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thwart

Syllabification: thwart
Pronunciation: /THwôrt
 
/

Definition of thwart in English:

verb

[with object]
1Prevent (someone) from accomplishing something: he never did anything to thwart his father he was thwarted in his desire to punish Uncle Fred
More example sentences
  • Although stardom beckoned at an early age, Michael was initially thwarted in his desire to act.
  • And they succeeded as Garner's final save thwarted Lee Canoville in the closing seconds.
  • York played on the break and came closest to breaking the deadlock when Carter was thwarted by an excellent save.
1.1Oppose (a plan, attempt, or ambition) successfully: the government had been able to thwart all attempts by opposition leaders to form new parties
More example sentences
  • Also his best laid plans were thwarted when he attempted to return to see his family in South Africa.
  • The story revolves round the locals’ attempts to thwart the plan.
  • In their relationships with women, Russell and Ayer both seemed quite oblivious to the feelings of others when such feelings were likely to thwart their plans or ambitions.
Synonyms
foil, frustrate, stand in the way of, forestall, derail, dash;
informal put a crimp in, put the kibosh on, scotch, scuttle, do for, stymie

noun

Back to top  
A structural crosspiece sometimes forming a seat for a rower in a boat.
Example sentences
  • Her hull is painted white with blue trim on the thwarts.
  • Thirteen oarsmen and a captain form the crew of the fixed-thwart rowing boats that participate in the competitions.
  • The placement of the primary thwart is important to balance.

preposition& adverb

archaic or literary Back to top  
From one side to another side of; across: [as preposition]: a pink-tinged cloud spread thwart the shore
More example sentences
  • Lay them thwart, that the top of one may rest on the root or stub of the other.

Origin

Middle English thwerte, from the adjective thwert 'perverse, obstinate, adverse', from Old Norse thvert, neuter of thverr 'transverse', from an Indo-European root shared by Latin torquere 'to twist'.

More
  • torch from (Middle English):

    A torch in the original sense of ‘something soaked in an inflammable substance used to give light’ was often made of twisted hemp or other fibres. This is still the American meaning, and reflects the word's Latin origin, torquere ‘to twist’. Only in British English can torch describe a battery-powered electric lamp, which Americans call a flashlight. A torch song is a sad or sentimental song of unrequited love, whose name, used since the 1920s, comes from the phrase carry a torch for, ‘to love someone who does not love you in return’. The image in pass on the torch, ‘to pass on a tradition, especially one of learning or enlightenment’, is that of the runners in a relay race passing on the torch to each other, as was the custom in the ancient Greek Olympic Games. The Latin source of torch, torquere, is found in a large number of other English words. Most obviously it is the source of the engineer's torque (late 19th century), and the twisted Celtic neck-ring the torc (mid 19th century). Less obviously it is in contort (Late Middle English) ‘twist together’; distort (Late Middle English) ‘twist out of shape’; extort (early 16th century) ‘twist out of’; and retort (Late Middle English) ‘to twist back’ (the chemical apparatus gets its name from its twisted shape). Tortura ‘twisting, torment’ the Latin noun formed from the verb gives us torture and tortuous (both LME), and torment (Middle English). Thwart (Middle English) is an Old Norse word that goes back to the same Indo-European root.

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