Definition of throb in US English:



[no object]
  • 1Beat or sound with a strong, regular rhythm; pulsate steadily.

    ‘the war drums throbbed’
    figurative ‘the crowded streets throbbed with life’
    • ‘A vibrant pulse of humanity throbbed in the shops and on the streets.’
    • ‘The place throbbed to the rhythm of pneumatic drills as dozens of new tourist complexes took shape to cater for local demand.’
    • ‘At the touch, my heart throbbed with an overwhelming joy.’
    • ‘When the energy runs through the pineal gland, it will throb and pulsate as mentioned by HunterWolf.’
    • ‘The stadium, packed to the rafters, throbbed to a pulsating Celtic soundtrack.’
    • ‘Ribbons of amber laced themselves about the coals, and throbbed with a dim light.’
    • ‘Then the drought broke, and for a few years the underworld throbbed with life.’
    • ‘The music was flowing all around her, pulsating, throbbing, sweeping her up and carrying her away with it.’
    • ‘Flashbulbs pop with resonance, the ship's engine throbbed with power.’
    • ‘The pulsating vein that was throbbing on my temple may have betrayed my initial intention though.’
    • ‘His mind throbbed with greater insistency at the startling conclusion that had presented itself.’
    • ‘The concluding Samba throbbed with rhythmic intensity and interpretive individuality.’
    • ‘Our hostel in Miami Beach throbbed with an infectious party atmosphere.’
    • ‘He literally could feel his pulse throbbing through his entire body, his vital drum in a way.’
    • ‘Mumbai throbs with a metropolitan pulse as strongly as New York or Hong Kong.’
    • ‘On the bright side, her head was just a minor throb and the pain in her chest had calmed.’
    • ‘The Warm and Fuzzys are well known for their fun factor and throbbing sound systems.’
    • ‘Her voice sang in perfect harmony with her instrument, and her heart throbbed with the pulse of a true balladeer.’
    • ‘New York City throbbed with a vibrant energy, just as it always did.’
    • ‘It throbs like the heartbeat of a newborn or the rhythm of a drum.’
    • ‘Her heart had pounded every second of the dinner, beating a rhythm that seemed to throb his name.’
    pulsate, beat, pulse, palpitate, pound, thud, thump, hammer, drum, thrum, reverberate, vibrate, pitter-patter, go pit-a-pat, quiver
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    1. 1.1 Feel pain in a series of regular beats.
      ‘her foot throbbed with pain’
      ‘a throbbing headache’
      • ‘She had a major, throbbing headache and there was really nothing to lose.’
      • ‘Her right ankle throbbed steadily and the smell of sharp herbs was coming from somewhere close.’
      • ‘His muscles already throbbed with pain and this wasn't helping a bit.’
      • ‘The wound had healed somewhat but still throbbed with slight pain.’
      • ‘Heads throbbing, Celinda finally awoke to a heart throbbing headache.’
      • ‘My head throbbed with the force of a thousand attacks at once and I could feel the painful sensation worsening with each pulse of my heart.’
      • ‘His leg was throbbing terribly now and he felt just a little dizzy.’
      • ‘The sun had passed the high mark and started down toward late afternoon, and his arm was throbbing badly.’
      • ‘A repeat accident was on the verge and her upper arm throbbed violently and warningly.’
      • ‘Her toes, pinched in the sandals, cried out for liberation and her poor heel throbbed with a developing blister.’
      • ‘she asked as she sat up, her ankle throbbing dully as she did.’
      • ‘He ached all over, his broken ankle throbbed with stabs of pain, and he was incredibly short of breath.’
      • ‘I winched as I felt my leg throbbing again.’
      • ‘His head wasn't pounding anymore but it throbbed mercilessly making the room spin.’
      • ‘My blood became as thick as pudding, and my head throbbed with pain.’
      • ‘His foot was throbbing madly, but he gave the door another kick, muttering more curses under his breath.’
      • ‘My head was now throbbing painfully, and I had released him.’
      • ‘She stayed standing, though her leg throbbed with blinding pain.’
      • ‘Over and over again, until the cell rang with the dull sounds and his head throbbed to the terrible beat.’
      • ‘Darius scowled blackly at the memory, his head still throbbing painfully from the spy's vicious assault.’
      ache, aching, soreness, hurt, throb, throbbing, smarting, pricking, sting, stinging, twinge, shooting pain, stab, pang, spasm
      hurt, cause pain, be painful, be sore, ache, smart, burn, prickle, sting, pinch, twinge, cause discomfort, be tender
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  • 1usually in singular A strong, regular beat or sound; a steady pulsation.

