Definition of thrust in English:



  • 1 Push suddenly or violently in a 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Suddenly she thrust her fist forward and struck the wall.’
    • ‘Burly Paddy, who's at the helm, suddenly thrusts a fishing rod into my hand.’
    • ‘I shot him a look, but was soon ambushed by a sheaf of papers being thrust at me.’
    • ‘It was the shot line, and without thinking he thrust out his hand to grab it.’
    • ‘A full paper bag was thrust at her, and the door shut, leaving her in stifled silence.’
    • ‘She gasped suddenly, thrusting a hand to her head, pushing back her styled hair abruptly and entangling her fingers in it.’
    • ‘Suddenly, John is thrust into a whole new world of motion, music, camaraderie and passion.’
    • ‘It was only through the abdication of Edward VIII in 1936, that, suddenly, she was thrust into the limelight, and became our Queen.’
    • ‘I'm there again, fighting at the bar for a drink and suddenly a hand is thrust in front of me.’
    • ‘Suddenly being thrust on to the opposite side of the fence was something of a culture shock.’
    • ‘He sounded rather quizzical and calm despite the equivalent of an Uzi being thrust at his throat.’
    • ‘So how does such a creative, quietly self-possessing group of young men handle the fame and fortune that has so suddenly been thrust upon them this year?’
    • ‘Then the bowl is thrust at me with battered wooden chopsticks and a porcelain spoon.’
    • ‘They wax garrulous when mikes are thrust at them, and queue up, or SMS furiously to get on to reality shows.’
    • ‘Rae dropped his sword from tired, numb fingers, and he saw the Guardian's blade sail through the air as it was thrust at his chest.’
    • ‘It was a woman photographer, with dyed blonde hair showing from beneath her headscarf, who thrust me most violently out of her way.’
    • ‘I've got a huge family and suddenly she has been thrust into the middle of this completely different way of life.’
    • ‘An empty, demanding hand is thrust at us, and we press money into it.’
    • ‘A black van pulled up, badges were thrust at me after the door opened, and I hopped in.’
    • ‘This endless cycle of doctors being thrust at you like hot bullets from a machine gun has far too much potential for deadly mishaps and malpractice.’
    impose, force, foist, push, unload, inflict, obtrude, press, urge
    shove, push, propel, impel
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    1. 1.1[no object, with adverbial of direction]Move or advance forcibly.
      ‘she thrust through the bramble canes’
      ‘he tried to thrust his way past her’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She closed her eyes for a moment, and thrust her way through the barriers of his mind.’
      • ‘Traditional fishing methods include thrusting and scooping with baskets as well as the building of funnels and weirs from reeds and sticks.’
      • ‘Many people might have felt better knowing that ministers are also troubled by the crime monster whose tentacles appear to be thrusting unstoppably all over.’
      • ‘She thrust her way through the crowd and ran out of the gym, the heavy doors slamming loudly behind her.’
      • ‘Disregarding the two of them, he thrust expertly at Jack, who blocked effortlessly and returned the blow.’
      • ‘The social climbers thrust their way into the noble preserve not to destroy it but to make it their own.’
      • ‘Gripping the rifle tightly, Shawn thrust himself into the corridor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A hand thrust itself downwards and pushed aside a branch like a shop owner holding a door open for a customer.’
      • ‘He shouts, digging his spikes in, thrusting upward.’
      • ‘And underneath all that mock facial serenity, I wished for the lift door to thrust open and once again be released into the open.’
      • ‘Justin practices his dance moves offstage before his performances, and if you're there and looking closely, you can see him silhouetted behind the scrim, kicking and thrusting.’
      • ‘Seconds later, his body thrust forward with a force that sundered the straps holding him in the chair and he fell to the floor, dead.’
    2. 1.2[no object, with adverbial of direction]Extend so as to project conspicuously.
      ‘beside the boathouse a jetty thrust out into the water’
      • ‘Arcos, 30 kilometres east of Jerez, is perched on a huge rock which thrusts 200 metres up from the Rio Guadalete.’
      • ‘The lectern end of the hall is tucked under a volume that thrusts into the two-story space.’
      • ‘The twin towers of Petronas, the tallest in the world, stand like crystalline fingers thrusting into the dark Malaysian sky.’
      • ‘There's the big Dome standing forlorn and empty, its twelve yellow spikes thrusting defiantly into the sky.’
      • ‘Through the fog we see the distant peaks of the Kobowre Mountains, part of New Guinea's east-west backbone, which thrusts 16,000 feet skyward.’
