verb (used with object), thrust, thrust·ing.

  1. to push forcibly; shove; put or drive with force: He thrust his way through the crowd. She thrust a dagger into his back.
  2. to put boldly forth or impose acceptance of: to thrust oneself into a conversation between others; to thrust a dollar into the waiter’s hand.
  3. to extend; present: He thrust his fist in front of my face.
  4. Archaic. to stab or pierce, as with a sword: She thrust his back with a dagger.

verb (used without object), thrust, thrust·ing.

  1. to push against something.
  2. to push or force one’s way, as against obstacles or through a crowd.
  3. to make a thrust, lunge, or stab at something.


  1. an act or instance of thrusting; a forcible push or shove; lunge or stab.
  2. a lunge or stab, as with a sword.
  3. Mechanics. a linear reactive force exerted by a propeller, propulsive gases, etc., to propel a ship, aircraft, etc.
  4. Geology. a compressive strain in the crust of the earth that, in its most characteristic development, produces reverse or thrust faults.
  5. the main point, purpose, or essence: The thrust of his speech was an urgent appeal for votes.
  6. Machinery. a pushing force or pressure exerted by a thing or a part against a contiguous one.
  7. Architecture. the downward and outward force exerted by an arch on each side.
  8. an organized military attack; assault; offensive.

verb thrusts, thrusting or thrust

  1. (tr) to push (someone or something) with force or sudden strengthshe thrust him away; she thrust it into the fire
  2. (tr) to force or impose upon (someone) or into (some condition or situation)they thrust extra responsibilities upon her; she was thrust into the limelight
  3. (tr foll by through) to pierce; stab
  4. (intr; usually foll by through or into) to force a passage or entrance
  5. (intr) to push forwards, upwards, or outwards
  6. (intr foll by at) to make a stab or lunge at (a person or thing)


  1. a forceful drive, push, stab, or lunge
  2. a force, esp one that produces motion
    1. a propulsive force produced by the fluid pressure or the change of momentum of the fluid in a jet engine, rocket engine, etc
    2. a similar force produced by a propeller
  3. a pressure that is exerted continuously by one part of an object, structure, etc, against another, esp the axial force by or on a shaft
  4. geology
    1. the compressive force in the earth’s crust that produces recumbent folds and thrust or reverse faults
    2. See thrust fault
  5. civil engineering a force exerted in a downwards and outwards direction, as by an arch or rafter, or the horizontal force exerted by retained earth
  6. force, impetus, or drivea man with thrust and energy
  7. the essential or most forceful partthe thrust of the argument

v.late 12c., from Old Norse þrysta “to thrust, force,” from Proto-Germanic *thrustijanan, perhaps from PIE *trud- “push, press” (see threat), but OED finds this derivation doubtful. The noun is recorded from 1510s; figurative sense of “principal theme, aim, point, purpose” is recorded from 1968.

  1. The force that propels an object in a given direction, especially when generated by the object itself, as by an engine or rocket.

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