See more synonyms for thwart on
verb (used with object)
  1. to oppose successfully; prevent from accomplishing a purpose.
  2. to frustrate or baffle (a plan, purpose, etc.).
  3. Archaic.
    1. to cross.
    2. to extend across.
  1. a seat across a boat, especially one used by a rower.
  2. a transverse member spreading the gunwales of a canoe or the like.
  1. passing or lying crosswise or across; cross; transverse.
  2. perverse; obstinate.
  3. adverse; unfavorable.
preposition, adverb
  1. across; athwart.

Origin of thwart

1200–50; Middle English thwert (adv.) < Old Norse thvert across, neuter of thverr transverse; cognate with Old English thweorh crooked, cross, Gothic thwairhs cross, angry
Related formsthwart·ed·ly, adverbthwart·er, nounun·thwart·ed, adjectiveun·thwart·ing, adjective

Synonyms for thwart

See more synonyms for on
1. hinder, obstruct. Thwart, frustrate, baffle imply preventing one, more or less completely, from accomplishing a purpose. Thwart and frustrate apply to purposes, actions, plans, etc., baffle, to the psychological state of the person thwarted. Thwart suggests stopping one by opposing, blocking, or in some way running counter to one's efforts. Frustrate implies rendering all attempts or efforts useless or ineffectual, so that nothing ever comes of them. Baffle suggests causing defeat by confusing, puzzling, or perplexing, so that a situation seems too hard a problem to understand or solve. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for thwarting

Contemporary Examples of thwarting

Historical Examples of thwarting

  • She has been thwarting me for the last hour about everything I want to do.

  • We're not thwarting Lieutenant Ferry's plan, we're only improving upon it.

    The Cavalier

    George Washington Cable

  • “Sir Peter has great faith in annoying and thwarting me,” she went on.

    The First Violin

    Jessie Fothergill

  • I have been thwarting, deceiving, and betraying you—from conviction.'

    A Set of Six

    Joseph Conrad

  • They hate me now because I have been instrumental in thwarting them.


    Talbot Baines Reed

British Dictionary definitions for thwarting


  1. to oppose successfully or prevent; frustratethey thwarted the plan
  2. obsolete to be or move across
  1. nautical a seat lying across a boat and occupied by an oarsman
  1. passing or being situated across
  2. archaic perverse or stubborn
preposition, adverb
  1. obsolete across
Derived Formsthwartedly, adverbthwarter, noun

Word Origin for thwart

C13: from Old Norse thvert, from thverr transverse; related to Old English thweorh crooked, Old High German twerh transverse
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 thwarting



c.1200, from Old Norse þvert "across," originally neuter of thverr (adj.) "transverse, across," cognate with Old English þweorh "transverse, perverse, angry, cross," from Proto-Germanic *thwerkhaz (cf. Middle Dutch dwers, Dutch dwars "cross-grained, contrary," Old High German twerh, German quer, Gothic þwairhs "angry"), altered (by influence of *thwer- "to turn") from *therkh-, from PIE *twork-/*twerk- "twist" (cf. Latin torquere "to twist," Sanskrit tarkuh "spindle," Old Church Slavonic traku "band, girdle," Old High German drahsil "turner," German drechseln "to turn on a lathe").



"oppose, hinder," mid-13c., from thwart (adv.). Related: Thwarted; thwarting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper