\ 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

Then Laz thrust his arms skyward, Rocky-style, and the academy grounds echoed with cheers. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Inside the Fire Academy, Part II: Who will survive the Grinder?," 5 Sep. 2019 The blockbuster trade of Beckham shook the NFL and thrust the Browns further into the spotlight with four prime-time games this season. Los Angeles Times, "AFC North preview: Odell Beckham and Browns have high expectations," 3 Sep. 2019 And that led to solid-rocket boosters, an expendable fuel tank and an orbiter that thrusts from launch-today’s space shuttle. Buzz Aldrin, Popular Mechanics, "Why I Walked on the Moon," 20 July 2019 Trains thrust into them, people burst onto their platforms and then seep out into the surrounding streets—as if Freud himself had a hand in their design. Edward Carr, 1843, "We apologise for the decay," 29 Aug. 2019 The beating also thrust Ngo from a relatively small yet vocal corner of the internet into a national spotlight that has increasingly focused on militant — and often violent — political activism in Portland., "Andy Ngo says he suffered brain injury during Portland ‘mob beating’," 25 July 2019 Pause when the weights are just past your knees, then drive through your heels and squeeze your glutes to thrust your hips forward and return to a standing position. K. Aleisha Fetters, Outside Online, "The Beginner's Guide to Weight Lifting," 19 June 2019 The incident thrust Sacramento into the national spotlight soon after, becoming a focal point in the conversation of police use-of-force since the March shooting. Nashelly Chavez, sacbee, "What you need to know about the Stephon Clark shooting in Sacramento | The Sacramento Bee," 1 May 2018 By the middle of February, injuries thrust Harkless back into the starting lineup. Joe Freeman,, "The Curious Case of Moe Harkless: How an apology turned season around for Trail Blazers' forward," 23 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Williams was thrust into the role of being the Raiders No. oregonlive, "Former Western Oregon star Tyrell Williams’ impressive debut helps Oakland Raiders fans forget Antonio Brown," 10 Sep. 2019 True freshman and preferred walk-on Jude Pedrozo has been thrust into the role of delivering the ball to Hartbarger on punts and setting up junior Matt Coghlin on placekicks. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football's Jake Hartbarger booming punts again after injury-shortened 2018," 5 Sep. 2019 After spending part of the year as the last man in line in a deep Giants bullpen, Coonrod has been thrust into big situations and posted a 2.61 ERA in his first 23 games. Kerry Crowley, The Mercury News, "Giants reliever thrust into spotlight, expecting ‘outrageous’ cheering section in St. Louis," 2 Sep. 2019 When Blake Horstmann and Caelynn Miller-Keyes‘ tryst came to light on Bachelor in Paradise, another franchise star was thrust into the drama: Colton Underwood. Hanna Flanagan,, "Colton Underwood Says Blake and Caelynn Both 'Made Mistakes' in Bachelor in Paradise Scandal," 22 Aug. 2019 Smart and his family were thrust into the spotlight in 2002, when Elizabeth, then 14, was abducted from their home. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Ed Smart, father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart, says he is gay," 16 Aug. 2019 Adu was thrust into a starring role, a novelty used to draw attention to Major League Soccer when its existence was far from certain. Daily Pilot, "Laguna Beach’s Francis Jacobs, 14, is youngest male to sign pro soccer contract in U.S.," 13 Aug. 2019 With one thrust of an enemy’s spear, Galanguira dropped to the floor. Paul Steyn, National Geographic, "How the world’s largest lion relocation was pulled off," 2 May 2019 Antorcha’s departure means SeaWorld, which has been on a financial comeback for more than a year, is again thrust into uncertain waters during a critical point. Gabrielle Russon,, "SeaWorld’s CEO quits after 7 months on the job," 16 Sep. 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

12 Oct 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

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a bell tower

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