Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[throb] /θrɒb/
verb (used without object), throbbed, throbbing.
to beat with increased force or rapidity, as the heart under the influence of emotion or excitement; palpitate.
to feel or exhibit emotion:
He throbbed at the happy thought.
to pulsate; vibrate:
The cello throbbed.
the act of throbbing.
a violent beat or pulsation, as of the heart.
any pulsation or vibration:
the throb of engines.
Origin of throb
1325-75; Middle English *throbben, implied in present participle throbbant throbbing < ?
Related forms
throbber, noun
throbbingly, adverb
outthrob, verb (used with object), outthrobbed, outthrobbing.
unthrobbing, adjective
Synonym Study
3. See pulsate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for throb
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • There you can see the very veins and the throb of the blood.

    The White Company Arthur Conan Doyle
  • The throb of these sounds was as a background to the evening--fierce, passionate, barbaric.

    The Leopard Woman Stewart Edward White
  • Every throb of his heart, almost every evolution of his brain, found an echo in me.

  • He wished to open his spirit to the feeling and throb of the living world.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • Little by little his pulses quieted, his temples ceased to throb.

    The Genius

    Margaret Horton Potter
  • She was all his, and he was certain to know every thought of her mind and every throb of her heart.

    Kept in the Dark

    Anthony Trollope
  • It was the same clear voice, with the throb of tender feeling in it.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • There was no faltering in her voice, never a throb of pathos.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service
  • When I came in at the end of the day, my heart used to throb with gladness.

    The Choice of Life

    Georgette Leblanc
British Dictionary definitions for throb


verb (intransitive) throbs, throbbing, throbbed
to pulsate or beat repeatedly, esp with increased force: to throb with pain
(of engines, drums, etc) to have a strong rhythmic vibration or beat
the act or an instance of throbbing, esp a rapid pulsation as of the heart: a throb of pleasure
Derived Forms
throbbing, adjective
throbbingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: perhaps of imitative origin
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 throb

mid-14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps meant to represent in sound the pulsation of arteries and veins or the heart. Related: Throbbed; throbbing. The noun is first attested 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
throb in Medicine

throb (thrŏb)
v. throbbed, throb·bing, throbs
To beat rapidly or perceptibly, such as occurs in the heart or a constricted blood vessel. n.
A strong or rapid beat; a pulsation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for throb


Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for throb

Difficulty index for throb

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for throb

Scrabble Words With Friends