Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


I throw two balls at once, yellow and red; you keep the yellow and throw back the red.

Their necks ache when they throw back their heads to see to the top.

He was so near that she had to throw back her head before she could see his face.

So far as they had influence at all, it must have been to throw back the science.

When you throw back your head and open your mouth so wide, I can see you have no wisdom-teeth.

Hold up your face, and look straight at me; throw back your hair, sir.'

In order to throw back upon them a greater share of our burden.

I feel too indignant to throw back the reproaches which you have cast on me.

Why can we throw back the fingers after they have been raised?

Half the catch of oysters they throw back in the sea to keep up the price.


"to project, propel," c.1300, from Old English þrawan "to twist, turn writhe" (past tense þreow, past participle þrawen), from Proto-Germanic *thræ- (cf. Old Saxon thraian, Middle Dutch dræyen, Dutch draaien, Old High German draen, German drehen "to turn, twist;" not found in Scandinavian or Gothic), from PIE *tere- "to rub, turn, rub by turning, bore" (cf. Sanskrit turah "wounded, hurt," Greek teirein "to rub, rub away," Latin terere "to rub, thresh, grind, wear away," Old Church Slavonic tiro "to rub," Lithuanian trinu "to rub," Old Irish tarathar "borer," Welsh taraw "to strike").

Not the usual Old English word for "to throw" (weorpan, related to warp (v.) was common in this sense). The sense evolution may be via the notion of whirling a missile before throwing it. The sense of "put by force" (e.g. throw in jail) is first recorded 1560; that of "to confuse, flabbergast" is from 1844; that of "lose deliberately" is from 1868.

To throw the book at (someone) is 1932, from notion of judge sentencing a criminal from a law book full of possible punishments. To throw (one's) hat in the ring "issue a challenge," especially to announce one's candidacy, first recorded 1917. To throw up "vomit" is first recorded 1732.


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.