verb \ ˈhər(-ə)l \
Updated on: 5 Jan 2018

Definition of hurl

hurled; hurling play \ˈhər-liŋ\
intransitive verb
1 : rush, hurtle
2 : pitch 5a
3 : vomit
transitive verb
1 : to send or thrust with great vigor
  • the forces that were to be hurled against the Turks
  • —N. T. Gilroy
2 : to throw down with violence
3 a : to throw forcefully : fling
  • hurled the manuscript into the fire
  • hurled myself over the fence
b : pitch 2a
4 : to utter with vehemence
  • hurled insults at the police




play \ˈhər-lər\ noun

Examples of hurl in a Sentence

  1. Someone hurled a rock through the window.

  2. He hurled a chair at me.

  3. It looked like she was going to hurl herself down the stairs.

  4. The protesters hurled insults at us.

Recent Examples of hurl from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of hurl

Middle English

hurl Synonyms

Synonym Discussion of 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

HURL Defined for English Language Learners



Definition of hurl for English Language Learners

  • : to throw (something) with force

  • : to say or shout (something, such as an insult) in a loud and forceful way

HURL Defined for Kids


verb \ ˈhərl \

Definition of hurl for Students

hurled; hurling
: to throw with force
  • We hurled buckets of water on the flames.

Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


to make or become suitable or fit

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Winter Words Quiz

  • fox-in-front-of-cabin-in-winter
  • Another word for ‘a person who travels to an area of warmth and sun, especially in winter’ is a:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!