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
3 : reflect

intransitive verb

: to revert to an earlier type or phase

Examples of throwback in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Two of the most soulful performers of the 21st century, pop superstar Bruno Mars and the more hip-hop adjacent Anderson .Paak, have joined forces as a throwback duo, calling themselves Silk Sonic. Natalia Barr, WSJ, "From Selena Gomez to St. Vincent, the Best Songs You Should Be Listening to Right Now," 31 Mar. 2021 In between sharing throwback looks from award shows and personal poolside photos, the actor manages to always candidly share aspects of her life with fans, whether or not she's got on a full beat. Gabi Thorne, Allure, "Salma Hayek Lets Her Curls Down In Latest Makeup-Free Selfie," 29 Mar. 2021 Vázquez is a throwback who wants to play as many games as possible and has his eye on winning his first Gold Glove., "Introducing the 2021 Red Sox roster," 26 Mar. 2021 Fueled by the team’s success and it switching to its popular throwback brown-and-gold colors, Padres paraphernalia became prevalent throughout San Diego County. Jay Paris, Forbes, "Ascending Padres Have Become Must-See TV In San Diego," 28 Feb. 2021 Other than its infotainment interface, the LC500 convertible is an open-air throwback to personal luxury cars. Tony Quiroga, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2021 Lexus LC500 Convertible Puts a Price Tag on Maturity," 8 Feb. 2021 The warm and wispy, rich and creamy version at Lucky Danger is a delightful throwback to America’s love affair with all things tiki, which coincided in the 1940s and 1950s with mainstream acceptance of American Chinese spots. Washington Post, "At Lucky Danger, two talented chefs just want to have fun with their American Chinese food," 19 Mar. 2021 The Fujifilm Instax is an amazing throwback to Polaroids of the past but way more reliable. Popsci Commerce Team, Popular Science, "Best college graduation gifts: Tools to get them on their way," 11 Mar. 2021 Her earrings—a modern throwback to Hollywood’s heyday are by Cathy Waterman. Beth Bernstein, Forbes, "Glamor In Jewelry At Home Or On Stage At The 2021 Golden Globes," 1 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb On Friday, Cincinnati Reds manager David Bell watched two candidates for the open fifth spot in the starting rotation throw back-to-back against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Charlie Goldsmith, The Enquirer, "David Bell gets a look at starting pitcher candidates; other observations from Reds vs. Arizona," 6 Mar. 2021 The Gravels Grenache is an exciting wine: full of energy, easy to throw back, but still with a tinge of seriousness. Esther Mobley, San Francisco Chronicle, "This ethereal red shows why Grenache may be California's most climate change-resistant wine," 24 Feb. 2021 The song hits its peak with layered robotic vocal harmonies that throw back to Discovery-era textures. Kat Bein, Billboard, "The 20 Best Daft Punk Songs," 22 Feb. 2021 Goff made some baffling decisions, none worse than his decision to throw back across the middle of the field in the second quarter. Tim Booth,, "A Week 17 win for the Los Angeles Rams would put them and the Chicago Bears in the playoffs. But they might have to do it without QB Jared Goff.," 27 Dec. 2020 The Beavers generated 451 yards and 28 points, neither totals an offense will want to throw back into the lake. oregonlive, "Once Oregon State got past the ‘bad football,’ the Beavers offense did good things against Washington State," 10 Nov. 2020 Fake run left, get all the traffic moving that way then throw back right. Ellis L. Williams, cleveland, "Without Odell Beckham Jr., the Browns still found a way to generate explosive plays vs. the Cincinnati Bengals -- Film Review," 25 Oct. 2020 After getting a throw back from catcher Will Smith, Turner chased after Swanson and dove to apply a tag on his leg. Jesse Yomtov, USA TODAY, "Braves cost themselves a huge inning with Game 7 baserunning blunder vs. Dodgers," 19 Oct. 2020 Turn the heat to high, stir 10 seconds or so, and then throw back into the pot all of those vegetables that are sitting in the bowl. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Free digital cookbook celebrates 19th Amendment centennial and suffragists, with a potluck vibe," 7 Oct. 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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Statistics for throwback

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Throwback.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for throwback



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

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