Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

thwart

play
transitive verb \ˈthwȯrt\

Simple Definition of thwart

  • : to prevent (someone) from doing something or to stop (something) from happening

Full Definition of thwart

  1. 1a :  to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle :  contraveneb :  to oppose successfully :  defeat the hopes or aspirations of

  2. 2 :  to pass through or across

thwart·er noun

Examples of thwart

  1. She did all she could to thwart his plans.

  2. The army thwarted the attempt at a coup.



Origin of thwart

Middle English thwerten, from thwert, adverb


First Known Use: 13th century

Synonym Discussion of thwart

frustrate, thwart, foil, baffle, balk mean to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal. frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent <frustrated attempts at government reform>. thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing <the army thwarted his attempt at a coup>. foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort <foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her>. baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling <baffled by the maze of rules and regulations>. balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances <officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime>.

Rhymes with thwart


2

thwart

play
adverb \ˈthwȯrt, nautical often ˈthȯrt\

Definition of thwart

  1. :  athwart



Origin of thwart

Middle English thwert, from Old Norse thvert, from neuter of thverr transverse, oblique; akin to Old High German dwerah transverse, oblique


First Known Use: 14th century


3

thwart

adjective

Definition of thwart

  1. :  situated or placed across something else :  transverse

thwart·ly adverb


14th Century

First Known Use of thwart

14th century


4

thwart

noun

Definition of thwart

  1. :  a seat extending athwart a boat



Origin of thwart

alteration of obsolete thought, thoft, from Middle English thoft, from Old English thofte; akin to Old High German dofta rower's seat


First Known Use: circa 1736



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up thwart? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