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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?”, “will 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[1], page 48:
      “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[2], page 60:
      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, page 41:
      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[3], page 59:
      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[4], page 32:
      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[5], page 345:
      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[6], page 93:
      Yeah, they could literally throw down. When their sound came out, it was earth-shaking.
    • 1998, Sheila Copeland, Chocolate Star[7], page 260:
      “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., page ?:
      ...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 (e.g. 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