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From Middle English throng, thrang, from Old English þrang, ġeþrang (crowd, press, tumult), from Proto-Germanic *þrangwą, *þrangwō (throng), *þrangwaz (push, drive), from Proto-Indo-European *trenkʷ- (to beat; pound; hew; press). Cognate with Dutch drang (urge, push, impulse), German Drang (urge, drive, impulse) or Gedränge (jostle, hustle, throng), Danish trang (urge), Norwegian trong (need), Icelandic þröng (narrow, tightly pressed, crowd, throng) and Swedish trång (tight, narrow). Probably related to Albanian drojë (fear, fear of the crowd) and to drang (huge rod, pole, oar). More at thring.


throng (plural throngs)

  1. A group of people crowded or gathered closely together; a multitude.
    • Daniel
      So, with this bold opposer rushes on / This many-headed monster, multitude.
    • Milton
      Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, / The lowest of your throng.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[1]:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
  2. A group of things; a host or swarm.




throng (third-person singular simple present throngs, present participle thronging, simple past and past participle thronged)

  1. (transitive) To crowd into a place, especially to fill it.
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 5, in Death on the Centre Court:
      By one o'clock the place was choc-a-bloc. [] The restaurant was packed, and the promenade between the two main courts and the subsidiary courts was thronged with healthy-looking youngish people, drawn to the Mecca of tennis from all parts of the country.
  2. (intransitive) To congregate.
  3. (transitive) To crowd or press, as persons; to oppress or annoy with a crowd of living beings.
    • Bible, Mark v. 24
      Much people followed him, and thronged him.

Related termsEdit



throng (comparative more throng, superlative most throng)

  1. (Scotland, Northern England, dialect) Filled with persons or objects; crowded.
    • 1882, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Ribblesdale:
      EARTH, sweet Earth, sweet landscape, with leavés throng
      And louchéd low grass, heaven that dost appeal
      To, with no tongue to plead, no heart to feel;
      That canst but only be, but dost that long—