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[throh] /θroʊ/
verb (used with object), threw, thrown, throwing.
to propel or cast in any way, especially to project or propel from the hand by a sudden forward motion or straightening of the arm and wrist:
to throw a ball.
to hurl or project (a missile), as a gun does.
to project or cast (light, a shadow, etc.).
to project (the voice).
to make it appear that one's voice is coming from a place different from its source, as in ventriloquism.
to direct or send forth (words, a glance, etc.).
to put or cause to go or come into some place, position, condition, etc., as if by hurling:
to throw someone into prison; to throw a bridge across a river; to throw troops into action.
to put on, off, or away hastily:
to throw a shawl over one's shoulders.
  1. to move (a lever or the like) in order to activate, turn on, disconnect, etc., an apparatus or mechanism:
    to throw the switch.
  2. to connect, engage, disconnect, or disengage by such a procedure:
    to throw the current.
to shape on a potter's wheel:
to throw a vase.
to bring to bear or invest:
Throw all your energy into your work. The FBI threw every available agent into the case.
to deliver a blow or punch:
He threw a hard left jab to his opponent's chin.
to cause to fall to the ground, especially to hurl to the ground, as an opponent in wrestling.
Cards. to play (a card).
to lose (a game, race, or other contest) intentionally, as for a bribe.
to cast (dice).
to make (a cast) at dice:
She threw two sixes.
(of an animal, as a horse) to cause (someone) to fall off; unseat:
The horse threw his rider twice.
to give or host:
They threw a lavish party celebrating his 80th birthday.
(of domestic animals) to bring forth (young).
Textiles. to twist (filaments) without attenuation in the production of yarn or thread.
Informal. to overcome with astonishment or confusion; amaze, disconcert, or confuse:
It was her falsetto voice on top of it all that really threw me.
to turn on a lathe.
verb (used without object), threw, thrown, throwing.
to cast, fling, or hurl a missile or the like.
an act or instance of throwing or casting; cast; fling.
the distance to which anything is or may be thrown:
a stone's throw.
Informal. a venture or chance:
It was his last throw.
  1. the distance between the center of a crankshaft and the center of the crankpins, equal to one half of the piston stroke.
  2. the distance between the center of a crankshaft and the center of an eccentric.
  3. the movement of a reciprocating part in one direction.
(in a motion-picture theater) the distance between the projector and the screen.
(in an auditorium or the like) the distance between a loudspeaker and the audience.
the length of a beam of light:
a spotlight with a throw of 500 feet.
a scarf, boa, shawl, or the like.
  1. the distance to which a spotlight can be projected.
  2. the area illuminated by a spotlight.
a light blanket, as for use when reclining on a sofa; afghan.
a cast of dice.
the number thrown with a pair of dice.
Wrestling. the act, method, or an instance of throwing an opponent.
Geology, Mining. the amount of vertical displacement produced by a fault.
Verb phrases
throw away,
  1. to dispose of; discard.
  2. to employ wastefully; squander.
  3. to fail to use; miss (a chance, opportunity, etc.):
    He threw away a college education and a professional career.
throw back,
  1. to retard the development or advancement of:
    His illness threw him back a year at school.
  2. to force into dependence upon or necessary use of.
  3. to return to; hark back.
  4. to revert to a type found in one's ancestry; manifest atavism:
    Her red hair and blue eyes throw back to her great-grandmother.
throw in, Informal.
  1. to add as a bonus or gratuity:
    They throw in breakfast with the room.
  2. to bring into (a discussion, plan, etc.) as an addition; interject:
    The president threw in an amusing anecdote to relieve the tension.
  3. Cards. to abandon (a hand).
throw off,
  1. to free oneself of; cast aside:
    to throw off the wet poncho; to throw off the yoke of slavery.
  2. to escape from or delay, as a pursuer.
  3. to give off; discharge.
  4. to perform or produce with ease:
    The entertainer threw off a few songs and jokes to begin the show.
  5. to confuse; fluster:
    Thrown off by jeers, she forgot her lines.
  6. Australian Slang. to criticize or ridicule (usually followed by at).
throw out,
  1. to cast away; remove; discard.
  2. to bring up for consideration; propose:
    The committee threw out a few suggestions.
  3. to put out of mind; reject:
    We can throw out that scheme.
  4. Baseball. to cause to be out by throwing the ball to a fielder, especially an infielder, in time to prevent a batter or runner from reaching base safely:
    The shortstop backhanded the ball and threw the batter out at first.
  5. to eject from a place, especially forcibly:
    He started making a disturbance so the bartenders threw him out.
  6. to expel, as from membership in a club.
throw over, to forsake; abandon:
She threw over her first husband for another man.
throw together,
  1. to make in a hurried and haphazard manner.
  2. to cause to associate:
    Many nationalities have been thrown together in the American melting pot.
throw up,
  1. to give up; relinquish.
  2. to build hastily.
  3. to vomit.
  4. to point out, as an error; criticize.
  5. (of a hawk) to fly suddenly upward.
a throw, Informal. each:
He ordered four suits at $300 a throw.
throw cold water on. cold (def 31).
throw down the gauntlet / glove. gauntlet1 (def 5).
throw in the sponge. sponge (def 11).
throw in the towel. towel (def 3).
throw oneself at someone / someone's head, to strive to attract the interest or attention of, especially in order to win the love or admiration of:
Don't expect me to throw myself at you.
throw oneself into, to engage in with energy or enthusiasm:
She threw herself into learning the new routines.
throw oneself on / upon someone, to commit oneself to another's mercy, generosity, support, etc.; trust in:
The members of his wife's family have all thrown themselves on him.
throw out the baby with the bathwater. bathwater (def 2).
throw the bull. bull3 (def 2).
throw someone or something to the wolves / dogs, to place or leave (a person or thing) in a bad situation with no assistance, especially in order to protect oneself:
During the scandal, employees felt they had been thrown to the wolves by their employer.
Also, throw under the bus.
Origin of throw
before 1000; Middle English throwen, thrawen (v.), Old English thrāwan to twist, turn; cognate with Dutch draaien, German drehen to turn, spin, twirl, whirl; akin to Latin terere, Greek teírein to rub away
Related forms
misthrow, verb, misthrew, misthrown, misthrowing.
Can be confused
throe, throw.
1. fling, launch, send. Throw, cast, pitch, toss imply projecting something through the air. Throw is the general word, often used with an adverb that indicates direction, destination, etc.: to throw a rope to someone, the paper away. Cast is a formal word for throw, archaic except as used in certain idiomatic expressions (to cast a net, black looks; cast down; the compound broadcast, etc.): to cast off a boat. Pitch implies throwing with some force and definite aim: to pitch a baseball. To toss is to throw lightly, as with an underhand or sidewise motion, or to move irregularly up and down or back and forth: to toss a bone to a dog. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for throw in

throw in

verb (transitive, adverb)
to add (something extra) at no additional cost
to contribute or interpose (a remark, argument, etc), esp in a discussion
throw in one's hand
  1. (in cards) to concede defeat by putting one's cards down
  2. to give in and accept defeat; discontinue a venture
throw in the towel, throw in the sponge
  1. (in boxing) to concede defeat by the throwing of a towel (or sponge) into the ring by a second
  2. to give in and accept defeat; discontinue a venture
(soccer) the method of putting the ball into play after it has gone into touch by throwing it two-handed from behind the head, both feet being kept on the ground


verb (mainly transitive) throws, throwing, threw, thrown
(also intransitive) to project or cast (something) through the air, esp with a rapid motion of the arm and wrist
foll by in, on, onto, etc. to put or move suddenly, carelessly, or violently: she threw her clothes onto the bed
to bring to or cause to be in a specified state or condition, esp suddenly or unexpectedly: the news threw the family into a panic
to direct or cast (a shadow, light, etc)
to project (the voice) so as to make it appear to come from other than its source
to give or hold (a party)
to cause to fall or be upset; dislodge: the horse soon threw his rider
  1. to tip (dice) out onto a flat surface
  2. to obtain (a specified number) in this way
to shape (clay) on a potter's wheel
to move (a switch or lever) to engage or disengage a mechanism
to be subjected to (a fit)
to turn (wood, etc) on a lathe
(informal) to baffle or astonish; confuse: the last question on the test paper threw me
(boxing) to deliver (a punch)
(wrestling) to hurl (an opponent) to the ground
(informal) to lose (a contest, fight, etc) deliberately, esp in boxing
  1. to play (a card)
  2. to discard (a card)
(of a female animal, esp a cow) to give birth to (young)
to twist or spin (filaments) into thread
(informal) throw cold water on something, to be unenthusiastic about or discourage something
throw oneself at, to strive actively to attract the attention or affection of
throw oneself into, to involve oneself enthusiastically in
throw oneself on, to rely entirely upon: he threw himself on the mercy of the police
the act or an instance of throwing
the distance or extent over which anything may be thrown: a stone's throw
(informal) a chance, venture, or try
an act or result of throwing dice
  1. the eccentricity of a cam
  2. the radial distance between the central axis of a crankshaft and the axis of a crankpin forming part of the shaft
a decorative light blanket or cover, as thrown over a chair
a sheet of fabric used for draping over an easel or unfinished painting, etc, to keep the dust off
(geology) the vertical displacement of rock strata at a fault
(physics) the deflection of a measuring instrument as a result of a sudden fluctuation
Derived Forms
thrower, noun
Word Origin
Old English thrāwan to turn, torment; related to Old High German drāen to twist, Latin terere to rub
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 throw in



"to project, propel," c.1300, from Old English þrawan "to twist, turn writhe" (past tense þreow, past participle þrawen), from Proto-Germanic *thræ- (cf. Old Saxon thraian, Middle Dutch dræyen, Dutch draaien, Old High German draen, German drehen "to turn, twist;" not found in Scandinavian or Gothic), from PIE *tere- "to rub, turn, rub by turning, bore" (cf. Sanskrit turah "wounded, hurt," Greek teirein "to rub, rub away," Latin terere "to rub, thresh, grind, wear away," Old Church Slavonic tiro "to rub," Lithuanian trinu "to rub," Old Irish tarathar "borer," Welsh taraw "to strike").

Not the usual Old English word for "to throw" (weorpan, related to warp (v.) was common in this sense). The sense evolution may be via the notion of whirling a missile before throwing it. The sense of "put by force" (e.g. throw in jail) is first recorded 1560; that of "to confuse, flabbergast" is from 1844; that of "lose deliberately" is from 1868.

To throw the book at (someone) is 1932, from notion of judge sentencing a criminal from a law book full of possible punishments. To throw (one's) hat in the ring "issue a challenge," especially to announce one's candidacy, first recorded 1917. To throw up "vomit" is first recorded 1732.



"act of throwing," 1520s, from throw (v.). Wrestling sense is first attested 1819.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for throw in



  1. To confuse and incapacitate; amaze; confound; flabbergast: When he called me that it just about threw me (1844+)
  2. To lose a game, race, etc, deliberately; tank: Basketball players confess that they have accepted bribes to ''throw'' games (1868+)
  3. (also pitch or toss) To be host or hostess at; arrange for: The president has to throw him a luncheon/ One of his assistants actually pitched a party for me/ Kendall tossed a cocktail party for a group of us visiting writers (1922+)
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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Idioms and Phrases with throw in

throw in

Insert or introduce into the course of something, interject, as in He always threw in a few jokes to lighten the atmosphere. [ c. 1700 ]
Add something with no additional charge, as in The salesman said he'd throw in the carpet padding. [ Second half of 1600s ]
throw in with. Enter into association with, as in His friends warned him against throwing in with the notorious street gang. [ Second half of 1800s ]
Also see: cast one's lot and the subsequent idioms beginning with throw in.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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