Definition of thrust in English:

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Pronunciation: /THrəst/

verb (thrusts, thrusting; past and past participle thrust)

[with object]
1Push (something or someone) suddenly or violently in the specified direction: she thrust her hands into her pockets figurative Howard was thrust into the limelight [no object]: he thrust at his opponent with his sword
More example sentences
  • It was only through the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936, that, suddenly, she was thrust into the limelight, and became our Queen.
  • An empty, demanding hand is thrust at us, and we press money into it.
  • He was living the rock and roll lifestyle, going to endless parties where free champagne was thrust at him and he took advantage of it.
shove, push, force, plunge, stick, drive, propel, ram, poke, jam
force, foist, impose, inflict
1.1 [no object] (Of a person) move or advance forcibly: she thrust through the bramble canes he tried to thrust his way past her
More example sentences
  • And underneath all that mock facial serenity, I wished for the lift door to thrust open and once again be released into the open.
  • The points flowed freely in the second half and then Richardson thrust his way through after Keith Robinson just failed to steal the ball at a ruck.
  • She had been trying to thrust her way into the popular group ever since any of us could remember, and followed the popular rule about being a non-cheerleader.
push, shove, force, elbow, shoulder, barge, bulldoze
1.2 [no object] (Of a thing) extend so as to project conspicuously: beside the boathouse a jetty thrust out into the water
More example sentences
  • The twin towers of Petronas, the tallest in the world, stand like crystalline fingers thrusting into the dark Malaysian sky.
  • Some of the incense is still burning while others are just cold shells, the red and pink sticks thrusting lifeless out of the sand.
  • On the north-east side, the stand thrusts out at a precipitous angle, like the hull of a ship, rhythmically articulated by broad ribs, each of which contains a staircase.
1.3 (thrust something on/upon) Force (someone) to accept or deal with something: he felt that fame had been thrust upon him
More example sentences
  • It is likely to deprive the side of a key player and thrust a fresh burden on Andrew Flintoff, who is next in line to take over the captaincy.
  • Some friends do complain and very seriously too that I involuntarily thrust my opinions upon others and get my proposals accepted.
  • Although she does not set out to be a crusader, she accepts the role once it is thrust upon her.


1A sudden or violent lunge with a pointed weapon or a bodily part: he drove the blade upward with one powerful thrust
More example sentences
  • He drew his knife and threw himself into a series of lightning-quick thrusts, parries, lunges, and dodges.
  • Instead of parrying, Celia crouched under the blade's arc and reprised with an upward thrust of her own weapon.
  • Michael parried the weapon with a quick thrust from his left arm and launched his tightened right fist forward.
shove, push, lunge, poke
1.1A forceful attack or effort: executives led a new thrust in business development
More example sentences
  • Then, as Tolbukhin parried further German armoured thrusts, Malinovsky mounted an attack on Buda.
  • As they go into battle, simultaneous armoured thrusts will be launched from Kuwait and Turkey.
  • A criticism levelled at Inveraray is that the attacking thrust is often thwarted by over-elaboration among the forwards.
advance, push, drive, attack, assault, onslaught, offensive, charge, sortie, foray, raid, sally, invasion, incursion
1.2 [in singular] The principal purpose or theme of a course of action or line of reasoning: anti-Americanism became the main thrust of their policy
More example sentences
  • While the central themes embody the main thrust of what the text actually said, a study of the marginal and omitted ideas may be more fruitful and enlightening.
  • Most of the bigger unions representing the public sector have quietly accepted the main thrust of the benchmarking report.
  • The main thrust of his message was that for those who stick with sheep and are prepared to do it properly, there will be good returns.
gist, substance, drift, burden, meaning, sense, theme, message, import, tenor
2The propulsive force of a jet or rocket engine.
Example sentences
  • After liftoff, at nearly 100 percent of rated thrust, the engine throttles back momentarily.
  • Ion propulsion is a method of propulsion that uses electrical rather than chemical forces to generate thrust for a spacecraft.
  • One of the most important considerations in flight is the balance of forces maintained between thrust, drag, lift, and weight.
force, propulsive force, propulsion, power, impetus, momentum
2.1The lateral pressure exerted by an arch or other support in a building.
Example sentences
  • The tubes resist lateral thrust caused by bead-cable tension forces that are contained within the overall assembly.
  • Its main longitudinal arch thrust is held by six pre-stressed concrete ties, which are fixed into the abutment foundations.
  • To resist lateral thrust, the design includes tie beams of posttensioned concrete beneath the foundation slab.
3 (also thrust fault) Geology A reverse fault of low angle, with older strata displaced horizontally over younger.
Example sentences
  • It is not known whether the thrusts and reverse faults represent reactivated extensional basement structures or formed entirely during basin inversion.
  • The assumption in building a more detailed stratigraphic succession through such a deformed region is that, for the most part, reverse faults and thrusts carry older material over younger.
  • In the north of the area towards the Main Zagros Reverse Fault, thrusts are dominant.


cut and thrust

Pronunciation: /ˌkəd ən ˈTHrəst/
see cut.


Middle English (as a verb): from Old Norse thrýsta; perhaps related to Latin trudere 'to thrust'. The noun is first recorded (early 16th century) in the sense 'act of pressing'.

Words that rhyme with thrust

adjust, august, bust, combust, crust, dust, encrust, entrust, gust, just, lust, mistrust, must, robust, rust, trust, undiscussed

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: thrust

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