throw·​back | \ˈthrō-ˌbak \

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


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

Photo: Getty Images Mr. Ghosn is a throwback to those days, often treated as a superstar in the Japanese media for his exploits. John D. Stoll, WSJ, "Ghosn’s ‘Bigger-Than-Life’ Personality Increasingly Rare in Global Car Business," 19 Nov. 2018 Instead, a throwback photo of Darlene's son, Mark, seems to have been moved over, and the center of the desk features a picture of young D.J. (played by actor Michael Fishman). Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "There's One Key Thing Missing in The Conners's Living Room," 24 Oct. 2018 Eugenie, who's hardly new to the trend of posting throwback photos, took to her Instagram account to share a memory of her and Beatrice as bridesmaids in a 1993 wedding. Kara Thompson, Town & Country, "Princess Eugenie Shared the Sweetest Throwback Photo of Herself and Princess Beatrice as Bridesmaids," 5 Oct. 2018 In a recent throwback post, Hilton posted an Instagram video from the era, and her retro outfit proved to be, well, very much still current. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Why This 2000s-Era Paris Hilton Outfit Is Still Relevant Today," 21 July 2018 The throwback post shows Lakshmi breastfeeding daughter Krishna (now 8), hair in curlers, while also applying mascara. Sarah Klein,, "Padma Lakshmi's Revealing Breastfeeding Pic Is a Celebration of Multitasking Working Moms," 11 May 2018 These garments are often black, throwbacks to the cyberpunk look that dominated 1999’s The Matrix. Nadra Nittle, Vox, "American Horror Story fans are dressing like the show’s seductive Antichrist," 24 Oct. 2018 The jury's still out, but Kardashian West's early throwback shot offers a mid-week excuse to reconsider all the face-framing options. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Kim Kardashian West Shares an Epic Throwback Picture of Her 90s Skinny Brows," 5 Sep. 2018 Many in attendance were seen wearing STEEZ tribute tees and Pro Era throwbacks -- a community of old and new who come together every year for King Capital. Eric Diep, Billboard, "Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers & More Honor Capital STEEZ on 4th Annual STEEZ Day," 9 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

At the tail end of the hit, Veritas let the throw back into the infield get away, allowing Jesse Perry to score. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "FBCA baseball team going back to TAPPS state tourney after 8-5 victory," 11 May 2018 As the agent tried to put handcuffs on him, Miranda-Alonso threw back his elbows and ran, the complaint states. Kristina Davis,, "Two arrested in separate assault attempts on Border Patrol agents," 12 May 2018 Despite a long day in the sun, Borne threw back on his uniform and met with Keyan on Saturday evening. Michelle Hunter,, "Dad lauds JPSO deputy who gave son policing pointers," 1 May 2018 In case throwing back an array of brewskis didn’t warm you up enough, a bowl of red curry with spicy chicken should do the trick. Gwendolyn Purdom, RedEye Chicago, "Chicago date idea: Craft beer festival then Thai food," 23 Feb. 2018 There seems to be a study out every week about the harmful effects of throwing back a cold one. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "How Giving Up Summer Happy Hour Saved My Sanity and My Health," 19 June 2018 Here are restaurants and bars to throw back a pint and throw a dart, too. Laurie Wilson,, "Here’s a list of some restaurants and bars where you can play darts in New England," 12 June 2018 After Vanessa filed for divorce, Donald Jr. started hitting the gym and even got a haircut, because a thot only knows how to bop when they get thrown back to the streets. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Cash Me Outside: Vanessa Trump ‘Went Gangster’ on Aubrey O’Day After Learning of Her Alleged Affair With Donald Jr.: Report," 30 Apr. 2018 And after Conforto launched a splitter for a long foul ball down the right-field line with the tying run on first base Friday night, Neris threw back-to-back fastballs, the second of which was hit for the go-ahead homer. Scott Lauber,, "Hector Neris blows another save as Phillies fall to Mets," 11 May 2018

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


1888, in the meaning defined at sense 2a


1840, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

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Statistics for throwback

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for throwback

The first known use of throwback was in 1840

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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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with throwback

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