thwart

verb
\ ˈthwȯrt How to pronounce thwart (audio) \
thwarted; thwarting; thwarts

Definition of thwart

 (Entry 1 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to oppose successfully : defeat the hopes or aspirations of
b : to run counter to so as to effectively oppose or baffle : contravene
2 : to pass through or across

thwart

adverb
\ ˈthwȯrt How to pronounce thwart (audio) , naut often ˈthȯrt\

Definition of thwart (Entry 2 of 4)

thwart

adjective

Definition of thwart (Entry 3 of 4)

: situated or placed across something else : transverse

thwart

noun

Definition of thwart (Entry 4 of 4)

: a seat extending athwart a boat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from thwart

Verb

thwarter noun

Adjective

thwartly adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for thwart

Synonyms: Verb

baffle, balk, beat, checkmate, discomfit, foil, frustrate

Antonyms: Verb

advance, cultivate, encourage, forward, foster, further, nurture, promote

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for thwart

Verb

frustrate, thwart, foil, baffle, balk mean to check or defeat another's plan or block achievement of a goal. frustrate implies making vain or ineffectual all efforts however vigorous or persistent. frustrated attempts at government reform thwart suggests frustration or checking by crossing or opposing. the army thwarted his attempt at a coup foil implies checking or defeating so as to discourage further effort. foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her baffle implies frustration by confusing or puzzling. baffled by the maze of rules and regulations balk suggests the interposing of obstacles or hindrances. officials felt that legal restrictions had balked their efforts to control crime

Did You Know?

Verb

Thwart and its synonyms "foil" and "frustrate" all suggest checking or defeating another's plan or preventing the achievement of a goal. "Foil" implies checking or defeating so as to discourage future efforts ("foiled by her parents, he stopped trying to see her"), while "frustrate" suggests making all efforts, however vigorous or persistent, futile or ineffectual ("frustrated attempts at government reform"). "Thwart" usually indicates frustration caused by opposition ("the army thwarted an attempted coup").

Examples of thwart in a Sentence

Verb

She did all she could to thwart his plans. The army thwarted the attempt at a coup.

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Since the Night King's plans for a Long Night have been thwarted, the next fight is for the Iron Throne. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Daenerys' Maybe-Green Eyes on Game of Thrones Could Be Key to Her Fate," 2 May 2019 But the Willners had also learned that a lump of cash might thwart the government's plans. Darlena Cunha, chicagotribune.com, "Two parents hoped to raise $1,500 for separated families. Then their Facebook fundraiser went viral.," 22 June 2018 His father, Herman, was an insurance manager for Metropolitan Life who felt that his career had been thwarted by the gentile executives who ran the company. Charles Mcgrath, BostonGlobe.com, "Philip Roth, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, dies at 85," 23 May 2018 The former ambassador to the UN and cheerleader for the Iraq invasion was grumbling that White House staff were thwarting his attempts to give President Donald Trump his plan for scrapping the Iran nuclear deal brokered by Barack Obama in 2015. The Economist, "Scrapping the Iran nuclear deal will harm America," 28 Mar. 2018 Hayden was responding to a CNN story released Monday about a former Obama White House official who said the US government could have thwarted a Russian troll group's attempts to meddle in the 2016 US presidential election. Donie O'sullivan, CNN, "Not enough was done to stop Russian trolls, ex-CIA director says," 27 Mar. 2018 Kimberly Reed's documentary takes a hard look at anonymous big-bucks campaign financing in America and how efforts to do away with it have been thwarted. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Dark Money': Film Review | Sundance 2018," 31 Jan. 2018 Intentionally or not, Microsoft has emerged as a kind of internet cop, thanks to its efforts to thwart Russian hackers. Matt O'brien, The Seattle Times, "Microsoft’s anti-hacking efforts make it an internet cop," 21 Aug. 2018 Trump administration attorneys argued in court that the law was a thinly disguised effort to thwart the government’s ability to hold those suspected of being in the U.S. illegally. John Myers, latimes.com, "Federal judge denies Trump administration effort to block California's 'sanctuary' law," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Germany has previously had success with American intelligence information helping thwart plots, most notably in 2007 in stopping a plan to bomb the U.S. Air Force's Ramstein Air Base in southern Germany. David Rising, Fox News, "German teenager arrested in gay club bomb attack plan," 13 Sep. 2018 The center yoke thwart is perfectly balanced for one-person portages. The Editors, Outside Online, "REI Is Having an Huge Sale on Water Sports Gear," 18 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'thwart.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of thwart

Verb

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

Adverb

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1736, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for thwart

Verb

Middle English thwerten, from thwert, adverb

Adverb

Middle English thwert, from Old Norse thvert, from neuter of thverr transverse, oblique; akin to Old High German dwerah transverse, oblique

Noun

alteration of obsolete thought, thoft, from Middle English thoft, from Old English thofte; akin to Old High German dofta rower's seat

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about thwart

Listen to Our Podcast about thwart

Dictionary Entries near thwart

thwacker

thwaite

thwap

thwart

thwartedly

thwartover

thwartsaw

Statistics for thwart

Last Updated

6 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for thwart

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thwart

thwart

verb

English Language Learners Definition of thwart

: to prevent (someone) from doing something or to stop (something) from happening

thwart

verb
\ ˈthwȯrt How to pronounce thwart (audio) \
thwarted; thwarting

Kids Definition of thwart

: to stop from happening or succeeding Police thwarted the crime.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on thwart

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with thwart

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thwart

Spanish Central: Translation of thwart

Nglish: Translation of thwart for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of thwart for Arabic Speakers

Comments on thwart

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

WORD OF THE DAY

incapable of being surmounted or overcome

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!