\ ˈthrash How to pronounce thrash (audio) \
thrashed; thrashing; thrashes

Definition of thrash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to beat soundly with or as if with a stick or whip : flog
b : to defeat decisively or severely thrashed the visiting team
2 : to swing, beat, or strike in the manner of a rapidly moving flail thrashing his arms
3a : to go over again and again thrash the matter over inconclusively
b : to hammer out : forge thrash out a plan
4 : to separate the seeds of from the husks and straw by beating : thresh sense 1

intransitive verb

1 : to move or stir about violently : toss about thrash in bed with a fever
2 : to deal blows or strokes like one using a flail or whip



Definition of thrash (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an act of thrashing
2 : rock music (such as heavy metal or punk rock) that is extremely fast and loud

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Choose the Right Synonym for thrash


swing, wave, flourish, brandish, thrash mean to wield or cause to move to and fro or up and down. swing implies regular or uniform movement. swing the rope back and forth wave usually implies smooth or continuous motion. waving the flag flourish suggests vigorous, ostentatious, graceful movement. flourished the winning lottery ticket brandish implies threatening or menacing motion. brandishing a knife thrash suggests vigorous, abrupt, violent movement. an infant thrashing his arms about

Examples of thrash in a Sentence

Verb He thrashed me with his belt. The team thrashed them last week. Something was thrashing wildly in the water. She thrashed around in her sleep. Noun The shark swam away with a thrash of its tail.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Tarkovsky thus avoids the trap of the standard artist bio-pic, in which celebrity actors thrash around pretending to be Michelangelo or Frida Kahlo. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "The Drenching Richness of Andrei Tarkovsky," 8 Feb. 2021 His party won that election, and the majority, as a result and the U.K. formally left in January this year -- moving the U.K. into a transitional period until the end of the year to allow for negotiators to thrash out a free trade deal. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Boris Johnson says UK has 'taken back control' after securing post-Brexit trade deal with EU," 25 Dec. 2020 As congressional negotiators try to thrash out a second coronavirus relief bill, December 31 looms as an ominous deadline. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, "Housing groups warn of "catastrophic" wave of evictions unless Congress extends federal ban," 18 Dec. 2020 New Zealand has all but suppressed local transmission of the virus, allowing Kiwis to have fun in crowds—a day after the election, 46,000 fans squished into a stadium to watch the All Blacks, the national rugby team, thrash Australia. The Economist, "Labour day A hard task ahead for Jacinda Ardern’s new government," 24 Oct. 2020 Earlier in the day, a meeting to try to thrash out the issues ended without agreement, and the recriminations crossed the political divide. Alex Morales,, "Crackdown on London Socializing as Virus Battle Over North Rages," 15 Oct. 2020 Fortnite, a cartoonish fight-to-the-death battle royale where players thrash one another in a struggle for weapons and resources, has grown into a worldwide phenomenon since its launch in 2017. Olga Kharif,, "Stolen Fortnite Accounts Sold as Part of $1 Billion Black Market," 29 Aug. 2020 This time of season, teams that fashion themselves as contenders are supposed to thrash teams that surrendered at the trade deadline. John Shea,, "Giants waste golden opportunities in 6-5 loss to Diamondbacks," 4 Sep. 2020 Riley Gale, lead singer for Dallas, Texas thrash metal outfit Power Trip, died Monday (Aug. 24). Lars Brandle, Billboard, "Power Trip Frontman Riley Gale Has Died," 26 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Her prayer, stab-sharp, convulses not only her temples and the hand that clutches a dagger, but the whole rough thrash of limbs, gown, and sheets that fills this single-minded canvas. Julian Bell, The New York Review of Books, "The Body in Swooping Close-Up," 1 Dec. 2020 Her sound may be thrash-ready, but the lyrics are the tender words of a young woman who feels and thinks deeply. Washington Post, "Beabadoobee wants to show you she’s more than a viral TikTok song," 29 Oct. 2020 This is reflected by the weekend’s lineup, which ranges from the veteran Chicago rapper Common to the South African thrash band TCYIF. New York Times, "7 Things to Do This Weekend," 22 Oct. 2020 Riley Gale, who is best known as the lead singer of thrash metal band Power Trip, died Monday night at age 34. Lauren Huff,, "Riley Gale, lead singer of Power Trip, dies at 34," 26 Aug. 2020 Back then, a talent agency, Amuse, put the young Japanese singers together and fused a musical concept that, somehow, nobody had ever thought to try: Intense, hardcore thrash at the bottom and high-pitched, lighthearted pop vocals at the top. Steve Knopper,, "Everything about Babymetal is metal," 19 Sep. 2019 Robb Flynn is the only remaining original member of the thrash metal band formed in Oakland, California, in the early 1990s. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland, "Thrash metal’s Machine Head and next-gen Southern rockers the Allman Betts Band take over Also Playing," 4 Feb. 2020 While punctuating her stage-prowl with stomps and thrashes, that blue flame that always seems to be glowing in the back of her throat burned hot and steady. Chris Richards, Washington Post, "Jingle Ball is still a corporate pop holiday party. But it’s still magic, too.," 17 Dec. 2019 The SoCal four-piece released a string of seminal thrash classics in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, including their genre-defying 1986 magnum opus, Reign in Blood. Bryan Rolli, Billboard, "Slayer Close Out First Leg of Farewell Tour with Blistering, Career-Spanning Austin Performance," 21 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thrash.' 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 thrash


1568, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 4


1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for thrash


alteration of thresh

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Learn More about thrash

Statistics for thrash

Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thrash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for thrash



English Language Learners Definition of thrash

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to hit (someone or something) very hard with a stick, whip, etc.
informal : to defeat (someone or something) very easily or completely
: to move about violently



English Language Learners Definition of thrash (Entry 2 of 2)

: a type of rock music that is very fast and loud
: a violent movement
British, informal + old-fashioned : a party with loud music and dancing


\ ˈthrash How to pronounce thrash (audio) \
thrashed; thrashing

Kids Definition of thrash

1 : to beat very hard
2 : to move about violently Something was thrashing wildly in the brush.

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