verb (used with object), thrust, thrust·ing.
  1. to push forcibly; shove; put or drive with force: He thrust his way through the crowd. She thrust a dagger into his back.
  2. to put boldly forth or impose acceptance of: to thrust oneself into a conversation between others; to thrust a dollar into the waiter's hand.
  3. to extend; present: He thrust his fist in front of my face.
  4. Archaic. to stab or pierce, as with a sword: She thrust his back with a dagger.
verb (used without object), thrust, thrust·ing.
  1. to push against something.
  2. to push or force one's way, as against obstacles or through a crowd.
  3. to make a thrust, lunge, or stab at something.
  1. an act or instance of thrusting; a forcible push or shove; lunge or stab.
  2. a lunge or stab, as with a sword.
  3. Mechanics. a linear reactive force exerted by a propeller, propulsive gases, etc., to propel a ship, aircraft, etc.
  4. Geology. a compressive strain in the crust of the earth that, in its most characteristic development, produces reverse or thrust faults.
  5. the main point, purpose, or essence: The thrust of his speech was an urgent appeal for votes.
  6. Machinery. a pushing force or pressure exerted by a thing or a part against a contiguous one.
  7. Architecture. the downward and outward force exerted by an arch on each side.
  8. an organized military attack; assault; offensive.

Origin of thrust

1125–75; Middle English thrusten, thrysten (v.) < Old Norse thrȳsta to thrust, force, press
Related formscoun·ter·thrust, nounpre·thrust, noun, verb (used with object), pre·thrust, pre·thrust·ing.un·thrust, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for counter-thrust

Historical Examples of counter-thrust

  • Their combined blocks were instantaneous in action; their counter-thrust was nearly so.

    The Galaxy Primes

    Edward Elmer Smith

  • This was intended as a counter-thrust, and it created a wider breach in the enemy's camp.

  • Both outward thrust of expanding life and counter-thrust of threatened life are equally normal phenomena.

  • Then came a counter-thrust, quickly followed by a counter parry, with no advantage to either.

    The Free Lances

    Mayne Reid

  • Amid such bouts of thrust and counter-thrust, the affair of Capt'n Davy and Mrs. Quiggin nevertheless made due progress.

British Dictionary definitions for counter-thrust


verb thrusts, thrusting or thrust
  1. (tr) to push (someone or something) with force or sudden strengthshe thrust him away; she thrust it into the fire
  2. (tr) to force or impose upon (someone) or into (some condition or situation)they thrust extra responsibilities upon her; she was thrust into the limelight
  3. (tr foll by through) to pierce; stab
  4. (intr; usually foll by through or into) to force a passage or entrance
  5. (intr) to push forwards, upwards, or outwards
  6. (intr foll by at) to make a stab or lunge at (a person or thing)
  1. a forceful drive, push, stab, or lunge
  2. a force, esp one that produces motion
    1. a propulsive force produced by the fluid pressure or the change of momentum of the fluid in a jet engine, rocket engine, etc
    2. a similar force produced by a propeller
  3. a pressure that is exerted continuously by one part of an object, structure, etc, against another, esp the axial force by or on a shaft
  4. geology
    1. the compressive force in the earth's crust that produces recumbent folds and thrust or reverse faults
    2. See thrust fault
  5. civil engineering a force exerted in a downwards and outwards direction, as by an arch or rafter, or the horizontal force exerted by retained earth
  6. force, impetus, or drivea man with thrust and energy
  7. the essential or most forceful partthe thrust of the argument

Word Origin for thrust

C12: from Old Norse thrysta; related to Latin trūdere; see intrude
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 counter-thrust



late 12c., from Old Norse þrysta "to thrust, force," from Proto-Germanic *thrustijanan, perhaps from PIE *trud- "push, press" (see threat), but OED finds this derivation doubtful. The noun is recorded from 1510s; figurative sense of "principal theme, aim, point, purpose" is recorded from 1968.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

counter-thrust in Science


  1. The force that propels an object in a given direction, especially when generated by the object itself, as by an engine or rocket.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.