\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

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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


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The final proposals were thrashed out by ministers at Chequers, the country retreat of successive prime ministers, late last week. Jason Douglas, WSJ, "After a Week of Turmoil, British Government Publishes Its Plan for Brexit," 12 July 2018 Mexicans were watching in horror as their team was thrashed by Sweden 3-0, leaving their only hope of getting out of Group F an unlikely Korean victory over the defending champions. Afp,, "'We are all Koreans;' Mexico fans mob Korean embassy after World Cup victory," 28 June 2018 The officer is able to get a hold of the thrashing gator's midsection with the stick, which has a rope attached in a noose shape at the end. Madeleine Marr, miamiherald, "'There goes the death roll:' Watch a Florida cop wrangle a gator out of a woman's yard," 20 June 2018 On Friday July 6, Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain assembled her cabinet at Chequers, the country retreat, to thrash out negotiating positions for terms of leaving the European Union (EU). Arthur I. Cyr, Lake County News-Sun, "Cyr: Britain’s prime minister takes charge of cabinet," 13 July 2018 Stage 2: The Big One finally came on Lap 55, thrashing 20 cars in the field, including many of the top contenders. Brendan Marks, charlotteobserver, "NASCAR: Controversial Daytona race ends with Erik Jones' first-ever win in double OT," 7 July 2018 On July 6th Mrs May will call her cabinet to Chequers, the prime minister’s country house, to thrash out the final details of a Brexit white paper due to be published on July 9th. The Economist, "Hard Brexit is unravelling," 28 June 2018 The South Americans thrashed the same opponent 4-1 in the group stage in the 2014 edition in Brazil, so Tuesday's defeat was even more upsetting for Colombia. Juan Zamorano,, "Colombia to make changes after loss to Japan," 20 June 2018 The defensive fortitude of Brazil's midfield has been a strong influence on the Seleção's improvement since being thrashed 7-1 by Germany in 2014., "Brazil's Casemiro Suspended for World Cup Quarterfinal Clash With Belgium," 3 July 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.

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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

Phrases Related to thrash

thrash out

Statistics for thrash

Last Updated

3 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thrash

The first known use of thrash was in 1568

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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.

: 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.

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