verb (used with object), threw, thrown, throw·ing.
- 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.
verb (used without object), threw, thrown, throw·ing.
- 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.
- the distance to which a spotlight can be projected.
- the area illuminated by a spotlight.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.
- to make in a hurried and haphazard manner.
- to cause to associate: Many nationalities have been thrown together in the American melting pot.
- to give up; relinquish.
- to build hastily.
- to vomit.
- to point out, as an error; criticize.
- (of a hawk) to fly suddenly upward.
Origin of throw
Synonyms for throw
verb (mainly tr, adverb)
verb throws, throwing, threw or thrown (mainly tr)
- to tip (dice) out onto a flat surface
- to obtain (a specified number) in this way
- to play (a card)
- to discard (a card)
- 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
Word Origin for throw
"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.
Cast out, rid oneself of, as in He threw off all unpleasant memories and went to the reunion. [Early 1600s]
Give off, emit, as in The garbage was throwing off an awful smell. [First half of 1700s] Also see throw out, def. 1.
Also, throw or put off the scent. Distract, divert, or mislead, as in A mistaken estimate threw off her calculations, or These clues were designed to throw the detective off the scent. The variant comes from hunting, where the quarry may try to put pursuing hounds off the scent. Its figurative use dates from the mid-1800s. Also see off the track.
Perform in a quick, spontaneous, or casual manner, as in He threw off one sketch after another. [Mid-1700s]
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
- 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