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


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.

Related forms

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

Can be confused

throe throw Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for throw in (1 of 2)

throw in

verb (tr, adverb)

to add (something extra) at no additional cost
to contribute or interpose (a remark, argument, etc), esp in a discussion
throw in one's hand
  1. (in cards) to concede defeat by putting one's cards down
  2. to give in and accept defeat; discontinue a venture
throw in the towel or throw in the sponge
  1. (in boxing) to concede defeat by the throwing of a towel (or sponge) into the ring by a second
  2. to give in and accept defeat; discontinue a venture

noun throw-in

soccer the method of putting the ball into play after it has gone into touch by throwing it two-handed from behind the head, both feet being kept on the ground

British Dictionary definitions for throw in (2 of 2)


/ (θrəʊ) /

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


Derived Forms

thrower, 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

Idioms and Phrases with throw in (1 of 2)

throw in


Insert or introduce into the course of something, interject, as in He always threw in a few jokes to lighten the atmosphere. [c. 1700]


Add something with no additional charge, as in The salesman said he'd throw in the carpet padding. [Second half of 1600s]


throw in with. Enter into association with, as in His friends warned him against throwing in with the notorious street gang. [Second half of 1800s] Also see cast one's lot and the subsequent idioms beginning with throw in.

Idioms and Phrases with throw in (2 of 2)


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.