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[hurl] /hɜrl/
verb (used with object)
to throw or fling with great force or vigor.
to throw or cast down.
to utter with vehemence:
to hurl insults at the umpire.
verb (used without object)
to throw a missile.
Baseball. to pitch a ball.
a forcible or violent throw; fling.
Origin of hurl
1175-1225; Middle English hurlen, equivalent to hur- (perhaps akin to hurry) + -len -le; akin to Low German hurreln to toss, Frisian hurreln to roar (said of the wind), dialectal German hurlen to roll, rumble (said of thunder)
Related forms
hurler, noun
outhurl, verb (used with object)
unhurled, adjective
Can be confused
hurdle, hurl, hurtle.
1. cast, pitch. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hurl
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Or should he hurl himself from the wall, once he gained the top?

    Carmen Ariza Charles Francis Stocking
  • Then he would seize brands from the fire and hurl them into the pack.

    White Fang Jack London
  • It is almost essential to let go the stone at the right moment, otherwise it will hurl you.

  • But for Germany, France, England to fight, to hurl millions of men at each other!

    The Cruise of the Dry Dock T. S. Stribling
  • Earl pretended to be making violent efforts to hurl Ensal off of himself, but this was merely a feint.

    The Hindered Hand Sutton E. Griggs
British Dictionary definitions for hurl


(transitive) to throw or propel with great force
(transitive) to utter with force; yell: to hurl insults
(Scot) (hʌrl). to transport or be transported in a driven vehicle
the act or an instance of hurling
(Scot) (hʌrl). a ride in a driven vehicle
Derived Forms
hurler, noun
Word Origin
C13: probably of imitative origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for hurl

early 13c., hurlen, "to run against (each other), come into collision," later "throw forcibly" (c.1300); "rush violently" (late 14c.); perhaps related to Low German hurreln "to throw, to dash," and East Frisian hurreln "to roar, to bluster." OED suggests all are from an imitative Germanic base *hurr "expressing rapid motion;" see also hurry. The noun is attested from late 14c., originally "rushing water." For difference between hurl and hurtle (which apparently were confused since early Middle English) see hurtle.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for hurl



  1. To pitch: after hurling five frames in three games (1908+ Baseball)
  2. o vomit: Somebody hurled, which was so gross it made somebody else hurl (1992+)
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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