\ ə-ˈthwȯrt How to pronounce athwart (audio) , naut often -ˈthȯrt\

Definition of athwart

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : across
2 : in opposition to a procedure directly athwart the New England prejudices— R. G. Cole



Definition of athwart (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : across especially in an oblique direction
2 : in opposition to the right or expected course and quite athwart goes all decorum— William Shakespeare

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Synonyms for athwart

Synonyms: Preposition

across, over, through

Synonyms: Adverb

across, over, through

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Examples of athwart in a Sentence


athwart the road was farmland as far as the eye could see


after it enters the Gulf of Mexico, the hurricane is predicted to advance athwart to the Texas coastline we hung the twisted strips of crepe paper athwart to the floor and ceiling so that they formed giant crosses on all four walls
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

To the north are the Khasi Hills, standing athwart the path of moisture-laden southerly winds eager to continue north. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 Sitting athwart a custom coil-over suspension, Fox Racing dampers and Eibach coils attached to a custom frame, the Icon FJ has wheel articulation of 12 inches. Dan Neil, WSJ, "The Fantasy Utility Vehicle: A $300,000 Nostalgia Trip," 27 June 2019 Johnny stands athwart this situation, yelling Stop. Kyle Smith, National Review, "An Anti–Me Too Play — from a Surprising Perspective, and from the 1980s," 7 June 2019 Congress would hear from dealers and car buyers and throw itself athwart Mr. Trump’s plan. Holman W. Jenkins, WSJ, "Detroit vs. Protectionism?," 4 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'athwart.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of athwart


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1500, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for athwart

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for athwart

The first known use of athwart was in the 15th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on athwart

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with athwart

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for athwart

Comments on athwart

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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