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[thruhst] /θrʌst/
verb (used with object), thrust, thrusting.
to push forcibly; shove; put or drive with force:
He thrust his way through the crowd. She thrust a dagger into his back.
to put boldly forth or impose acceptance of:
to thrust oneself into a conversation between others; to thrust a dollar into the waiter's hand.
to extend; present:
He thrust his fist in front of my face.
Archaic. to stab or pierce, as with a sword:
She thrust his back with a dagger.
verb (used without object), thrust, thrusting.
to push against something.
to push or force one's way, as against obstacles or through a crowd.
to make a thrust, lunge, or stab at something.
an act or instance of thrusting; a forcible push or shove; lunge or stab.
a lunge or stab, as with a sword.
Mechanics. a linear reactive force exerted by a propeller, propulsive gases, etc., to propel a ship, aircraft, etc.
Geology. a compressive strain in the crust of the earth that, in its most characteristic development, produces reverse or thrust faults.
the main point, purpose, or essence:
The thrust of his speech was an urgent appeal for votes.
Machinery. a pushing force or pressure exerted by a thing or a part against a contiguous one.
Architecture. the downward and outward force exerted by an arch on each side.
an organized military attack; assault; offensive.
Origin of thrust
1125-75; Middle English thrusten, thrysten (v.) < Old Norse thrȳsta to thrust, force, press
Related forms
counterthrust, noun
prethrust, noun, verb (used with object), prethrust, prethrusting.
unthrust, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for counter-thrust
Historical Examples
  • So he resolved to lower his lance in his tilt, and to receive his father's blow on his shield without making a counter-thrust.

  • Their combined blocks were instantaneous in action; their counter-thrust was nearly so.

    The Galaxy Primes Edward Elmer Smith
  • Then came a counter-thrust, quickly followed by a counter parry, with no advantage to either.

    The Free Lances Mayne Reid
  • This was intended as a counter-thrust, and it created a wider breach in the enemy's camp.

    Stones of the Temple Walter Field
  • These flying buttresses provide a counter-thrust which partly annuls that of the vault.

  • Both outward thrust of expanding life and counter-thrust of threatened life are equally normal phenomena.

  • Amid such bouts of thrust and counter-thrust, the affair of Capt'n Davy and Mrs. Quiggin nevertheless made due progress.

British Dictionary definitions for counter-thrust


verb thrusts, thrusting, thrust
(transitive) to push (someone or something) with force or sudden strength: she thrust him away, she thrust it into the fire
(transitive) to force or impose upon (someone) or into (some condition or situation): they thrust extra responsibilities upon her, she was thrust into the limelight
(transitive) foll by through. to pierce; stab
(intransitive; usually foll by through or into) to force a passage or entrance
(intransitive) to push forwards, upwards, or outwards
(intransitive) foll by at. to make a stab or lunge at (a person or thing)
a forceful drive, push, stab, or lunge
a force, esp one that produces motion
  1. a propulsive force produced by the fluid pressure or the change of momentum of the fluid in a jet engine, rocket engine, etc
  2. a similar force produced by a propeller
a pressure that is exerted continuously by one part of an object, structure, etc, against another, esp the axial force by or on a shaft
  1. the compressive force in the earth's crust that produces recumbent folds and thrust or reverse faults
  2. See thrust fault
(civil engineering) a force exerted in a downwards and outwards direction, as by an arch or rafter, or the horizontal force exerted by retained earth
force, impetus, or drive: a man with thrust and energy
the essential or most forceful part: the thrust of the argument
Word Origin
C12: from Old Norse thrysta; related to Latin trūdere; see intrude
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for counter-thrust



late 12c., from Old Norse þrysta "to thrust, force," from Proto-Germanic *thrustijanan, perhaps from PIE *trud- "push, press" (see threat), but OED finds this derivation doubtful. The noun is recorded from 1510s; figurative sense of "principal theme, aim, point, purpose" is recorded from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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counter-thrust in Science
The force that propels an object in a given direction, especially when generated by the object itself, as by an engine or rocket.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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