\ 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
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 for thrust

Synonyms: Verb

drive, propel, push, shove

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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

In recent years, a financial crisis and volcanic eruptions have thrust the small nation (it’s nearly the size of Kentucky) into the international spotlight. National Geographic, "20 photos of Iceland’s majestic landscapes," 23 Apr. 2019 After revealing her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis back in October 2018, Selma Blair was thrusted into the spotlight thanks to her unbridled honesty about the condition. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Selma Blair Wants to Create an Accessible Fashion Line for Disabled People After MS Diagnosis," 27 Feb. 2019 Read: Woman passes note saying boyfriend holding her captive, deputies say The officer tackled Mejia, who thrust the knife, injuring an officer on the face and neck, investigators said. Kelly Healey, ajc, "Police: Florida officers injured by man in wheelchair wielding 9-inch knife," 28 May 2018 Meanwhile, the boy doesn’t want to disappoint his dad but resents the responsibilities thrust upon him and is throughout the series unsure about the role he’s been given. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, "“Neon Genesis Evangelion,” a classic anime now on Netflix, tells the story of our lives," 23 June 2019 The ultrareligious parties oppose conscription as an attempt to assimilate their cloistered communities by thrusting their young men into contact with secular life and values. Washington Post, "How the battle of bra-baring waitresses and ultra-religious protesters explains Israel’s political crisis," 10 June 2019 The toy actually thrusts inside of you while providing clitoral stimulation. Vanessa Marin, Allure, "Ask a Sex Therapist: How Does Hands-Free Masturbation Work?," 23 May 2019 Acequias capture their water by thrusting barriers out into local rivers, forcing water to pool at the side and run into the channels dug centuries ago. Robert Neuwirth, National Geographic, "Centuries-old irrigation system shows how to manage scarce water," 17 May 2019 Some people will say that not tuning in is the equivalent of thrusting your head into the sand, and that a person must be informed about what the president has to say, like it or not. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why You Shouldn't Watch Trump's Oval Office Address Tonight," 8 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

All of a sudden, this explosion was thrust into their lives. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Someone should pay for Plantation explosion, lawyer says," 9 July 2019 Farmer was thrust in the backup catcher role when Tucker Barnhart went on the injured list with a strained right oblique. John Fay,, "Kyle Farmer just fine behind the plate for the Cincinnati Reds," 3 July 2019 As much as the Special One would probably love to take over as part of some sort of weird mind game with Rafa, his arrival would surely be dependent on the takeover happening and lots and lots of money being thrust in his general direction., "Rafa to China, Shearer's Reaction & New Manager Latest: Newcastle News Roundup," 25 June 2019 The workers’ compensation program was thrust into the spotlight in November. Gregory Pratt,, "Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says city to hire outside firm to help with workers' comp program," 13 June 2019 Then the district attorney’s office got involved, and the sect’s abuses and inner workings were thrust into the open. Jeff Truesdell,, "Church 'Cult' Survivor Says He Was Beaten Because He Was Gay: 'I Was Scared For My Life'," 2 July 2019 Using cash that her husband had thrust at her, and in the company of Fin Cohen, her best friend’s husband (and a former rock star), Anna embarks on her own quest to solve the mystery of her acquaintance’s death. Tom Nolan, WSJ, "Mysteries: The Dangers of Listening to Podcasts," 21 June 2019 After essentially missing the meat of two straight postseasons, Kawhi has re-thrust himself into the heart of any debate of greatest player alive, and his legend potential is as high as anyone in the league right now. Rohan Nadkarni,, "The Journey of the Raptors' First Championship Team Will Be Remembered Forever," 14 June 2019 In her absence, fellow rookie Napheesa Collier has been thrust into additional minutes at power forward. Dane Mizutani, Twin Cities, "Lynx adjusting to life without injured rookie Jessica Shepard at power forward," 10 June 2019

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

20 Jul 2019

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 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thrust

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thrust

Spanish Central: Translation of thrust

Nglish: Translation of thrust for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thrust for Arabic Speakers

Comments on thrust

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to complain fretfully

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