[ uh-thwawrt ]
See synonyms for athwart on
  1. from side to side; crosswise.

  2. Nautical.

    • at right angles to the fore-and-aft line; across.

    • broadside to the wind because of equal and opposite pressures of wind and tide: a ship riding athwart.

  1. perversely; awry; wrongly.

  1. from side to side of; across.

  2. Nautical. across the direction or course of.

  1. in opposition to; contrary to.

Origin of athwart

late Middle English word dating back to 1425–75; see origin at a-1, thwart

Words Nearby athwart Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use athwart in a sentence

  • The new corporate social responsibility, redefined for libertarians, must stand athwart crony corporatism yelling "stop."

  • Conservatives, to invoke William Buckley, have stood athwart this history yelling “stop!”

  • How Robert Lipsyte, author of the new memoir An Accidental Sportswriter, stood athwart the sports page yelling, "Stop!"

    On the Peninsula | Bryan Curtis | April 25, 2011 | THE DAILY BEAST
  • The glowing heavens, luminous athwart the clouds of fine, suspended sand, laid this ominous hint of dream upon the entire day.

    The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
  • Silently the turnkey passes the cell, like a flitting mystery casting its shadow athwart a troubled soul.

    Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist | Alexander Berkman
  • A hemlock had fallen athwart it, and they sat down where they could look out upon a majestic panorama of towering rock and snow.

    The Gold Trail | Harold Bindloss
  • A few pines were sprinkled about the slopes of the gully, and one or two of them which had fallen lay athwart the creek.

    The Gold Trail | Harold Bindloss
  • A trail of filmy vapor crawled out athwart the lower pines and covered them as it rolled rapidly upward.

    The Gold Trail | Harold Bindloss

British Dictionary definitions for athwart


/ (əˈθwɔːt) /

  1. transversely; from one side to another

  1. across the path or line of (esp a ship)

  2. in opposition to; against

Origin of athwart

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