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[throh-bak] /ˈθroʊˌbæk/
an act of throwing back.
a setback or check.
the reversion to an ancestral or earlier type or character; atavism.
an example of this.
Origin of throwback
1855-60; 1915-20 for def 3; noun use of verb phrase throw back Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for throwback
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • You're sort of a throwback to the days when they needed barnstormers to correct bad working-conditions, aren't you?

    Nine Men in Time Noel Miller Loomis
  • Mr. Mix gave her a look which was a throwback to his cave-man ancestry.

    Rope Holworthy Hall
  • It was, true to form, a throwback, similar safety devices having proven unsuccessful much earlier.

  • This is a throwback to an earlier age when the modern state was not yet invented.

    After the Rain Sam Vaknin
  • He was lighter—perhaps a throwback to some distant age when all sturgeon were white—and thus he was the easiest to see.

    The Spell of the White Sturgeon James Arthur Kjelgaard
British Dictionary definitions for throwback


  1. a person, animal, or plant that has the characteristics of an earlier or more primitive type
  2. a reversion to such an organism
verb (adverb)
(intransitive) to revert to an earlier or more primitive type
(transitive) foll by on. to force to depend (on): the crisis threw her back on her faith in God
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 throwback

"reversion to an ancestral type or character," 1888, from throw (v.) + back (adv.); earlier it meant "a reverse in a course or progress, a relapse" (1856).

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

throw away

verb phrase

To deliver a ''throwaway'' line, joke, etc: I love the way he threw away that misquotation from Plato (1934+ Show business)

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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