\ˈthrō \

Definition of throe 

1 : pang, spasm death throes throes of childbirth

2 throes plural : a hard or painful struggle the throes of revolutionary social change— M. D. Geismar

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of throe in a Sentence

collapsed in the throes of agony that third-world country is caught up in the throes of a democratic revolution

Recent Examples on the Web

If that feels like a long time, brace yourself: Variety reports the fifth installment of the saga will miss its July 2020 release date, stuck in the throes of development due to issues with the script. Emma Krupp, RedEye Chicago, "A Chance-Kanye collaboration, Infinity Mirror Room popping up in Chicago, and more conversation starters for your weekend," 6 July 2018 Trump, Leo, and now-White House counsel Don McGahn had first collaborated on a list of names for the Supreme Court more than two years earlier, in the throes of the GOP primary. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Meet Leonard Leo: unassuming figure with big voice on Supreme Court nominees," 3 July 2018 The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) formed in 1943 as the world was in the throes of World War II. Jennifer Billock, Smithsonian, "Catch a Game at These Still-Functional All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Ballparks This Summer," 29 June 2018 Left behind in the throes of evacuations from the Pawnee Fire in Lake County, all those animals were saved from impending flames and shepherded to a county shelter. Jordan Cutler-tietjen, sacbee, "When wildfires strike, animals get left behind. Meet the Lake County team that rescues them.," 25 June 2018 Michael and Khadeeja Morse told The Associated Press that their son was in the throes of a psychotic break. Tamara Lush, The Seattle Times, "Parents: Man accused of killing cyclist had mental illness," 25 June 2018 As reward, the new president appointed Orion secretary of the Nevada Territory, then in the throes of a mining frenzy centered on the Comstock Lode beneath booming Virginia City, the largest town in the territory. Gregory Crouch, Time, "Mark Twain Claimed He Got His Pen Name From a Riverboat Captain. He May Have Actually Gotten It in a Saloon," 19 June 2018 Another case detailed 4 officers and 2 Hennepin EMS staff responding to a man in the throes of a mental health crisis. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Minneapolis Cops Secretly Used 'Date Rape Drug' on Suspects for Years: Report," 18 June 2018 The six-story brick building is in the throes of a multimillion dollar renovation effort. San Francisco Chronicle, "Union Square to welcome One65: a six-floor ode to French cuisine," 14 June 2018

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

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for throe

Middle English thrawe, throwe, from Old English thrawu, thrēa threat, pang; akin to Old High German drawa threat

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about throe

Dictionary Entries near throe








Phrases Related to throe

death throes

in the throes of

Statistics for throe

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for throe

The first known use of throe was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for throe


\ˈthrō \

Medical Definition of throe 

: pang, spasm usually used in plural death throes throes of childbirth

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on throe

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


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


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!