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[throb] /θrɒb/
verb (used without object), throbbed, throbbing.
to beat with increased force or rapidity, as the heart under the influence of emotion or excitement; palpitate.
to feel or exhibit emotion:
He throbbed at the happy thought.
to pulsate; vibrate:
The cello throbbed.
the act of throbbing.
a violent beat or pulsation, as of the heart.
any pulsation or vibration:
the throb of engines.
Origin of throb
1325-75; Middle English *throbben, implied in present participle throbbant throbbing < ?
Related forms
throbber, noun
throbbingly, adverb
outthrob, verb (used with object), outthrobbed, outthrobbing.
unthrobbing, adjective
3. See pulsate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for throbbed
Historical Examples
  • Now it sounded louder as the breeze stirred; now fainter when it shifted, so that a mournful echo only throbbed in my ears.

    The Little Red Foot Robert W. Chambers
  • He spent a late hour with Mrs. Alsager, an hour that throbbed with calculation.

    Nona Vincent Henry James
  • It throbbed faintly as it still struggled with the spear in its vitals.

    The Forgotten Planet Murray Leinster
  • What were the central ideas that throbbed in the breasts of its heroes and martyrs?

    Humanity in the City E. H. Chapin
  • He could not tell whether it was his own blood that throbbed, or whether hers spoke to his, through living veins.

    The Guests Of Hercules C. N. Williamson and A. M. Williamson
  • At this point her hull had throbbed with air, movement, life; at this point all had been well.

    Under Arctic Ice H.G. Winter
  • But where were they whose beating hearts had throbbed with deep devotion?

  • His brain, inflamed and racked by the strain, throbbed in his head.

    Spring Street James H. Richardson
  • An awful pause followed the announcementa pause that throbbed with the despair of brave men.

    Peggy Owen Patriot Lucy Foster Madison
  • But the lapse of time was naught to her, nor the fever that throbbed in her head.

British Dictionary definitions for throbbed


verb (intransitive) throbs, throbbing, throbbed
to pulsate or beat repeatedly, esp with increased force: to throb with pain
(of engines, drums, etc) to have a strong rhythmic vibration or beat
the act or an instance of throbbing, esp a rapid pulsation as of the heart: a throb of pleasure
Derived Forms
throbbing, adjective
throbbingly, adverb
Word Origin
C14: perhaps 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 throbbed



mid-14c., of uncertain origin, perhaps meant to represent in sound the pulsation of arteries and veins or the heart. Related: Throbbed; throbbing. The noun is first attested 1570s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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throbbed in Medicine

throb (thrŏb)
v. throbbed, throb·bing, throbs
To beat rapidly or perceptibly, such as occurs in the heart or a constricted blood vessel. n.
A strong or rapid beat; a pulsation.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Slang definitions & phrases for throbbed


Related Terms


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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