a flogging; whipping.
the act of a person or thing that thrashes.
a pile or quantity of threshed grain or the grain threshed at one time.

Nearby words

  1. thrash,
  2. thrash about,
  3. thrash metal,
  4. thrash out,
  5. thrasher,
  6. thrasonical,
  7. thrasonically,
  8. thrasybulus,
  9. thrave,
  10. thraw

Origin of thrashing

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400; see origin at thrash, -ing1



verb (used with object)

to beat soundly in punishment; flog.
to defeat thoroughly: The home team thrashed the visitors.
Nautical. to force (a close-hauled sailing ship under heavy canvas) against a strong wind or sea.

verb (used without object)

to toss, or plunge about.
Nautical. to make way against the wind, tide, etc.; beat.


an act or instance of thrashing; beating; blow.
Swimming. the upward and downward movement of the legs, as in the crawl.
British Slang. a party, usually with drinks.

Verb Phrases

thrash out/over, to talk over thoroughly and vigorously in order to reach a decision, conclusion, or understanding; discuss exhaustively.Also thresh out/over.

Origin of thrash

before 900; Middle English thrasshen, variant of thresshen to thresh

Related formsun·thrashed, adjectivewell-thrashed, adjective

Can be confusedthrash thresh

Synonym study

1. See beat. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for thrashing

British Dictionary definitions for thrashing



a physical assault; flogging
a convincing defeata 5–1 thrashing



(tr) to beat soundly, as with a whip or stick
(tr) to defeat totally; overwhelm
(intr) to beat or plunge about in a wild manner
(intr) to move the legs up and down in the water, as in certain swimming strokes
to sail (a boat) against the wind or tide or (of a boat) to sail in this way
another word for thresh


the act of thrashing; blow; beating
informal a party or similar social gathering
See also thrash out

Word Origin for thrash

Old English threscan; related to Old High German dreskan, Old Norse thriskja

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 thrashing



1580s, "to separate grains from wheat, etc., by beating," dialectal variant of threshen (see thresh). Sense of "beat (someone) with (or as if with) a flail" is first recorded c.1600. Meaning "to make wild movements like those of a flail or whip" is attested from 1846. Related: Thrashed; thrashing. Type of fast heavy metal music first called by this name 1982.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper