[ throh ]
See synonyms for: throwthrewthrowingthrown on

verb (used with object),threw, thrown, throw·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to hurl or project (a missile), as a gun does.

  1. to project or cast (light, a shadow, etc.).

  2. to project (the voice).

  3. to make it appear that (one's voice) is coming from a place different from its source, as in ventriloquism.

  4. to direct or send forth (words, a glance, etc.).

  5. 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.

  6. to put on, off, or away hastily: to throw a shawl over one's shoulders.

  7. Machinery.

    • to move (a lever or the like) in order to activate, turn on, disconnect, etc., an apparatus or mechanism: to throw the switch.

    • to connect, engage, disconnect, or disengage by such a procedure: to throw the current.

  8. to shape on a potter's wheel: to throw a vase.

  9. to bring to bear or invest: Throw all your energy into your work. The FBI threw every available agent into the case.

  10. to deliver (a blow or punch): He threw a hard left jab to his opponent's chin.

  11. to cause to fall to the ground, especially to hurl to the ground, as an opponent in wrestling.

  12. Cards. to play (a card).

  13. to lose (a game, race, or other contest) intentionally, as for a bribe.

  14. to cast (dice).

  15. to make (a cast) at dice: She threw two sixes.

  16. (of an animal, as a horse) to cause (someone) to fall off; unseat: The horse threw his rider twice.

  17. to organize and host: They threw a lavish party celebrating his 80th birthday.

  18. (of domestic animals) to bring forth (young).

  19. Textiles. to twist (filaments) without attenuation in the production of yarn or thread.

  20. 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.

  21. to turn on a lathe.

verb (used without object),threw, thrown, throw·ing.
  1. to cast, fling, or hurl a missile or the like.

  1. an act or instance of throwing or casting; cast; fling: For your first time playing catch, I'd have to say that was a great throw!

  2. the distance to which anything is or may be thrown: a stone's throw.

  1. Informal. a venture or chance: It was his last throw.

  2. Machinery.

    • the distance between the center of a crankshaft and the center of the crankpins, equal to one half of the piston stroke.

    • the distance between the center of a crankshaft and the center of an eccentric.

    • the movement of a reciprocating part in one direction.

  3. (in a movie theater) the distance between the projector and the screen.

  4. (in an auditorium or the like) the distance between a loudspeaker and the audience.

  5. the length of a beam of light: a spotlight with a throw of 500 feet.

  6. Theater.

    • the distance to which a spotlight can be projected.

    • the area illuminated by a spotlight.

  7. a scarf, boa, shawl, or the like.

  8. a light blanket, as for use when reclining on a sofa.

  9. a cast of dice.

  10. the number thrown with a pair of dice.

  11. Wrestling. the act, method, or an instance of throwing an opponent.

  12. Geology, Mining. the amount of vertical displacement produced by a fault.

Verb Phrases
  1. throw away,

    • to dispose of; discard.

    • to employ wastefully; squander.

    • to fail to use; miss (a chance, opportunity, etc.): He threw away a college education and a professional career.

    • (of a performer) to speak or tell (lines, a joke, etc.) casually or indifferently.

  2. throw back,

    • to retard the development or advancement of: His illness threw him back a year at school.

    • to force into dependence upon or necessary use of.

    • to return to; hark back.

    • to revert to a type found in one's ancestry; manifest atavism: Her red hair and blue eyes throw back to her great-grandmother.

  1. throw down,

    • to fight or to challenge someone to a fight: You wanna throw down with me, punk?

    • to give a share of the cost; contribute (money): Are you going to throw down for this pizza, or what?

    • to produce or execute (something) successfully; put down: The skiers threw down a few good runs before the snow turned to slush.

    • to cast down; cause to drop: Throw down your weapons and surrender!

  2. throw in, Informal.

    • to add as a bonus or gratuity: They throw in breakfast with the room.

    • to bring into (a discussion, plan, etc.) as an addition; interject: The president threw in an amusing anecdote to relieve the tension.

    • Cards. to abandon (a hand).

  3. throw off,

    • to free oneself of; cast aside: to throw off the wet poncho;to throw off the yoke of slavery.

    • to escape from or delay, as a pursuer.

    • to give off; discharge.

    • to perform or produce with ease: The entertainer threw off a few songs and jokes to begin the show.

    • to confuse; fluster: Thrown off by jeers, she forgot her lines.

    • Australian Slang. to criticize or ridicule (usually followed by at).

  4. throw out,

    • to cast away; remove; discard.

    • to bring up for consideration; propose: The committee threw out a few suggestions.

    • to put out of mind; reject: We can throw out that scheme.

    • Baseball. to 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.

    • to eject from a place, especially forcibly: He started making a disturbance so the bartenders threw him out.

    • to expel, as from membership in a club.

  5. throw over, to forsake; abandon: She threw over her first husband for another man.

  6. throw together,

    • to make in a hurried and haphazard manner.

    • to cause to associate: Many nationalities have been thrown together in the American melting pot.

  7. throw up,

    • to give up; relinquish.

    • to build hastily.

    • to vomit.

    • to point out, as an error; criticize.

    • (of a hawk) to fly suddenly upward.

Idioms about throw

  1. a throw, Informal. each: He ordered four suits at $300 a throw.

  2. throw cold water on. cold (def. 31).

  1. throw down the gauntlet / glove. gauntlet1 (def. 5).

  2. throw in the sponge, Informal. sponge (def. 21).

  3. throw in the towel, Informal. towel (def. 3).

  4. throw one's hat in the ring. hat (def. 8).

  5. throw oneself at someone / someone's head, to strive to attract the interest or attention of, especially in order to win the love or admiration of: Don't expect me to throw myself at you.

  6. throw oneself into, to engage in with energy or enthusiasm: She threw herself into learning the new routines.

  7. throw oneself on / upon someone, to commit oneself to another's mercy, generosity, support, etc.; trust in: The members of his wife's family have all thrown themselves on him.

  8. throw out the baby with the bathwater. bathwater (def. 2).

  9. throw the bull, Slang. bull2 (def. 2).

  10. throw (someone or something) to the wolves / dogs, Informal. wolf (def. 13).

  11. throw (someone or something) under the bus, Informal. bus1 (def. 11).

Origin of throw

First recorded before 1000; Middle English verb throwen, thrawen, 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”

synonym study For throw

1. 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 sideways motion, or to move irregularly up and down or back and forth: to toss a bone to a dog.

Other words for throw

Other words from throw

  • mis·throw, verb, mis·threw, mis·thrown, mis·throw·ing.

Words that may be confused with throw

Words Nearby throw Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use throw in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for throw


/ (θrəʊ) /

verbthrows, throwing, threw or thrown (mainly tr)
  1. (also intr) to project or cast (something) through the air, esp with a rapid motion of the arm and wrist

  2. (foll by in, on, onto, etc) to put or move suddenly, carelessly, or violently: she threw her clothes onto the bed

  1. to bring to or cause to be in a specified state or condition, esp suddenly or unexpectedly: the news threw the family into a panic

  2. to direct or cast (a shadow, light, etc)

  3. to project (the voice) so as to make it appear to come from other than its source

  4. to give or hold (a party)

  5. to cause to fall or be upset; dislodge: the horse soon threw his rider

    • to tip (dice) out onto a flat surface

    • to obtain (a specified number) in this way

  6. to shape (clay) on a potter's wheel

  7. to move (a switch or lever) to engage or disengage a mechanism

  8. to be subjected to (a fit)

  9. to turn (wood, etc) on a lathe

  10. informal to baffle or astonish; confuse: the last question on the test paper threw me

  11. boxing to deliver (a punch)

  12. wrestling to hurl (an opponent) to the ground

  13. informal to lose (a contest, fight, etc) deliberately, esp in boxing

    • to play (a card)

    • to discard (a card)

  14. (of a female animal, esp a cow) to give birth to (young)

  15. to twist or spin (filaments) into thread

  16. throw cold water on something informal to be unenthusiastic about or discourage something

  17. throw oneself at to strive actively to attract the attention or affection of

  18. throw oneself into to involve oneself enthusiastically in

  19. throw oneself on to rely entirely upon: he threw himself on the mercy of the police

  1. the act or an instance of throwing

  2. the distance or extent over which anything may be thrown: a stone's throw

  1. informal a chance, venture, or try

  2. an act or result of throwing dice

    • the eccentricity of a cam

    • the radial distance between the central axis of a crankshaft and the axis of a crankpin forming part of the shaft

  3. a decorative light blanket or cover, as thrown over a chair

  4. a sheet of fabric used for draping over an easel or unfinished painting, etc, to keep the dust off

  5. geology the vertical displacement of rock strata at a fault

  6. physics the deflection of a measuring instrument as a result of a sudden fluctuation

Origin of throw

Old English thrāwan to turn, torment; related to Old High German drāen to twist, Latin terere to rub

Derived forms of throw

  • thrower, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with throw


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.