throw down

See also: throwdown and throw-down


Etymology 1Edit



throw down (third-person singular simple present throws down, present participle throwing down, simple past threw down, past participle thrown down)

  1. (transitive, literal sense) to cause something one is holding to drop, often forcefully.
    The soldiers threw down their weapons and surrendered.

Etymology 2Edit

US, popularized 1990s in street culture, from idiom throw down the gauntlet (to issue a challenge), used in sense “to fight, to incite a fight, to make a stand”.

Sense of “accomplish something respectable” evolved from sense “to make a stand, to exhibit, to demonstrate (in a challenging way)” inherent in the fighting sense.

Sense of “to make a contribution” likely influenced by sense “to make a stand”, as in “are you in?”, “while you stand up and contribute?”


throw down (third-person singular simple present throws down, present participle throwing down, simple past threw down, past participle thrown down)

  1. (slang, idiomatic, transitive) to produce or perform (something) admirably or forcefully.
    • 2001, Dave Thompson, Funk, back cover
      ...this guide tracks the artists and recordings that throw down the funk!
    • 2004, Kylie Adams, Ex-Girlfriends, p48
      “Punch up the rhymes. Throw down some beats. Show off that body. You'll be unstoppable.”
  2. (slang, idiomatic, intransitive) to fight, incite to fight, or approach with the intent to fight; to make a stand.
    • 2002, Lory Janelle Dance, Tough Fronts: The Impact of Street Culture on Schooling, p60
      Let's you and me 'throw down' right here, right now!
    • 2004, William Bowers, "I Think I'm Going to Hell", in Da Capo Best Music Writing 2004, p41
      When someone near me at a show called the band My Boring Racket, I was ready to throw down, but for the good sense of an accompanying female...
    • 2004, bell hooks, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity, p59
      Today's young and hip black male who fancies himself a radical, who is ready to throw down for the cause, is not talking about neo-colonialism, about global struggle.
    • 2006, Erick S. Gray, Nasty Girls: An Urban Novel, p32
      She said no words and was the first to throw down. She stepped up to Dee, and pow!
    • 2006, Sherman D. Manning, Blue-Eyed Blonde, p345
      The time has come. I'm ready to take action. I wanna kick ass and take names later. I wanna throw down, baby boy and baby girl.
  3. (slang, idiomatic, intransitive) (by extension) to accomplish or produce something in a grand, respectable, or successful manner; to "represent".
    • 1997, Richard C. Green, Soul: Black Power, Politics, and Pleasure, p93
      Yeah, they could literally throw down. When their sound came out, it was earth-shaking.
    • 1998, Sheila Copeland, Chocolate Star, p260
      “You're performing for the who's who of radio and records at the Soul Train Awards tonight and you've got to throw down”.
    • 2005, J. Anthony White, The Class Conscious Crew: S.W.A., p?
      ...she wouldn't mind marrying a man with some serious bank and able to sho-nuf throw-down in the bedroom!
  4. (slang, idiomatic, intransitive) to make an individual contribution to a group effort (eg. money pool, collaborative record album)
    "We're goin' in on a pizza; you in?" "Yea, I'll throw down."
  5. (slang, idiomatic, intransitive) to drink a large amount of beer quickly.
    "We need to finish these five pitchers in half an hour, so throw down as fast as you can!"
Related termsEdit

See alsoEdit


Last modified on 18 June 2013, at 00:26