\ ˈthrash \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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


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.


The shark swam away with a thrash of its tail.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After all, Liverpool crushed FC Porto away from home, thrashed Manchester City at home and neutralised them at the Etihad, and put a staggering seven goals past AS Roma - the same side which had eliminated the mighty Barcelona., "FanView: Why Neither of This Year's UCL Finalists Deserves to Be There & Why They Shouldn't Care," 3 May 2018 The 21-year-old winger recently scored twice as Liverpool thrashed non-league outfit Chester 7-0 in their opening pre-season friendly last week., "Liverpool Youngster Set to Earn New Contract After Impressing Jurgen Klopp in Pre-Season," 9 July 2018 Well ahead of many other scholars, Burns thrashed FDR for signing Executive Order 9066, which compelled the internment of Japanese Americans, and for failing to do more to thwart the Holocaust. Michael Beschloss, WSJ, "Five Best: Michael Beschloss on Books About Wartime Presidents," 11 Oct. 2018 His obit notes his likes: Playing with his sister, his blue bunny, thrash metal music. Fox News, "Obit, memorial service of 5-year-old Iowa boy gets attention," 13 July 2018 After spending the entire afternoon in talks with Chelsea, Sarri's party of representatives thrashed out a deal that will see Sarri earn €6m per season over three seasons., "Maurizio Sarri Edges Closer to Chelsea Move as Representatives Fly in for Talks," 23 June 2018 The cyclone earlier thrashed the Yemeni island of Socotra. Jon Gambrell,, "Cyclone nears Oman’s coast, kills girl," 25 May 2018 The production, directed by Jenny Sullivan, thrashes about on François-Pierre Couture's elegant set conjuring Jackie's Fifth Avenue apartment. Charles Mcnulty,, "As Kennedy bios go, 'Jackie Unveiled' is more sketch than portrait," 2 Mar. 2018 The other thrashed and jumped and surged back into the sea from Julius’ hands, bright and fast as a bolt of silver lightning. Lynda V. Mapes, The Seattle Times, "Hand-feeding a wild orca: Inside the practice run to save the ailing killer whale J50," 6 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

His first band to achieve commercial success, Pantera, practically established the groove metal subgenre with 1990’s Cowboys From Hell, which at its core meant taking thrash metal rhythms and playing them midtempo. Bram Teitelman, Billboard, "10 of Vinnie Paul's Hardest-Rocking Songs, From Pantera's Picks to Hellyeah's Hits," 23 June 2018 Primus and Mastodon are both bands that come from the world of heavy metal but resist categorization: The former blends it with prog rock and funk; the latter skews toward thrash and hard core. New York Times, "13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 31 May 2018 Both of those publications were fairly white and suburban; their music tastes were punk rock leaning into thrash metal. Ron Hart, Billboard, "Public Enemy Talks 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back' on Its 30th Anniversary," 30 June 2018 And the Charlotte stop of thrash-metal legend Slayer’s Final Tour fell squarely in the latter column last Thursday at PNC Music Pavilion. Courtney Devores, charlotteobserver, "More an event than an everyday concert, Slayer’s Final Tour roars through Charlotte," 18 June 2018 Then there’s 60-year-old R&B singer Anita Baker, the 37-year-old thrash-metal band Slayer, whose farewell tour kicks off Thursday at San Diego’s Valley View Casino Center, and more. George Varga,, "Coda? Elton John, Slayer, Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Ozzy Osbourne head growing list of 2018 farewell tours," 5 May 2018 Members of the Native Howl, from Leonard in northeast Oakland County, blend the precision and melodicism of bluegrass with the intense tempo and energy of thrash metal. Jeff Milo, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit music: Magic Bag hosts Native Howl, Gasoline Gypsies; War & Treaty at Otus Supply," 31 May 2018 Some — many — would say that Slayer is the greatest thrash-metal band ever. John Adamian,, "Slayer's Farewell Tour At Mohegan Sun," 26 May 2018 After 37 years on the front lines of thrash metal, the band is hanging it up, leaving a legacy of unapologetically heavy, controversial and combative work that remains deeply influential. Brian Mccollum, Detroit Free Press, "Upcoming Detroit concerts: Movement, Slayer, Post Malone, Eddie Money, more," 24 May 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thrash

Statistics for thrash

Last Updated

10 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thrash

The first known use of thrash was in 1568

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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.

: 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

: a party with loud music and dancing


\ ˈthrash \
thrashed; thrashing

Kids Definition of thrash

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on thrash

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thrash

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thrash

Spanish Central: Translation of thrash

Nglish: Translation of thrash for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thrash for Arabic Speakers

Comments on thrash

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


a complex dispute or argument

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!