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[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.
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Examples from the Web for throbbed
Historical Examples
  • He put his hands up to his head, as if it throbbed or pained him.

  • At this point her hull had throbbed with air, movement, life; at this point all had been well.

    Under Arctic Ice H.G. Winter
  • But where were they whose beating hearts had throbbed with deep devotion?

  • The affair had by now throbbed itself into a question of her physical ease.

    Little Novels of Italy Maurice Henry Hewlett
  • His brain, inflamed and racked by the strain, throbbed in his head.

    Spring Street James H. Richardson
  • But the lapse of time was naught to her, nor the fever that throbbed in her head.

  • It throbbed in his temples, ached to the ends of his toes, set his body aflame with it.

    The Monster S. M. Tenneshaw
  • It throbbed with consciousness, with mysterious fibres of communication.

  • He spent a late hour with Mrs. Alsager, an hour that throbbed with calculation.

    Nona Vincent Henry James
  • But I loved her; every pulse in me throbbed love and longing at her approach.

    The Message Alec John Dawson
British Dictionary definitions for throbbed


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
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Word Origin and History for throbbed



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
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throbbed 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.
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Slang definitions & phrases for throbbed


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.
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