    ‘the throb of the ship's engines’
    • ‘Surrounded by dozens, she danced alone, eyes closed, her body feeling the pounding throb of the relentless bass beat.’
    • ‘She listened to her heartbeat as it thudded in her chest, and she felt the throb of Jason's heart beating through his chest as he lay against her.’
    • ‘Check out the Kraftwerk-like throb and distanced lyricism of March, the second movement of Phil Kline's The Blue Room and Other Stories.’
    • ‘The only sound that filled the room was a high-pitched throb.’
    • ‘The town is really just three main streets, South Street and Market Street and North Street, and about them bubbles a decorous throb of industriousness.’
    • ‘She let out a sigh of relief as she felt the comforting throb of Sasaki's pulse in her fingers combined with her shallow breathing.’
    • ‘His blood throbbed the throb of a deep drum; he tensed himself to strike.’
    • ‘He could feel its palpitations and hear the insistent throb of blood in his veins.’
    • ‘Slowly, a rhythm grew inside my bosom, resulting in a pulsating throb of emotion from the bow to the instrument.’
    • ‘The riff is undeniable and the bass throb is sleazy, but it would sound like hell worked into a DJ set.’
    • ‘A throb came to their ears, emanating from the ship's engines.’
    • ‘Ease on in to the cool interior and the steady throb of the reggae beat tells you that you are in Marley Country.’
    • ‘As they drove along in silence, the sound of the wipers and the throb of the engine the only real sounds on this Sunday night, Karen waited for something from Roger.’
    • ‘The hum of high-powered machinery enveloped him instantly, the throb of massive generators pulsing through the room.’
    • ‘Sometimes the tape threatens to break up under the accumulated weight of Masuko's bass drum and the low throb of Fujii's synth.’
    • ‘In the distance, you hear the throb of drums from a workshop or a spontaneous drum-jam.’
    • ‘How many Pagans are solitary because they can't handle the constant throb and beat and intrusion?’
    • ‘There is a throb of constant excitement, an irrepressible energy as palpable as the tangled screech of a bird chorus in the wash, glow and lightness before sunrise.’
    • ‘So it was that the faint throb of a boat engine and then the definite sound of contact between craft and rock resounded from the cliffs, reaching those on shore.’
    • ‘Occasionally the drumline rides on a steady electronic throb, but that's it.’
    pulsation, beat, beating, pulse, pulsating, palpitation, pounding, thud, thudding, thump, thumping, hammering, drumming, thrum, thrumming, reverberation, vibration, pit-a-pat, pitter-patter, quivering
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    1. 1.1 A feeling of pain in a series of regular beats.
      • ‘Ignore the steady throb in your rapidly-swelling ankle, and the tearing pain in your knee.’
      • ‘I contemplated sitting up, but a throb of pain from my shoulder threw that idea out the window.’
      • ‘As if in agreement, her arm gave another painful throb.’
      • ‘It doesn't hurt as much as throb and that sensitive pain when I eat something hot or cold.’
      • ‘Perhaps it was the dull throb of pain or the tyre mark on my shoe that put me in a particularly vicious mood.’
      • ‘But the house standing behind me and a throb of pain in my hand wouldn't let me move.’
      • ‘The dull pain, not even a throb, just a constant, nagging ache, seems to be inside your body, deep inside, rattling your bones, if that were possible.’
      • ‘The pain in my arm had subsided to a dull throb and we both fell asleep straight away, completely exhausted.’
      • ‘The excited rhythm… overwhelms the pulsing throb of my headache".’
      • ‘He forced himself onto his knees, ignoring the dull throb of pain that threatened to flare up any second and crawled a few inches, feeling the air blindly in front of him, before stopping to listen.’
      • ‘My eyes glued shut when I coughed and as I did so, a huge throb of pain went to my head again.’
      • ‘He had the pain under better control now; it was still there, but as a steady dull throb.’
      • ‘I reached out and poked it only to be rewarded with a throb of pain.’
      • ‘It was not a blind, stabbing pain, but just a throb and a twinge.’
      • ‘I still had all my indistinctive cuts, and the pulsating throb on my arm, beautiful quivering under the pressure of the gauze, wasn't helping much.’
      • ‘A white-hot throb of pain lanced through his leg, from ankle to knee.’
      • ‘The dull throb of joint pain and her increasing inability to make sense of the goings-on around her, kept her in one spot more and more.’
      • ‘A distant throb ached in my head and I pressed the heels of my palms against my eyes; trying to drive out the shrillness in Niko's voice as he continued to yell across the field.’
      • ‘Then a pulsing throb like the beginnings of a migraine started deep in my temples.’
      • ‘Raven was about to respond scathingly but her wrist give an extra painful throb.’


Late Middle English: probably imitative.