Definition of throstle in English:



  • 1British

    old-fashioned term for song thrush
    • ‘Coleridge also saw a bird in a larch tree, a ‘throstle’ or thrush in a larch appears in a version of what became his Dejection Ode.’
    • ‘A stone along the way shows the nest of the throstle, or thrush, no doubt because the town is sometimes referred to as the’ throstle's nest of England.’’
    • ‘But at least the throstle is still there, keeping the memory and the spirit alive and that is very important.’
  • 2historical A machine for continuously spinning wool or cotton.

    • ‘There were two kinds of throstle spinners, one kind for the warp yarn and one kind for the filling yarn.’
    • ‘Mule and ring spinning started in place of the throstle frames.’
    • ‘He had carding machinery and 9,000 throstle frame spinning spindles in a three storey building alongside the brook, and 240 looms in a weaving shed alongside Chaddock Lane.’
    • ‘Additionally, the historical development of the site appeared to reflect the progression of spinning technology through the water and throstle frames, and the self-acting mule.’
    • ‘Wider cards were introduced, lappers installed, geared speeders adopted, and ring spinning substituted for throstle frames.’


Old English, of Germanic origin, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin turdus ‘thrush’. throstle (sense 2) dates from the early 19th century and was apparently named from the humming sound of the machine.