates negative feeling.

John has a thing about spiders.
I've got a terrible thing for chocolate.
Mary has a thing for theoretical physicists.
Sally has a thing about going to the dentist.

WordNet 3.0 Sense Numbers: 11