Definition of throes in US English:


plural noun

  • Intense or violent pain and struggle, especially accompanying birth, death, or great change.

    ‘he convulsed in his death throes’
    • ‘Perhaps what is said here does just represent the death throes of an ideology whose day is done.’
    • ‘Bolli's vocal trick is to stand in another room yowling as if in her death throes.’
    • ‘If you look at what the dictionary says about throes, it can still be a violent period - the throes of a revolution.’
    • ‘For some Newsom had the voice of a heavenly creature; for others she sounded like a whiny but tenacious cat in the throes of death.’
    • ‘This is the narration by someone who is undergoing death throes.’
    • ‘You can't expect the average couch potato to see the irony in the fact that a TV pathologist was being used to promote a company in its death throes.’
    • ‘This was the era when Cubism was in its birth throes, when Picasso and Braque were embarking on an artistic revolution.’
    • ‘Dookeran has been brought back for one reason: to shore up the image of a flagging party and a leader who is in his political death throes.’
    • ‘Do you think we are seeing the empire in its death throes?’
    • ‘And in the continuing fiasco of the new parliament building, I see the death throes of another proud Scottish archetype.’
    • ‘What is key to the current world, Wallerstein argues, is that we are now witnessing the death throes of the world system itself.’
    • ‘Cheney says this insurgency is in its last throes.’
    • ‘Unable to bear the death throes of her love affair, she becomes by turns desperate and tenacious, acting out with unbridled fury.’
    • ‘If the first world war forged Hitler's character and politics, it was the death throes of the French empire in Algiers that made Le Pen the man he is today.’
    • ‘Independent cinema in its various guises isn't in its death throes yet.’
    • ‘What emerges is a bigger, broader picture - a new world of pop in its birth throes.’
    • ‘His words of "Love your enemies", carefully cross-cut against his prayers for the tormentors forgiveness during his throes on the cross is a powerful piece of editing work.’
    • ‘The video ends with the hanging of the Preacher, the final shot showing his legs twitching in their death throes.’
    agony, pain, paroxysm, pangs, suffering, torture, torment, anguish, distress, hardship, struggle
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  • in the throes of

    • In the middle of doing or dealing with something very difficult or painful.

      ‘a friend was in the throes of a divorce’
      • ‘The country would appear to be in the throes of what criminologists might call mild moral panic.’
      • ‘The harshness of these practices would suggest that we are in the throes of an epidemic of school violence.’
      • ‘About six years ago I holidayed at the Barrier at a place called Paradise Park, run by a couple in the throes of divorce.’
      • ‘Lost in the throes of passion, they keep scuttling onto the court.’
      • ‘The following lines may have been written in the throes of delirium, but this is how it sounded to me.’
      • ‘And even when she was in the throes of chemotherapy Brigette wouldn't let her illness get the better of her.’
      • ‘But the evocation of a post-WWI society in the throes of great change is engrossing and entertaining.’
      • ‘But if anyone has an excuse to be in the throes of depression it's Harwell.’
      • ‘I hear that our great Republic is in the throes of what is being called the Great Depression.’
      • ‘Exports to the US, which was already in the throes of a slowdown, fell particularly sharply.’
      • ‘He embraces his newfound friend in the throes of passion and turns to look at me, his eyes full of mirth.’
      • ‘An apparently liberated professional woman is caught in the throes of a struggle for empowerment.’
      • ‘They will become drug addicts in the throes of being involved in this industry.’
      • ‘All was to be explained; Wellington was in the throes of a building boom.’
      • ‘A large man deep in the throes of late middle age appears in the living room.’
      • ‘The Royal Bank was in the throes of negotiating a new lease for a planned 300,000 sq ft replacement building.’
      • ‘Once more, the country is caught in the throes of yet another round of chaotic activity at the university.’
      • ‘One minute we can be talking about something completely unrelated to the subject and the next we're fully in the throes of it all.’
      • ‘Only in 1930-31 did it become apparent that the world was in the throes of a prolonged and deep depression.’
      struggling with, wrestling with, grappling with, tackling, toiling at, toiling with, labouring at, slaving at, working at, working on
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Middle English throwe (singular); perhaps related to Old English thrēa, thrawu ‘calamity’, influenced by thrōwian ‘suffer’.