Share this entry
throes Line breaks: throes
Pronunciation: /θrəʊz/

Definition of throes in English:

plural noun

Intense or violent pain and struggle, especially accompanying birth, death, or great change: he convulsed in his death throes
More example sentences
  • Do you think we are seeing the empire in its death throes?
  • If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period - the throes of a revolution.
  • Unable to bear the death throes of her love affair, she becomes by turns desperate and tenacious, acting out with unbridled fury.
archaic travail


in the throes of
In the middle of doing or dealing with something very difficult or painful: a friend was in the throes of a divorce
More example sentences
  • A large man deep in the throes of late middle age appears in the living room.
  • Once more, the country is caught in the throes of yet another round of chaotic activity at the university.
  • I hear that our great Republic is in the throes of what is being called the Great Depression.
having to cope with, enduring, living with, weathering, braving, facing, confronting;
in the middle of, in the process of, in the course of, in the midst of, busy with, occupied in/with, taken up with/by, employed in, involved in, participating in, taking part in, absorbed in, engrossed in, immersed in, preoccupied with, carrying on, conducting, pursuing, following, practising


Middle English throwe (singular); perhaps related to Old English thrēa, thrawu 'calamity', influenced by thrōwian 'suffer'.

Definition of throes in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources