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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English throwen, thrawen, from Old English þrāwan(to turn, twist, curl, rack, torture, turn around), from Proto-Germanic *þrēaną(to turn), from Proto-Indo-European *terh₁-‎(to rub, rub by twisting, twist, turn). Cognate with Scots thraw(to twist, turn, throw), Dutch draaien(to turn), Low German draien, dreien(to turn (in a lathe)), German drehen(to turn), Danish dreje(to turn), Swedish dreja(to turn), Albanian dredh(to turn, twist, tremble).


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

  1. (obsolete, Scotland, Northern England) To twist or turn.
    A thrown nail.
  2. (transitive) To hurl; to cause an object to move rapidly through the air.
    throw a shoe;   throw a javelin;   the horse threw its rider
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      When this conversation was repeated in detail within the hearing of the young woman in question, and undoubtedly for his benefit, Mr. Trevor threw shame to the winds and scandalized the Misses Brewster then and there by proclaiming his father to have been a country storekeeper.
  3. (transitive) To eject or cause to fall off.
    • Shakespeare
      There the snake throws her enamelled skin.
  4. (transitive) To move to another position or condition; to displace.
    throw the switch
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 17, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      This time was most dreadful for Lilian. Thrown on her own resources and almost penniless, she maintained herself and paid the rent of a wretched room near the hospital by working as a charwoman, sempstress, anything. In a moment she had dropped to the level of a casual labourer.
  5. (ceramics) To make (a pot) by shaping clay as it turns on a wheel.
  6. (transitive, cricket) Of a bowler, to deliver (the ball) illegally by straightening the bowling arm during delivery.
  7. (transitive, computing) To send (an error) to an exception-handling mechanism in order to interrupt normal processing.
    If the file is read-only, the method throws an invalid operation exception.
  8. (sports) To intentionally lose a game.
    The tennis player was accused of taking bribes to throw the match.
    • 2012, August 1. Peter Walker and Haroon Siddique in Guardian Unlimited, Eight Olympic badminton players disqualified for 'throwing games'
      Four pairs of women's doubles badminton players, including the Chinese top seeds, have been ejected from the Olympic tournament for trying to throw matches in an effort to secure a more favourable quarter-final draw.
  9. (transitive, informal) To confuse or mislead.
    The deliberate red herring threw me at first.
    • 1999, Jan Blackstone-Ford, The Custody Solutions Sourcebook - Page 196
      "Jann, why does he hate me so much?" That question threw me. I was expecting a lunatic yelling profanities.
  10. (figuratively) To send desperately.
    Their sergeant threw the troops into pitched battle.
    • 2010 December 28, Marc Vesty, “Stoke 0-2 Fulham”, in BBC:
      Stoke threw men forward in numbers as they attempted to find a way back into the game, and Mark Schwarzer was forced into a low save from Huth's close-range effort.
  11. (transitive) To imprison.
    The magistrate ordered the suspect to be thrown into jail.
    • 1818, Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
      The plot of Felix was quickly discovered, and De Lacey and Agatha were thrown into prison.
    • 1993, Margaret McKee, Fred Chisenhall, Beale black & blue: life and music on black America's main street - Page 30
      The standard method of dealing with an addict was to arrest him, throw him into a cell, and leave him until the agonizing pangs of withdrawal were over.
  12. To organize an event, especially a party.
    • 1986 March 1, “Bash Planned”, in Evening News:
      And now, Clevelanders hoping to bring the Rock Roll Hall of Fame to their city are throwing a bash to commemorate the 34th birthday of disc Jockey Alan Freed's "Moondog Coronation Ball".
    • 1979, Working Mother - July 1979 Page 72[1]
      Should you be interested, for whatever reason, it will tell you how to throw a party for your 40-year-old husband or your 100-year-old great-grandmother. It also describes games that can be played at various kinds of parties []
  13. To roll (a die or dice).
    • 1844, Samuel Laing translating Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla
      The kings came to the agreement between themselves that they would cast lots by the dice to determine who should have this property, and that he who threw the highest should have the district. The Swedish king threw two sixes, and said King Olaf need scarcely throw.
  14. (transitive) To cause a certain number on the die or dice to be shown after rolling it.
    • 1844, Samuel Laing translating Snorri Sturluson, Heimskringla
      The kings came to the agreement between themselves that they would cast lots by the dice to determine who should have this property, and that he who threw the highest should have the district. The Swedish king threw two sixes, and said King Olaf need scarcely throw.
  15. (transitive, bridge) To discard.
  16. (martial arts) To lift the opponent off the ground and bring him back down, especially into a position behind the thrower.
  17. (transitive) To subject someone to verbally.
    • 2007 June 11, Claude Salhani, “Analysis: Irony of Bush's European tour”, in UPI:
      In other European cities the president visited this week, people waited for his motorcade to pass to throw insults at him, requiring the police to intervene with batons, water cannons and tear gas.
  18. (transitive, said of animals) To give birth to.
    • 1916, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association: Volume 49
      At the end of the normal gestation period the cow threw two calf mummies as large as cats.
  19. (transitive, said of one's voice) To change in order to give the illusion that the voice is that of someone else.
  20. (transitive) To show sudden emotion, especially anger.
    • 1991, Janet L. Davies, Ellen Hastings Janosik, Mental health and psychiatric nursing: a caring approach
      Bill runs into the kitchen and tells Dad that Erik is throwing a tantrum. He tells Bill to go back and watch his program and to ignore his brother. Fifteen minutes later, Erik is still screaming []
    • 1996, New York Magazine Vol. 29, No. 32 - 19 Aug 1996; Entertaining Mrs Stone
      In 1975, pregnant with the second of her three children, she threw a hissy fit to get on a trip to Boston for elected officials.
  21. (transitive) To project or send forth.
  22. To put on hastily; to spread carelessly.
    • Alexander Pope
      O'er his fair limbs a flowery vest he threw.
  23. To twist two or more filaments of (silk, etc.) so as to form one thread; to twist together, as singles, in a direction contrary to the twist of the singles themselves; sometimes applied to the whole class of operations by which silk is prepared for the weaver.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Tomlinson to this entry?)
  24. (baseball, slang, of a team, a manager, etc.) To select (a pitcher); to assign a pitcher to a given role (such as starter or reliever).
    • 2009, Michael T. Lynch, Jr., It Ain't So: A Might-Have-Been History of the White Sox in 1919 and Beyond, page 63 ISBN 0786441895
      I have a minor quibble with Gleason's decision to throw Lefty Williams in Game Eight with the Series in the balance.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


