Definition of thresh in US English:



[with object]
  • 1Separate grain from (a plant), typically with a flail or by the action of a revolving mechanism.

    ‘machinery that can reap and thresh corn in the same process’
    • ‘In Torajaland in Indonesia I bought a carving of a woman threshing rice, a miniature replica of a life-sized death effigy.’
    • ‘As in any year, the combine should be properly set to gather, thresh, and separate all the beans from the plants to minimize losses and damage.’
    • ‘When they had secured Charles's crops, and threshed his corn, the only thing remaining to them was to return home.’
    • ‘Mrs. Steavens recalls Antonia helping Ambrosch thresh wheat in the fields yet again, and herding the cattle.’
    • ‘The meadows and crops of corn fell to his mow bar and in the back end he came along with the Garvey Threshing mill to thresh the oats.’
    • ‘And on Sunday nine old-style threshing mills were at work, threshing oats grown on the farm of Philip and Ann Whitford.’
    • ‘The mills threshed oats and barley as well as wheat.’
    • ‘On long sections of narrow roads, farmers will appropriate a section for drying corn, or threshing red beans or millet.’
    • ‘On several occasions I passed men on horse-drawn buggies and women threshing wheat by hand.’
    • ‘This could affect threshing efficiency since tailings are returned directly to a combine's rotor or cylinder for rethreshing.’
    • ‘John Deane was threshing corn at the bottom of the field and it is hard to believe that this machine was not used for over 40 years.’
    • ‘The hired girls especially identify with the plough; they all had to help their families with the farms: herding cattle, growing crops, and threshing wheat.’
    • ‘Yields for dryland crops will be low, making it difficult to keep enough material flowing into the combine to effectively thresh the crop without excessive damage to kernels and beans.’
    • ‘It stripped the grain from the stalks and threshed them to separate the grain from the ears.’
    • ‘It would appear that field crops were threshed and sieved in other locations, perhaps in the vicinity of nearby farmhouses, in the fields, or on threshing floors around the perimeter of the site.’
    • ‘The bread from the first piles of newly threshed grain is known as basik.’
    • ‘When grain is threshed the seeds are separated from the husk and the rest of the ear.’
    • ‘Farmers in developing nations use roads for drying and threshing grain as well as for transportation.’
    • ‘Jefferson was thus able to thresh the wheat from one field, then have the threshing machine follow the harvesters to the granary in the next field.’
    • ‘Prior to the 1790s farmers in Europe and America threshed their wheat much the same as their predecessors had done since Biblical times.’
    squirm, writhe, wiggle, jiggle, jerk, flounder, flail, twitch, turn, twist, twist and turn, zigzag
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  • 2

    variant spelling of thrash
    • ‘I cashed in ideas I already had for writing, threshing around among scraps of paper, notebooks, and lists of things to do that were piled on my desk.’
    • ‘The frenzy of participation reaches its acme during the immersion that concludes the festival, when thousands of worshippers thresh around the icons as they are taken in convoy to the Arabian Sea.’
    • ‘And then she lashes out, brandishing her weapon and again there is an irruption of violence, a struggle on the floor, bodies threshing.’
    • ‘The shark was threshing wildly now as it was brought alongside, crimson blood gushing from its mouth and the open gills slits.’
    flap, flutter, move up and down, thrash, wave, shake, swing, agitate, quiver, tremble, vibrate, oscillate
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Old English therscan, later threscan, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch dorsen and German dreschen. Compare with thrash.