\ 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 As their various names suggest, the worms thrash and snap their bodies intensely like a rattlesnake when touched or held, can spring into the air and even shed their tail to escape, PBS Wisconsin reports. Elizabeth Gamillo, Smithsonian Magazine, "Highly Invasive Jumping Worms Have Spread to 15 States," 22 Apr. 2021 And she's certainly not supposed to suddenly thrash around and need to change her entire life. Kristin Iversen,, "Gina Frangello Knows That Perfection Is The Opposite Of Intimacy," 21 Apr. 2021 Zimmerman agreed with Nelson that a person who is handcuffed still can pose a threat and can continue to thrash around. Steve Karnowski, Anchorage Daily News, "Minneapolis police lieutenant testifies that kneeling on George Floyd’s neck was ‘totally unnecessary’," 2 Apr. 2021 The warnings come ahead of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings in Washington, beginning Monday, when governments from across the world try to thrash out how to finance the trillions needed for the post-COVID-19 recovery. Vivienne Walt, Fortune, "‘Twin crises’: For poorer countries COVID isn’t the only threat—soaring debt levels are raising alarms," 2 Apr. 2021 Blubber is not easily tearable, and even with their sharp teeth, sharks have to thrash from side to side to get a piece. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "A Dead Whale Is a Shark Magnet," 18 Mar. 2021 For a group that takes its ferocious cues from ’80s thrash and hardcore, the band members are unexpectedly earnest about this potential award. Los Angeles Times, "For the surviving members of metal band Power Trip, the Grammys are a bittersweet coda," 11 Mar. 2021 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 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Power Trip arrived at its brand of thrash metal through a lens of basement hardcore punk and fervent prison-reform politics. Los Angeles Times, "For the surviving members of metal band Power Trip, the Grammys are a bittersweet coda," 11 Mar. 2021 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

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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Statistics for thrash

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Thrash.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 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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