Definition of throwback in English:



  • 1A reversion to an earlier ancestral characteristic:

    ‘the eyes could be an ancestral throwback’
    • ‘Ben is a genetic throwback to Neanderthal man, shunned by family and society for his stupidity and ugliness.’
    • ‘What if, instead, the attraction is an atavistic throwback to the prehistoric human fascination with telling takes?’
    • ‘Aidan was a genetic throwback, apparently, with pale skin and pale hair that was similar to that belonging to several of the family's relations.’
    • ‘We must clean house and send every one of these evolutionary throwbacks to the pond from which they slithered.’
    • ‘Three-foot tall individuals do not mean an evolutionary throwback.’
    • ‘Included in his thesis was the contention that notions of family and community - based around altruistic ties - were throwbacks to more primitive forms of society.’
    • ‘So why must all men look like atavistic throwbacks?’
    • ‘He came to view born criminals less as evolutionary throwbacks and more in terms of arrested development and degeneracy.’
    • ‘These atavistic hind legs are nothing less than throwbacks to a totally pre-whale stage of their existence, some fifty million years ago.’
    • ‘As already mentioned, one of the possible throwbacks to the past is our love of swimming.’
    send back, throw back, cast back, give back, bounce back, shine back, return, mirror
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    1. 1.1 A person or thing having the characteristics of a former time:
      ‘a lot of his work is a throwback to the fifties’
      • ‘Last year the poet hit the headlines when he turned down the opportunity to be made an OBE, saying the award was a throwback to the days of the defunct British Empire.’
      • ‘The silver-haired Virginian with courtly manners is a throwback to a forgotten era of congressional comity.’
      • ‘But with agricultural advances, shepherds are becoming an anachronism - a throwback to a time long before the advent of the Honda quad bike.’
      • ‘Rudin is a throwback to an earlier era when apprenticeship loomed larger than academia in professional training.’
      • ‘He was a throwback to the type of player Scotland used to produce and it was a pleasure to watch him play.’
      • ‘It's a quote that sounds like a throwback to preintegration days.’
      • ‘Warner is a throwback to the quarterbacks of old.’
      • ‘At first sound, the Beatles seemed a throwback to the rockabilly 50s.’
      • ‘Some say a new Florida law is a throwback to the Wild West.’
      • ‘Google's design has been mimicked on the search pages of MSN and Yahoo, whose portals are messy throwbacks to the ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ school of Web design.’
      • ‘He told Scotland on Sunday: ‘I think the Tories know they can portray him as a throwback to Old Labour.’’
      • ‘Compared to the other semi-finalists here, the Italians were criticised for representing a throwback to a bygone, defensive mentality.’
      • ‘Perhaps this is a throwback to my kitchen days when the restaurant's French chef would share an after-work bottle of red with his hard-labouring team.’
      • ‘Yes, he may be a throwback to a former and, in many ways, best-forgotten age in which golf was populated mainly by right-wing reactionaries.’
      • ‘So is this new trend a throwback to the 1980s and the heady fragrances which reeked of sex and were banned from select restaurants because they put people off their meals?’
      • ‘They're a throwback to the cathedral towns of the Middle Ages - part resort, part market place, part town square and part extended family.’
      • ‘The new album is an evolution, not a throwback, but it does contain references to every stage of U2's career.’
      • ‘This year has seen a number of films that feel like throwbacks to the 70s, and I like that.’
      • ‘The Persians who live in Los Angeles describe Meybodi as the Larry King of Iran, but he's more dignified than that, a throwback to an earlier age of TV talk shows.’
      • ‘Right off the bat I should say that just because this record has all kinds of '80s throwbacks on it doesn't immediately qualify it as a throwback album.’