      • ‘Sculpted masonry buildings - offices and stores - thrust up from the streets of downtown.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The form as a whole thrusts out from the neat pedestal on which it stands.’
      • ‘A long bar with a library at ground level and bedrooms above thrusts out towards the street.’
      • ‘Set midway along the main bar, the library forms the building's conceptual and physical centre, thrusting out at right angles like the truncated prow of a ship.’
    3. 1.3Force (someone) to accept or deal with something.
      ‘he felt that fame had been thrust upon him’
      • ‘It has been a while since the Manic Street Preachers thrust their manifesto upon us.’
      • ‘Forced to move against the grain of normal usage, they thrust upon us unexpected links and so make us look again at what we took for granted.’
      • ‘The claim immediately thrust the spotlight on to Hoon, whose department faces fierce criticism over its treatment of Kelly.’
      • ‘As the only ISP that thrusts its own software on us, is it a viable option?’
      • ‘The row in Montgomery has thrust the issue on to the political agenda and set the stage for a rash of similar cases.’
      • ‘Dr. David Thorpe returns this week from an extended ‘vacation,’ and he's as eager as ever to thrust his vitriol on an unsuspecting public.’
      • ‘Although she does not set out to be a crusader, she accepts the role once it is thrust upon her.’
      • ‘Care must be taken not to thrust their dreams on the children.’
      • ‘Some friends do complain and very seriously too that I involuntarily thrust my opinions upon others and get my proposals accepted.’
      • ‘The only difference is that the leader enjoys hugely grown information opportunities for thrusting the global idea on the world community.’
      • ‘Problems arise in a relationship when guys try to thrust their views on girls.’
      • ‘These settlers were respected, hard working and honest people who did not thrust their opinions upon the notice of their neighbours.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Vijay TV's journalists thrust a camera on Jyotika's face when she had come to the crematorium to pay her last respects.’
      • ‘There is discontent and he is a bit of a focus for that, but this latest outbreak has also thrust the spotlight on other potential replacements.’
      • ‘Grieving people can lose perspective and thrust their sorrow on the rest of us, as if exposing their suffering makes it more legitimate or significant.’
      • ‘Being a diplomat's wife thrusts multiple roles on her and often she has to burn the proverbial midnight oil to catch up on unfinished work on the canvas.’
      • ‘Spencer Plaza has since its inception evolved as a landmark of the present times, thrusting its presence on the city skyline.’
      • ‘A young entrepreneur named Hugh Hefner thrust his ambition upon the marketplace with a new magazine called Playboy.’
      • ‘And he writes to her from Madurai suggesting that they elope and marry as his parents will never agree for their marriage and are thrusting another girl on him.’


  • 1A sudden or violent lunge with a pointed weapon or a bodily part.

    ‘he drove the blade upwards with one powerful thrust’
    • ‘For several minutes he ducked and dived under knife thrusts, but he was tiring fast and couldn't see how he could seriously retaliate, short of disarming the man.’
    • ‘It nearly broke his heart when he heard her cry out in pain as the joint was put back into place by a powerful thrust by his palm.’
    • ‘Eventually, if he is successful, he kills the bull with a single thrust between the shoulder blades.’
    • ‘Another blow cracked at her backside, and a sweeping thrust knocked her off her feet.’
    • ‘Like most herons, they capture prey with sudden thrusts of their bills.’
    • ‘Chiyotaikai, who was handed his fourth straight loss of the 15-day tourney, went on the attack in the penultimate bout with a barrage of arm thrusts.’
    • ‘Instead of parrying, Celia crouched under the blade's arc and reprised with an upward thrust of her own weapon.’
    • ‘Palladini does not agree with those of his colleagues who believe that point thrusts should be executed with an exceptionally long lunge.’
    • ‘The girl quickly reacted to the man's attack with a strong thrust to the back of his neck.’
    • ‘Flying prey can be caught by the crocodilians leaping into the air with thrusts of their powerful tail.’
    • ‘He paused before delivering a powerful thrust that skewered the water creature beyond healing.’
    • ‘He drew his knife and threw himself into a series of lightning-quick thrusts, parries, lunges, and dodges.’
    • ‘It wasn't long before I began to predict the frogs' underwater routes by watching the wakes left by the powerful thrusts of their hind legs.’
    • ‘Sidestepping to the left will cause your character to slash in a spinning arc, while rolling forward and attacking initiates a lunging thrust.’
    • ‘Bryce's shout brought him out of the darkness with a violent thrust of his arm.’
    • ‘Likewise, contrary to the misapprehensions of fencing historians, thrusts were not delivered in stabbing or jabbing action.’
    • ‘With a powerful thrust of her tail, she pulled him to the surface.’
    • ‘He took this chance to land a quick thrust to the shoulders.’
    • ‘Lee then began to send a barrage of lightning fast thrusts and she continued to evade every single attack with a large grin on her face.’
    • ‘In individual contests the student is required to execute free techniques against frontal attacks, thrusts, etc.’
    • ‘Andris jerked back from the sudden thrust of the blade, but he'd been just a little slow.’
    • ‘At any rate, it must be said that even the best mail and padding would not be proof against a strong thrust from such weapons.’
    • ‘Michael parried the weapon with a quick thrust from his left arm and launched his tightened right fist forward.’
    • ‘She pulled back on the spear and launched it forward, but I blocked the thrust with my sword.’
    • ‘The duel began with a sudden lunge on his part; the shallow thrust was parried decisively to the right with a thin screech of metal against metal.’
    shove, push, ram, prod, poke, stab, jab, lunge, drive, barge, bump, bang, jolt, butt, knock, nudge
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    1. 1.1A forceful attack or effort.
      ‘executives led a new thrust in business development’
      • ‘Chelios, in fact, is at his best when he rubs a player out along the boards in his own end to stop an offensive thrust, then sends the puck up the ice to a teammate and joins in the rush.’
      • ‘A criticism levelled at Inveraray is that the attacking thrust is often thwarted by over-elaboration among the forwards.’
      • ‘In late March 1942, No.75 Squadron hurriedly deployed to Port Moresby in the face of initial Japanese air thrusts against the city.’
      • ‘They have described massive thrusts by armour from all sides; airborne attacks to take out Baghdad; vast seaborne raids.’
      • ‘Then, starting on April 3, U.S. divisions began making violent thrusts into Baghdad, first seizing the airport.’
      • ‘He leaped; a powerful thrust of his wings bore him away from his assailant.’
      • ‘The raids of the defenders were generally relieved by big thrusts carried out by forces far superior to those of the attackers.’
      • ‘Sparta still carry the greater thrust from midfield.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The first thrust into the city was from the western front.’
      • ‘Spectators did not have to wait long for the thrust of the second half to manifest itself.’
      • ‘By participating in such activities, the ‘new’ Irish domestic servant countered the thrust of forced assimilation.’
      • ‘At the time, Dr. Ink praised this move as gutsy, a daring thrust into enemy territory.’
      • ‘After repelling Oxford's more determined thrusts, City broke free from their shackles as a Richard Hope shot from 25 yards was deflected wide for a corner.’
      • ‘If an attacker can be made to believe that his offensive thrust will fail, then the defense will not be challenged.’
      • ‘The occasional offensive thrusts were, in fact, part of an overall defensive scheme adopted to allow the general and his staff to determine how best to counter the tribesmen.’
      advance, push, drive, charge, attack, assault, onslaught, onrush, offensive, sortie, foray, raid, sally, invasion, incursion, blitz, campaign
      barbed remark, verbal assault, verbal attack, barb, hostile remark, insult
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    2. 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’
      • ‘That's the thrust of City of York Council's transport policy, which aims to promote walking and cycling at the expense of the car.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The thrust of the attacks was that the families had the gall to ‘stand up to the government and yet expect help from the government.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Most of the bigger unions representing the public sector have quietly accepted the main thrust of the benchmarking report.’
      • ‘The main thrust of Jesus' message in verses 44-52 remains that of humility.’
      • ‘The thrust of any development initiative should be to stimulate the thinking process of the people and enable them to voice their views openly.’
      • ‘The broad thrust of the report was interesting and pertinent, but some of the recommendations invite closer examination.’
      • ‘"Ever since the 1950's, the whole thrust of our economic policy has been to broaden our economic base.’
      • ‘But is not the whole thrust of these reports against your submissions?’
      • ‘What is missing is some sense of the thrust of the propaganda effort.’
      • ‘Yes, the motives of fame and posterity are there, but the main thrust of their reasoning is that they want to stay alive.’
      • ‘The entire thrust of German policy since the 60s has been towards a corporate state.’
      • ‘Presently, the initial thrust of the business will be in the film industry.’
      • ‘But the main thrust of correspondence focused on the future of a particular medical practice.’
      • ‘The main thrust of the Green's message yesterday was that a vote against the Treaty was not a vote against enlargement.’
      • ‘A major thrust of this article is that situations and persons can affect results interactively.’
      • ‘The problem was that Mr Johnson obviously still agreed with the central thrust of the article.’
      • ‘Again I can state my conclusions relatively briefly, since here too I accept the main thrust of Miss Lieven's submissions.’
      • ‘The survey gives a valuable insight into the investigative process, and supports the general thrust of the book.’
      gist, substance, drift, implication, intention, burden, meaning, significance, signification, sense, essence, thesis, import, purport, tenor, message, spirit
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  • 2[mass noun] The propulsive force of a jet or rocket engine.

    ‘the engine was a Russian-built Nene of higher thrust than the original models’
    • ‘After liftoff, at nearly 100 percent of rated thrust, the engine throttles back momentarily.’
    • ‘Scientists scoffed at jets, believing they couldn't generate enough thrust to fly.’
    • ‘The goal of a turbofan engine is to produce thrust to drive the airplane forward.’
    • ‘Ion propulsion is a method of propulsion that uses electrical rather than chemical forces to generate thrust for a spacecraft.’
    • ‘Most (but not all) commercial jets have reverse thrust, which redirects engine thrust to help stop the aircraft.’
    • ‘The burn marks at the site did not indicate sufficient thrust to lift a large vehicle, according to Hynek.’
    • ‘The pilot, however, coolly opened his throttles and used the forward thrust of his engines to pull him to a stop.’
    • ‘Very large, lightweight propellers provide sufficient thrust to keep the airship on station.’
    • ‘But with enough rocket thrust and the correct positioning, you come back to earth.’
    • ‘Quickly the acceleration compensators countered the thrust of the engines, and he was comfortable again.’
    • ‘When a propeller produces thrust, aerodynamic and mechanical forces are present that cause the blade to vibrate.’
    • ‘In either case, the total thrust of the trijet will be more than 18,000 lb.’
    • ‘The engines available back then were going to have to be pushed about 20 percent to get the kind of thrust needed, according to Dassault.’
    • ‘The thrust vector control is fully integrated into the digital flight control system.’
    • ‘One of the most important considerations in flight is the balance of forces maintained between thrust, drag, lift, and weight.’
    • ‘This stroke must generate thrust as well as lift; it requires an airfoil with aerodynamic integrity.’
    • ‘The idea is to be as frictionless as possible, so you don't need much forward thrust to get moving.’
    • ‘A solar-powered ion engine could therefore not compete with the large thrust of a chemical rocket.’
    • ‘The propulsive thrust that can be produced by these types of waves has been calculated.’
    • ‘The thrust of the turbo-jet engine was limited at high Mach numbers by the allowable turbine inlet temperature.’
    force, motive force, propulsive force, propulsion, drive, driving force, actuation, impetus, impulse, impulsion, momentum, push, pressure, power
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    1. 2.1The lateral pressure exerted by an arch or other support in a building.
      ‘semi-domes assist in containing the thrust within the building’
      • ‘However, these geometries will exist only in a patch in the roof thrust.’
      • ‘The tubes resist lateral thrust caused by bead-cable tension forces that are contained within the overall assembly.’
      • ‘To resist lateral thrust, the design includes tie beams of posttensioned concrete beneath the foundation slab.’
      • ‘Its main longitudinal arch thrust is held by six pre-stressed concrete ties, which are fixed into the abutment foundations.’
      • ‘The result is for the roof thrust to have a greater chance of being folded.’
  • 3Geology
    A reverse fault of low angle, with older strata displaced horizontally over newer.

    • ‘Continued displacement along the thrust will result in the increasing separation of the ramp anticline from the ramp above which it originally formed.’
    • ‘Both strike-slip faults and thrusts, commonly at high angles, are present.’
    • ‘The Paunglaung Fault is a top-to-the-east thrust, which folds Aptian limestone in its footwall.’
    • ‘Further detailed studies are required to distinguish Palaeozoic structures such as thrusts, normal faults and sutures that were reactivated in Mesozoic-Cenozoic time.’
    • ‘In the north of the area towards the Main Zagros Reverse Fault, thrusts are dominant.’
    • ‘A smaller and lower intensity damage zone also occurs within the footwall of the thrust.’
    • ‘The low - angle normal faults are subparallel to the subjacent subduction thrusts.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It is not known whether the thrusts and reverse faults represent reactivated extensional basement structures or formed entirely during basin inversion.’


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’.