Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[thresh] /θrɛʃ/
verb (used with object)
to separate the grain or seeds from (a cereal plant or the like) by some mechanical means, as by beating with a flail or by the action of a threshing machine.
to beat as if with a flail.
verb (used without object)
to thresh wheat, grain, etc.
to deliver blows as if with a flail.
the act of threshing.
Verb phrases
thresh out/over. thrash (def 12).
Also, thrash.
Origin of thresh
before 900; Middle English threschen, thresshen, Old English threscan; cognate with German dreschen, Gothic thriskan; akin to Dutch dorsen, Old Norse thriskja
Related forms
rethresh, verb (used with object)
unthreshed, adjective
Can be confused
thrash, thresh. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for threshing
Historical Examples
  • The grey-green woods impassive Had watched the threshing of his limbs.

    War is Kind Stephen Crane
  • Suddenly she remembered the night which they had spent in the threshing yard.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • I says, 'anything from plowing to threshing and nicking a nag's tail,' I says.

    A Son of Hagar

    Sir Hall Caine
  • These operations were interspersed with plowing and threshing.

  • From within sounded a threshing noise, as of a whale caught in shallows.

    The Trimming of Goosie James Hopper
  • Next it was for me to throw a lasso over that threshing tail.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • Then Mark saw that some object was threshing the bushes furiously.

    Pathfinder Alan Douglas
  • We pitched on the threshing floor between the village and the castle.

  • She heard Burns threshing his team at the well, with the sound of oaths.

  • They began to favor him at threshing or at the fall hog-killing.

British Dictionary definitions for threshing


to beat or rub stalks of ripe corn or a similar crop either with a hand implement or a machine to separate the grain from the husks and straw
(transitive) to beat or strike
(intransitive) often foll by about. to toss and turn; thrash
the act of threshing
Word Origin
Old English threscan; related to Gothic thriskan, Old Norse thriskja; see thrash
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for threshing



Old English þrescan, þerscan "to beat, sift grain by trampling or beating," from Proto-Germanic *threskanan "to thresh," originally "to tread, to stamp noisily" (cf. Middle Dutch derschen, Dutch dorschen, Old High German dreskan, German dreschen, Old Norse þreskja, Gothic þriskan), from PIE root *tere- "to rub, turn" (see throw).

The basic notion is of treading out wheat under foot of men or oxen, later, with the advent of the flail, the word acquired its modern extended sense of "to knock, beat, strike." The original Germanic sense is suggested by the use of the word in Romanic languages that borrowed it, e.g. Italian trescare "to prance," Old French treschier "to dance," Spanish triscar "to stamp the feet."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for threshing

Word Value for threshing

Scrabble Words With Friends