\ 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

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

That evening, when Texas thrashed Missouri for its first bowl win since 2012, was when this program's revival began in earnest. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "UT routs Rice, turns attention to Big 12," 14 Sep. 2019 From their 1997 heartbreak opus, Dig Me Out, to 2005’s equal parts experimental and psychedelic The Woods, their records have offered women catharsis by way of disarmingly raw lyrics and thrashing sounds. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Sleater-Kinney Are Still Here to Subvert, With a New Album and Aesthetic," 6 Sep. 2019 Much of the play is spent elucidating the minds of characters thrashing out the debate over patriotic duty and private conscience. Los Angeles Times, "Review: At the Getty Villa, Sophocles gets wounded in Aaron Posner’s revamp of ‘Philoctetes’," 6 Sep. 2019 That group thrashed the competition in Spain, going 9-0 and winning by an average of 33 points. Ben Golliver,, "The NBA’s big stars passed on USA Basketball. Here’s what the roster could look like.," 5 Aug. 2019 The Mattress Makers won the first leg 2-0, but the Old Lady thrashed them 3-0 in the second leg to send Atléti home., "Atlético vs Juventus Preview: Where to Watch, Buy Tickets, Live Stream, Kick Off Time & Team News," 16 Sep. 2019 That evening, when Texas thrashed Missouri for its first bowl win since 2012, was when this program’s revival began in earnest. Nick Moyle,, "No. 12 Texas dominates Rice in final Big 12 tune-up," 14 Sep. 2019 Fox, beyond Art of Racing in the Rain, has been roundly thrashed across the season, starting with its most monumental failure: Dark Phoenix. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "Has Disney Cornered the Family Film Market as Rivals Hit Summer Slumps?," 15 Aug. 2019 Respect for the opponent A large pool of criticism for the U.S. women on social media derived from the notion that the Americans weren't respecting their opponent by thrashing them. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Why it's OK that the U.S. women ran up the score in 13-0 World Cup win against Thailand," 12 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

But while the commander-in-chief thrashes about, something important is taking shape in his shadow — the outlines of a new conservatism inspired, or at least elevated, by his rise to power. David Scharfenberg,, "How Donald Trump just might save the Republican Party — and the country," 6 Sep. 2019 Dorian was now a Category 5 Hurricane, beginning its long thrash of the Bahamas. Dan Zak, Washington Post, "‘This isn’t just a stupid story, it’s a big story’: An oral history of Sharpiegate," 13 Sep. 2019 The record marks a thrash-metal departure from the band’s psych-rock roots, but its manic energy and gut-punch grit amount to a sound unmistakably all King Gizz’s own. Andrea Domanick, Los Angeles Times, "Best live music around L.A.: Carly Rae Jepsen, a mammoth hip-hop festival and more," 6 Aug. 2019 Slayer’s grizzled lead vocalist and bassist asserted his laryngeal dominance over some 14,000 fans at the Austin360 Amphitheater on Wednesday night (June 20), the final stop on the first leg of the thrash titans’ hefty farewell tour. Bryan Rolli, Billboard, "Slayer Close Out First Leg of Farewell Tour with Blistering, Career-Spanning Austin Performance," 21 June 2018 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

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

17 Oct 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.
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.

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).


to be made up of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

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!