hurled; hurling ˈhər-liŋ How to pronounce hurl (audio)

transitive verb

: to send or thrust with great vigor
the forces that were to be hurled against the TurksN. T. Gilroy
: to throw down with violence
: to throw forcefully : fling
hurled the manuscript into the fire
hurled myself over the fence
: to utter with vehemence
hurled insults at the police
hurl noun
hurler noun
Choose the Right Synonym for hurl

throw, cast, toss, fling, hurl, pitch, sling mean to cause to move swiftly through space by a propulsive movement or a propelling force.

throw is general and interchangeable with the other terms but may specifically imply a distinctive motion with bent arm.

can throw a fastball and a curve

cast usually implies lightness in the thing thrown and sometimes a scattering.

cast it to the winds

toss suggests a light or careless or aimless throwing and may imply an upward motion.

tossed the coat on the bed

fling stresses a violent throwing.

flung the ring back in his face

hurl implies power as in throwing a massive weight.

hurled himself at the intruder

pitch suggests throwing carefully at a target.

pitch horseshoes

sling stresses either the use of whirling momentum in throwing or directness of aim.

slung the bag over his shoulder

Examples of hurl in a Sentence

Someone hurled a rock through the window. He hurled a chair at me. It looked like she was going to hurl herself down the stairs. The protesters hurled insults at us.
Recent Examples on the Web Diggins reportedly circled McCollum, hurling racial taunts and preventing him from entering the store, while Leo approached and punched him in the jaw. Melissa Noel, Essence, 16 Nov. 2023 The second the student exits the stall, another girl begins hurling punches at her and pulling her hair as the victim tries to defend herself, video shows. Noah Goldberg, Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2023 Buck would allegedly go into the store and steal things—ice cream, Red Bull, cookies—sometimes every 30 minutes, and once made off with $205 worth of makeup, hurling vitriol. Lauren Smiley, WIRED, 7 Nov. 2023 The storytelling is layered with snippets of movement and dance, as when Poirier and Keegan-Dolan re-enact a happy-awkward dance at an Irish disco in the ’80s, while bullies hurl insults from the sidelines. Marina Harss, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2023 Unknown perpetrators hurled two Molotov cocktails at the headquarters of the Kahal Adass Jisroel association but failed to reach the building, and the incendiary devices blew up on the pavement, according to police. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, 18 Oct. 2023 Ariely said that the volunteers also encounter hostile Israeli residents, some of whom have hurled verbal abuse at the ex-reservists as militants continued to sneak into communities and rocket fire from Gaza intensified. Shira Rubin, Washington Post, 14 Oct. 2023 A little more than an inning later, Norris was at her seat when Braves right fielder Jorge Soler allegedly hurled a baseball into the stands. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2023 Some people abandoned their vehicles and hurled themselves into the ocean. Carolyn Kormann, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'hurl.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of hurl was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near hurl

Cite this Entry

“Hurl.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


hurled; hurling ˈhər-liŋ How to pronounce hurl (audio)
: to throw violently or powerfully
hurler noun

More from Merriam-Webster on hurl

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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