Denotation vs. Connotation


[thresh] /θrɛʃ/
verb (used with object)
to separate the grain or seeds from (a cereal plant or the like) by some mechanical means, as by beating with a flail or by the action of a threshing machine.
to beat as if with a flail.
verb (used without object)
to thresh wheat, grain, etc.
to deliver blows as if with a flail.
the act of threshing.
Verb phrases
thresh out/over. thrash (def 12).
Also, thrash.
Origin of thresh
before 900; Middle English threschen, thresshen, Old English threscan; cognate with German dreschen, Gothic thriskan; akin to Dutch dorsen, Old Norse thriskja
Related forms
rethresh, verb (used with object)
unthreshed, adjective
Can be confused
thrash, thresh. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for threshing
Historical Examples
  • The threshing floor for cañihua is a large blanket laid on the ground.

    Inca Land Hiram Bingham
  • Suddenly she remembered the night which they had spent in the threshing yard.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • While the women reap, the men gather the bundles and bind them for the threshing floor.

    Oriental Women Edward Bagby Pollard
  • These operations were interspersed with plowing and threshing.

  • There were harvest festivals, at which the peasants danced on the threshing floor.

    Little Erik of Sweden Madeline Brandeis
  • Next it was for me to throw a lasso over that threshing tail.

    Tales of Fishes Zane Grey
  • The cost of harvesting and threshing such crops is also greater, relatively, than of those of medium growth.

  • We pitched on the threshing floor between the village and the castle.

  • Once I was present when a large number of the Amahole, or subject tribes, were threshing.

    South and South Central Africa H. Frances Davidson
  • He's out working with Sam Brown at the threshing all morning since seven o'clock.

    The Drone Rutherford Mayne
British Dictionary definitions for threshing


to beat or rub stalks of ripe corn or a similar crop either with a hand implement or a machine to separate the grain from the husks and straw
(transitive) to beat or strike
(intransitive) often foll by about. to toss and turn; thrash
the act of threshing
Word Origin
Old English threscan; related to Gothic thriskan, Old Norse thriskja; see thrash
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for threshing



Old English þrescan, þerscan "to beat, sift grain by trampling or beating," from Proto-Germanic *threskanan "to thresh," originally "to tread, to stamp noisily" (cf. Middle Dutch derschen, Dutch dorschen, Old High German dreskan, German dreschen, Old Norse þreskja, Gothic þriskan), from PIE root *tere- "to rub, turn" (see throw).

The basic notion is of treading out wheat under foot of men or oxen, later, with the advent of the flail, the word acquired its modern extended sense of "to knock, beat, strike." The original Germanic sense is suggested by the use of the word in Romanic languages that borrowed it, e.g. Italian trescare "to prance," Old French treschier "to dance," Spanish triscar "to stamp the feet."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
threshing in the Bible
Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for thresh

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for threshing

Scrabble Words With Friends