throw ‎(plural throws)

  1. The flight of a thrown object
    What a great throw by the quarterback!
  2. The act of throwing something.
    With an accurate throw, he lassoed the cow.
  3. One's ability to throw
    He's got a girl's throw.
    He's always had a pretty decent throw.
  4. A distance travelled; displacement; as, the throw of the piston.
  5. A piece of fabric used to cover a bed, sofa or other soft furnishing.
  6. A single instance, occurrence, venture, or chance.
    Football tickets are expensive at fifty bucks a throw.

Derived termsEdit


  • Krueger, Dennis (December 1982). "Why On Earth Do They Call It Throwing?" Studio Potter Vol. 11, Number 1.[2]

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English throwe, alteration of thrawe, from Old English þrāwu(labor pang, agony in childbirth or death), akin to Old English þrēa(affliction, pang), þrōwan(to suffer). More at throe.


throw ‎(plural throws)

  1. Pain, especially pain associated with childbirth; throe.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Spenser to this entry?)
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  2. (veterinary) The act of giving birth in animals, especially in cows.

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English, from Old English þrāh, þrāg(space of time, period, while). Of uncertain origin. Perhaps related to Gothic 𐌸𐍂𐌰𐌲𐌾𐌰𐌽(þragjan, to run).


throw ‎(plural throws)

  1. (obsolete) A moment, time, occasion.
  2. (obsolete) A period of time; a while.
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, III.iv:
      Downe himselfe he layd / Vpon the grassie ground, to sleepe a throw; / The cold earth was his couch, the hard steele his pillow.

Etymology 4Edit



  1. Misspelling of throe.