• synonyms


See more synonyms for throb on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), throbbed, throb·bing.
  1. to beat with increased force or rapidity, as the heart under the influence of emotion or excitement; palpitate.
  2. to feel or exhibit emotion: He throbbed at the happy thought.
  3. to pulsate; vibrate: The cello throbbed.
Show More
  1. the act of throbbing.
  2. a violent beat or pulsation, as of the heart.
  3. any pulsation or vibration: the throb of engines.
Show More

Origin of throb

1325–75; Middle English *throbben, implied in present participle throbbant throbbing < ?
Related formsthrob·ber, nounthrob·bing·ly, adverbout·throb, verb (used with object), out·throbbed, out·throb·bing.un·throb·bing, adjective

Synonym study

3. See pulsate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for throbbed

flutter, tremble, vibrate, pulse, resonate, palpitate, thrill, twitter, pound, tingle, thump

Examples from the Web for throbbed

Historical Examples of throbbed

  • He put his hands up to his head, as if it throbbed or pained him.

    Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit

    Charles Dickens

  • At this point her hull had throbbed with air, movement, life; at this point all had been well.

    Under Arctic Ice

    H.G. Winter

  • But where were they whose beating hearts had throbbed with deep devotion?

  • The affair had by now throbbed itself into a question of her physical ease.

    Little Novels of Italy

    Maurice Henry Hewlett

  • His brain, inflamed and racked by the strain, throbbed in his head.

    Spring Street

    James H. Richardson

British Dictionary definitions for throbbed


verb throbs, throbbing or throbbed (intr)
  1. to pulsate or beat repeatedly, esp with increased forceto throb with pain
  2. (of engines, drums, etc) to have a strong rhythmic vibration or beat
Show More
  1. the act or an instance of throbbing, esp a rapid pulsation as of the hearta throb of pleasure
Show More
Derived Formsthrobbing, adjectivethrobbingly, adverb

Word Origin for throb

C14: perhaps of imitative origin
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 throbbed



mid-14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps meant to represent in sound the pulsation of arteries and veins or the heart. Related: Throbbed; throbbing. The noun is first attested 1570s.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

throbbed in Medicine


  1. To beat rapidly or perceptibly, such as occurs in the heart or a constricted blood vessel.
Show More
  1. A strong or rapid beat; a pulsation.
Show More
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.