Printable Version
Pronunciation: thrêst Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb

Meaning: 1. Ram suddenly and violently in a specific direction. 2. To extend, jut, project conspicuously, as a steeple might 'thrust into the sky' 3. To advance forcibly, powerfully. 4. To impose powerfully, foist, compel (someone) to deal with something, as 'to have additional work thrust on you'.

Notes: This word does not change in the past tense or past participle. It does have present tense (thrusts) and present participle (thrusting) forms. It has large extended family. Someone who thrusts in any sense is a thruster. The adjective thrustful means "energetic, pushful". Otherwise the present participle, thrusting, may be used a regular adjective or action noun.

In Play: Thrusting characterizes swordsmanship in fencing, though it occurs elsewhere: "The tattooed woman thrust her arms between Oscar and the man in front of him in order to break in line." The sense of this word may boil down to just "sudden": "Because of the shame thrust on his manhood, Oscar responded by pushing her back out of line."

Word History: Today's Good Word entered English from Old Norse thrysta "to press, push", which descended from PIE see treud- "to press, push", source also of English threat, Latin trudere "to bump, poke", Albanian trysni "pressure, oppression", Welsh trwm "heavy", Irish trom "heavy" (pushing down), Russian trud "labor", Serbian truditi "to work", Swedish trast "thrust", Norwegian trost "thrust", and Gujarati thraśsa "thrust". Often double T (TT) reduces to ST. If the suffix -t were added to the stem treud-, that final D would assimilate to T, giving the double T which would have quite normally resolved into an ST. (Now let's bow in grateful reverence to our old friend wordmaster William Hupy for supplying us with the nudge to examine today's glorious Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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