throe

[throh]
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noun
  1. a violent spasm or pang; paroxysm.
  2. a sharp attack of emotion.
  3. throes,
    1. any violent convulsion or struggle: the throes of battle.
    2. the agony of death.
    3. the pains of childbirth.

Origin of throe

1150–1200; Middle English throwe, alteration of thrawe (-o- from Old English thrōwian to suffer, be in pain), Old English thrawu; cognate with Old Norse thrā (in līkthrā leprosy)
Can be confusedthroe throw

Synonyms for throe

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

Related Words for throe

agony, turmoil, anguish, pang, struggle, ache, disorder, spasm

Examples from the Web for throe

Historical Examples of throe


British Dictionary definitions for throe

throe

noun
  1. rare a pang or pain

Word Origin for throe

Old English thrāwu threat; related to Old High German drawa threat, Old Norse thrā desire, thrauka to endure
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 throe
n.

c.1200, throwe "pain, pang of childbirth, agony of death," possibly from Old English þrawan "twist, turn, writhe" (see throw), or altered from Old English þrea (genitive þrawe) "affliction, pang, evil, threat" (related to þrowian "to suffer"), from Proto-Germanic *thrawo (cf. Middle High German dro "threat," German drohen "to threaten"). Modern spelling first recorded 1610s. Related: Throes.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with throe

throe

see in the throes.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.