\ ˈthrəst How to pronounce thrust (audio) \
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
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 for thrust

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of thrust in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 It gets heated by the combustion reaction between the oxygen and the kerosene without contributing to it, which lowers the combustion temperature and reduces thrust. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Rocket Motor of the Future Breathes Air Like a Jet Engine," 26 June 2020 The national anthem was thrust into the spotlight when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick encouraged players to kneel during its playing to demonstrate against police brutality and racial injustice. Zachary Halaschak, Washington Examiner, "'Inclusion and acceptance': Semi-pro soccer team replaces national anthem with 'This Land Is Your Land'," 25 June 2020 The shuttering of theatres has emphasized the process of reclamation—and, paradoxically, has thrust one aspect of public viewing to the fore, namely, repertory houses. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Do Movies Still Need Multiplexes?," 24 June 2020 Following Caesar's death, Rome is thrust into a period of civil war. Gege Reed, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville's 'virtual' shows this week: Festival of American Music, 'Julius Caesar' & more," 20 June 2020 Last week, the obscure West Texas energy project was thrust into the national spotlight when a right-wing news commentator denounced it as a threat to national security. John Maccormack,, "Wind farms threaten unspoiled West Texas river and Air Force pilot training routes," 19 June 2020 The great ape, a favorite of tourists, died after a poacher thrust a spear into his belly, penetrating as deep as his internal organs, according to a post-mortem report. Jack Losh, National Geographic, "Beloved silverback gorilla killed by poachers in Uganda," 12 June 2020 Closing in on a decade of dissociation from the University of Southern California, former Trojans running back Reggie Bush now has a clearer path to reuniting with the program that thrust him into superstardom. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "USC to end dissociation with Reggie Bush, paving way for reunion," 11 June 2020 Public-health doctors say the federal government hasn’t played a leading role in urging broader testing, so mayors and local officials are increasingly thrust into the breach. Thomas M. Burton, WSJ, "Protests Complicate Mayors’ Efforts to Combat Coronavirus," 7 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun And while nitrogen can contribute to an engine’s thrust—since it’s being heated in the combustion chamber and expelled through the nozzle—the exhaust speed must be greater than the spacecraft’s speed. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Rocket Motor of the Future Breathes Air Like a Jet Engine," 26 June 2020 The ruling was 5-4, with the court's four liberal justices agreeing and the four more conservative justices in dissent on the main thrust of Roberts' ruling, USA Today reported. Natalia E. Contreras, The Indianapolis Star, "DACA Supreme Court ruling a relief for supporters, but it's far from a permanent solution," 20 June 2020 Witness the track-day yahoos who are slow in corners yet insist on keeping you behind them by means of obnoxious straight-line thrust. Dave Vanderwerp, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2020 Toyota 86 GT Will Make You a Better Driver," 19 June 2020 Flexibility was the major thrust of a resolution the state Senate adopted Thursday on a 35-1 vote. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "State sitting on $2.8B in federal coronavirus funds it can't use to close budget gap," 12 June 2020 The mainstream-friendly thrust of the C&C games' campaigns remains intact, particularly with missions that emphasize don't-think-just-rush sequences. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Command & Conquer Remastered Collection," 5 June 2020 The narrative thrust thus becomes Rose's awakening and the evolving dynamic between the women, though Stuhlbarg is quite good, despite the stilted and unappealing nature of his character. Brian Lowry, CNN, "Elisabeth Moss again outshines the movie as a troubled writer in 'Shirley'," 5 June 2020 The first stage, featuring nine Merlin engines, generates 1.7 million pounds of thrust at liftoff. William Harwood, CBS News, "Astronauts describe ride to space aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon," 2 June 2020 The Falcon 9’s engines roar to life and spit nearly 2 million pounds of thrust from the tail end of the rocket. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "SpaceX Launched Two Astronauts—Changing Spaceflight Forever," 30 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for thrust

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for thrust

Last Updated

29 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thrust.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for thrust


How to pronounce thrust (audio)

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 How to pronounce thrust (audio) \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on thrust

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thrust

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thrust

Spanish Central: Translation of thrust

Nglish: Translation of thrust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thrust for Arabic Speakers

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