a simple past tense of throw.

Can be confusedthrew through



verb (used with object), threw, thrown, throw·ing.

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, throw·ing.

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. 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 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. 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.

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 formsmis·throw, verb, mis·threw, mis·thrown, mis·throw·ing.
Can be confusedthroe throw

Synonyms for 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for threw

Contemporary Examples of threw

Historical Examples of threw

  • With a faint shriek, Eudora sprung forward, and threw herself at his feet.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He threw himself against the rock and pushed with all the strength he could command.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • She threw herself on the wide divan, and he fixed pillows under her head.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • I threw off all reserve--about half a pound, I should judge.

  • He would not look at it, and when I threw it close to him he dashed it away as if it was poison.

British Dictionary definitions for threw



the past tense of throw


verb throws, throwing, threw or thrown (mainly tr)

(also intr) 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 violentlyshe threw her clothes onto the bed
to bring to or cause to be in a specified state or condition, esp suddenly or unexpectedlythe 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; dislodgethe 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; confusethe 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
throw cold water on something informal 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 uponhe threw himself on the mercy of the police


the act or an instance of throwing
the distance or extent over which anything may be throwna 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 Formsthrower, noun

Word Origin for throw

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

Word Origin and History for threw

past tense of throw (q.v.).



"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

Idioms and Phrases with threw


In addition to the idioms beginning with throw

  • throw a curve
  • throw a fit
  • throw a monkey wrench into
  • throw a party
  • throw a punch
  • throw away
  • throw back
  • throw caution to the winds
  • throw cold water on
  • throw down the gauntlet
  • throw dust in someone's eyes
  • throw for a loop
  • throw good money after bad
  • throw in
  • throw in one's hand
  • throw in one's lot with
  • throw in someone's face
  • throw in the sponge
  • throw light on
  • throw off
  • throw off balance
  • throw off the track
  • throw oneself at
  • throw oneself into
  • throw one's hat in the ring
  • throw one's weight around
  • throw open
  • throw out
  • throw out the baby with the bath water
  • throw over
  • throw someone
  • throw the book at
  • throw together
  • throw to the wolves
  • throw up
  • throw up one's hands
  • throw up to

also see:

  • cast (throw) one's lot with
  • cast (throw) the first stone
  • have (throw) a fit
  • (throw) in one's face
  • knock (throw) for a loop
  • pour (throw) cold water on
  • shed (throw) light on
  • stone's throw
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.