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See more synonyms for athwart on Thesaurus.com
  1. from side to side; crosswise.
  2. Nautical.
    1. at right angles to the fore-and-aft line; across.
    2. broadside to the wind because of equal and opposite pressures of wind and tide: a ship riding athwart.
  3. perversely; awry; wrongly.
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  1. from side to side of; across.
  2. Nautical. across the direction or course of.
  3. in opposition to; contrary to.
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Origin of athwart

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75; see origin at a-1, thwart
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for athwart

Historical Examples

  • In this way it might be literally possible 'to hear a shadow fall athwart the stillness.'

    Heroes of the Telegraph

    J. Munro

  • Thus she was the first to note a shadow fall athwart the doorway.

  • They knew that athwart the Khalifa's writ was stencilled "Made in Germany."

    The New World of Islam

    Lothrop Stoddard

  • A cocked hat worn with the peak in front instead of athwart.

    The Sailor's Word-Book

    William Henry Smyth

  • Very devout too; honest to the bone, athwart all her prejudices.

British Dictionary definitions for athwart


  1. transversely; from one side to another
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  1. across the path or line of (esp a ship)
  2. in opposition to; against
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Word Origin

C15: from a- ² + thwart
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

Word Origin and History for athwart


late 15c., from a- (1) + thwart.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper