\ 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

But Speas and Starikov, thrusted into the fray, linked up to equalize for the hosts shortly thereafter in the 62nd. Kevin Johnston, Indianapolis Star, "Hammy tweaks, tired legs not enough to slow Indy Eleven in comeback win," 7 July 2018 As the events thrust fully into the realm of the surreal, the movie maintains its emotional truth. Aisha Harris, New York Times, "Like ‘Sorry to Bother You’? Stream These Five Dark Social Satires Next," 6 July 2018 When Dupree opened his mouth to talk, his tongue would thrust out against his will. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "The radio man without a voice," 15 June 2018 This time the eruption rattled the couple’s big landscape windows, the result of the frequent banging as vents thrust out steam and gas that serves as a nerve-jangling score to life here now. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, "The earth cracked open. Walls of lava encroached. That’s just life on a Hawaiian volcano.," 19 May 2018 When a viral photo of Devonte crying and hugging a white officer during a protest of police violence thrust the Harts into the national spotlight in 2014, many celebrated the moment as a symbol of hope for racial harmony. Joe Heim And Julie Tate,, "As children begged for help, adoption system failed them," 13 July 2018 The war has killed over 10,000 people and thrust the Arab world's poorest country into what the U.N. has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis. Jennifer Peltz, Fox News, "UN Yemen envoy: 'Confident' pact can be reached on port city," 21 June 2018 Such a move could thrust Congress even deeper into an ongoing investigation -- uncharted territory for lawmakers, and a mark of the deep partisan divisions over Rosenstein and his appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Billy House,, "Rosenstein Faces Vote in U.S. House on GOP Demands for Documents," 26 June 2018 With that strange decision came the arrival of the 'Official World Cup Mascot', and ever since, our lives have been blessed with whatever the inhabitants of the host nation decide to thrust upon us., "World Cup Countdown: 3 Days to Go - Ranking Every World Cup Mascot by How 'Hard' They Are," 11 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Michael Cohen’s assertion that President Trump directed him to violate campaign-finance laws through payments to two women who claimed to have had affairs with Mr. Trump has thrust the president closer than ever to legal scrutiny. Julie Bykowicz, WSJ, "Michael Cohen’s Plea Puts Trump Under Legal Scrutiny," 21 Aug. 2018 If the engine failure occurs at cruising altitude, the aircraft will descend to a lower altitude until the remaining engine has enough thrust to maintain level flight. John Cox, USA TODAY, "Ask the Captain: How long are flights over water crossing the Atlantic?," 24 June 2018 Scatter led his flight into a modest descent, to altitudes where the heavily laden B-2s would have more thrust available for maneuvering. William Langewiesche, The Atlantic, "An Extraordinarily Expensive Way to Fight ISIS," 21 June 2018 Engines produce thrust by moving air through a nozzle or propellers. Joshua Brustein,, "Boeing asked for quiet jet packs but got a bunch of air motorcycles," 14 June 2018 Gene Terruso had a theater thrust upon him – in the Czech Republic. John Timpane,, "How to start a theater in the Czech Republic: The story of Philly's Gene Terruso," 14 May 2018 Nonetheless, the case has thrust the issue of genetic privacy into the spotlight, particularly as direct-to-consumer tests become both increasingly popular and increasingly extensive in their insights. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A DNA Site Helped Authorities Crack the Golden State Killer Case. Here’s What You Should Know About Your Genetic Data Privacy," 27 Apr. 2018 The team designed their hypothetical craft to have a 14-foot wingspan, weigh 64 pounds when empty and have the thrust to carry 300 pounds of pesticide payload. Matthew Ormseth,, "Xavier High School Students Win First Place In International Engineering Competition," 22 Apr. 2018 Now, almost 22 years after the crash, the FBI has thrust Mauro Ociel Valenzuela-Reyes back in the spotlight, offering a $10,000 reward for his capture. Lisa J. Huriash,, "Fugitive mechanic in deadly 1996 ValuJet crash 'never should have been charged,' lawyer says," 14 Apr. 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

11 May 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

What made you want to look up thrust? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that collects or salvages junk

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