- (transitive, literal sense) to cause something one is holding to drop, often forcefully.
- The soldiers threw down their weapons and surrendered.
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?”
- (slang, idiomatic, transitive) to produce or perform (something) admirably or forcefully.
- (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, 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...
2006, Erick S. Gray, Nasty Girls: An Urban Novel, 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, 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.
- (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, page 93:
- Yeah, they could literally throw down. When their sound came out, it was earth-shaking.
1998, Sheila Copeland, Chocolate Star, 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!
- (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."
- (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!"