throw·​back | \ ˈthrō-ˌbak How to pronounce throwback (audio) \

Definition of throwback

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : one that is suggestive of or suited to an earlier time or style his manners were a throwback to a more polite era
2a : reversion to an earlier type or phase : atavism
b : an instance or product of atavistic reversion

throw back

threw back; thrown back; throwing back; throws back

Definition of throw back (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to delay the progress or advance of : check
2 : to cause to rely : make dependent they are thrown back upon … native intelligence— Michael Novak

intransitive verb

: to revert to an earlier type or phase

Examples of throwback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Despite the Passat's updates, its straightforward interior is minimalist to the point of being a throwback. John Pearley Huffman, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Volkswagen Passat Still Trails the Family Sedan Pack," 15 June 2020 But for some longtime neighbors, the scary part is that UCSF’s bold blueprint for a new hospital seems to be a throwback to the contentious growth battles of the 1970s, when the university was constantly at odd with residents over development. J.k. Dineen,, "UCSF hospital revamp plan creates ill will in the neighborhood," 14 June 2020 Here’s a thoroughly modern gift with a throwback feel. Christina Vercelletto, CNN Underscored, "Gifts for Grandpa that will make him smile on Father’s Day," 13 June 2020 From a new book with an accompanying soundtrack to a throwback to a famous Alaska musical name, here’s a sampling of what’s new in Alaska music. Chris Bieri, Anchorage Daily News, "New Alaska music: Concrete to Clouds examines social media, Blackwater records from the island and Emma Hill releases a new video.," 10 June 2020 Joey was, at once, ahead of his time and a throwback to the golden era of New York City hip hop. cleveland, "50 greatest rap verses since 2010," 8 June 2020 The attack was an eerie throwback to deadly attacks at schools in China over past years that prompted security upgrades and that authorities have blamed largely on people bearing grudges or who had unidentified mental illnesses. Fox News, "China knife attack at a kindergarten injures at least 39," 4 June 2020 The drive-in theater is not simply a kitschy throwback. Noah Kaufman, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Nostalgic Drive-In Movie Theaters to Visit This Summer," 4 June 2020 Little did the ‘Yotes realize that this throwback and unique sweater would act as the team’s official alternate jersey come 2019-20. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "NHL jersey power rankings: Arizona Coyotes' primary jersey baffles writers," 3 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is on all fours, his shoulders grasped by a snarling woman in dark grey chinos, his asscheeks being spread apart by a woman in a light blue tank top, her head thrown back in mid-laugh. Nick Martin, The New Republic, "The Provocations of Kent Monkman," 21 May 2020 Doumbouya thrown back into fire Rookie forward Sekou Doumbouya was recalled from the Grand Rapids Drive after scoring 30 points for the G League club, including the winning shot, against the Maine Red Claws on Friday night. Dana Gauruder, Detroit Free Press, "Christian Wood looks good, but Detroit Pistons rally falls short to Utah Jazz, 111-105," 8 Mar. 2020 The group has already been to the court once over the same issue, which the court threw back to the states, and the Trump administration attempted to put it to rest in 2018. Nicholas Rowan, Washington Examiner, "Little Sisters of the Poor dragged back to the Supreme Court after nearly a decade of disputes," 4 May 2020 Students responded with taunts, and some threw back the canisters., "'It's a very bittersweet time': Kent State shooting victim reflects on 50 years," 2 May 2020 For this reason, even numbers represent throws back to the same hand, whereas odd numbers cross to the opposite hand. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Scientists ponder how jugglers seem to defy limits to human reaction times," 8 Apr. 2020 One wall is a long wooden bar, the other keeps a massive fireplace, and there’s plenty of space in between to throw back a brew with other skiers after a long day. Gregory Thomas,, "A skier’s guide to Kirkwood Resort in Tahoe," 27 Jan. 2020 My love is too delicate to have thrown back in my face. Ben Brantley, New York Times, "‘For Colored Girls’ Review: Ntozake Shange’s Women Endure," 22 Oct. 2019 This daily terrace-to-terrace chatter is a throw back to an era before WhatsApp and FaceTime. Bernhard Warner, Fortune, "The global markets barely budge as helicopter-money measures achieve lift-off," 19 Mar. 2020

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


1883, in the meaning defined at sense 2b


1656, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

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Time Traveler for throwback

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The first known use of throwback was in 1656

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Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Throwback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for throwback


How to pronounce throw back (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of throwback

: a person or thing that is similar to someone or something from the past or that is suited to an earlier time


throw·​back | \ ˈthrō-ˌbak How to pronounce throwback (audio) \

Medical Definition of throwback

1 : reversion to an earlier type or phase : atavism
2 : an instance or product of atavistic reversion

More from Merriam-Webster on throwback

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for throwback

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with throwback

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