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) , nautical 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

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 Following the navy’s failure to thwart Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown in 1781, this catastrophic loss, coupled... A. Roger Ekirch, WSJ, "‘Sons of the Waves’ Review: Jack Tar: His Own Story," 15 May 2020 Google The complaint came in last month from a resident of Kingston, a city in New York’s Hudson Valley: A local barbershop was still performing haircuts, in violation of New York’s emergency shutdown orders to thwart the coronavirus. Sarah Maslin Nir, New York Times, "Barber Defied Rules and Cut Hair From Home. Now He Has the Virus.," 15 May 2020 Five experienced surfers drowned off the coast of the Netherlands on Monday after a storm left a huge layer of foam in the water to thwart a rescue attempt, Dutch authorities reported. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, "Five surfers die in the Netherlands after huge layer of sea foam disrupts rescue," 14 May 2020 Associated Press ROME — Italian police have arrested 91 suspected mobsters in a probe of money-laundering and extortion in a bid to thwart Sicily’s Cosa Nostra from exploiting economic woes triggered by the pandemic. BostonGlobe.com, "After 6 new cases, Wuhan plans to test all 11 million residents," 12 May 2020 On the contrary: cities both big and small across the country have seen an uptick in car theft since the mandatory shutdowns began back in mid-March to thwart the spread of coronavirus. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Car Thieves Have Stayed Busy While Everything Else Is Shut Down," 30 Apr. 2020 Most of us have been ordered to remain inside in an effort to thwart the coronavirus pandemic. Samer Kalaf, The New Republic, "Alone in the City of Sirens," 10 Apr. 2020 Many nations expressed outrage but did little to thwart Mussolini’s assault; more vocal support came from the African diaspora. Colin Grant, The New York Review of Books, "The Women’s War," 8 Apr. 2020 Authorities in Arkansas are getting creative with attempts to thwart drug use in the area and their latest ploy involves the coronavirus threat. Fox News, "Arkansas police offer to test meth for coronavirus: 'Better safe than sorry'," 28 Feb. 2020 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

Time Traveler for thwart

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Listen to Our Podcast about thwart

Statistics for thwart

Last Updated

22 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Thwart.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thwart. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for thwart

thwart

verb
How to pronounce thwart (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for thwart

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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!