\ˈthrəst \
thrust; thrusting

Definition of thrust 

(Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to push or drive with force : shove

2 : to cause to enter or pierce something by or as if by pushing thrust a dagger into his heart

3 : extend, spread

4 : stab, pierce

5a : to put (someone, such as an unwilling person) forcibly into a course of action or position was thrust into the job

b : to introduce often improperly into a position : interpolate

6 : to press, force, or impose the acceptance of upon someone thrust new responsibilities upon her

intransitive verb

1a : to force an entrance or passage

b : to push forward : press onward

c : to push upward : project

2 : to make a thrust, stab, or lunge with or as if with a pointed weapon thrust at them with a knife



Definition of thrust (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a forward or upward push

b : a movement (as by a group of people) in a specified direction

2a : salient or essential element or meaning the thrust of the argument

b : principal concern or objective the plan's major thrust is testing— Ryan Lizza

3a : a strong continued pressure

b : the sideways force or pressure of one part of a structure against another part (as of an arch against an abutment)

c : the force produced by a propeller or by a jet or rocket engine that drives a vehicle (such as an aircraft) forward

d : a nearly horizontal geological fault

4a : a push or lunge with a pointed weapon

b(1) : a verbal attack

(2) : a military assault

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Synonyms & Antonyms for thrust

Synonyms: Verb

arise, ascend, aspire, climb, lift, mount, rise, soar, up, uprise, upthrust, upturn

Antonyms: Verb

decline, descend, dip, drop, fall (off), plunge

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Examples of thrust in a Sentence


He thrust his hands into his pockets. He thrust his fist into the air. The doctor thrust the needle into the patient's arm. He thrust at me with his sword.


With one last thrust he broke through the barrier. a single thrust of his sword
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Backup players thrust into starting roles have struggled. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando City sees reasons roller-coaster season can be fixed," 7 July 2018 Injuries thrust five different players into the starting job the past two years, making the position one of the most inconsistent on the team. Matt Murschel,, "Improving Northern Illinois is No. 60 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 28 June 2018 By stepping up to offer assistance to Flint, Musk is thrusting himself into a second high-profile crisis in a matter of days. Jamie Butters,, "Elon Musk pledges to pay for clean water to homes in Flint, Mich.," 11 July 2018 Yet his performances in the Championship, as well as for his country, could prompt the Spaniard to thrust him into the Toon squad next term., "Fulham Nearing Permanent Deal for Newcastle Striker Following Successful Loan Period Last Season," 30 June 2018 Some kind of similarity to LeBron James in the NBA playoffs can be drawn here, as Ronaldo time and again thrusts himself into the middle of the story and makes things happen. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "This World Cup makes it official: Cristiano Ronaldo is greater than Lionel Messi," 22 June 2018 Trump has subsequently blamed others in the party for thrusting him into episodes of humiliating defeat. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump dismisses midterm threat, alarming GOP," 28 Apr. 2018 This past week was a turning point for the Texans, who thrust themselves back in the postseason picture, starting with an unexpected win over Dobie Tuesday night. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Rayburn rallies from 11 down to clip Mavs 43-42," 2 Feb. 2018 Tim thrust the boat into reverse, ripping us away from the slope. Sunset, "The Ultimate Venue for Your Next Family Vacay? A Houseboat," 22 Jan. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Firstly, the drop off from Edinson Cavani to Cristhian Stuani would flatter any defence, and accordingly Suarez was too frustrated with his new strike partner to offer any kind of thrust back., "Why Didier Deschamps Is Still a Problem Regardless of Leading France to the World Cup Final," 12 July 2018 Airplanes such as the B777 have engines producing more than 110,000 pounds of thrust. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: Questions about three-engine jets," 17 June 2018 With more than five million pounds of thrust, the Falcon Heavy is particularly suited to carry extra-large commercial satellites and propel the heaviest military or spy spacecraft into hard-to-reach orbits. Andy Pasztor, WSJ, "Elon Musk’s SpaceX Delays Plans for First Space Tourists to Circle Moon," 4 June 2018 The film was a bloated affair, shot in more than 100 locations worldwide and with cameos by Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton, and Marlene Dietrich providing much of the thrust. Adam Bernstein,, "Michael Anderson, 98, acclaimed director," 30 Apr. 2018 The film was a bloated affair, shot in more than 100 locations worldwide and with cameos by Frank Sinatra, Buster Keaton and Marlene Dietrich providing much of the thrust. Adam Bernstein, Washington Post, "Michael Anderson, ‘Dam Busters’ director, dies at 98," 30 Apr. 2018 The front is a 50 million-year-old thrust-and-fold jumble of wetlands, forests, and vertical subranges. Porter Fox, Outside Online, "Exploring America's Forgotten Border," 1 June 2018 Pilots are reminded to lessen noise during nighttime departures by reducing the thrust of the engine after climbing to lessen noise, Szczesniak said. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "Readers had lots of questions about airplane noise from the airport’s runway closure. Here are some answers.," 10 July 2018 Over the Sky of the Beyond’ (2014) Photo: Kazuki Umezawa/Pizzuti Collection As is often the case, a single work can represent the thrust of a show. Peter Plagens, WSJ, "‘Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century’ Review: Trying to Corral the Uncorralable," 7 July 2018

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


13th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

History and Etymology for thrust


Middle English thrusten, thristen, from Old Norse thrȳsta; probably akin to Old Norse thrjōta to tire, Old English thrēat coercion — more at threat

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Statistics for thrust

Last Updated

9 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thrust

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

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More Definitions for thrust



English Language Learners Definition of thrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to push (someone or something) with force

: to cause (something sharp) to enter or go through something else by pushing

: to make a sudden, strong, forward movement at someone or something with a weapon



English Language Learners Definition of thrust (Entry 2 of 2)

: a forward or upward push

: the main point or meaning of something

: the main concern or purpose of something


\ˈthrəst \
thrust; thrusting

Kids Definition of thrust

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to push with force : shove The small man thrust the lamp into Will's hand.— Susan Cooper, The Dark is Rising

3 : extend sense 1 He thrust out his arm.

4 : to press the acceptance of on someone New responsibilities were thrust on her.



Kids Definition of thrust (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a push or jab with a pointed weapon

2 : a military attack

3 : a forward or upward push

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Comments on thrust

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playful or foolish behavior

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