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thwart

[thwawrt] /θwɔrt/
verb (used with object)
1.
to oppose successfully; prevent from accomplishing a purpose.
2.
to frustrate or baffle (a plan, purpose, etc.).
3.
Archaic.
  1. to cross.
  2. to extend across.
noun
4.
a seat across a boat, especially one used by a rower.
5.
a transverse member spreading the gunwales of a canoe or the like.
adjective
6.
passing or lying crosswise or across; cross; transverse.
7.
perverse; obstinate.
8.
adverse; unfavorable.
preposition, adverb
9.
across; athwart.
Origin of thwart
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English thwert (adv.) < Old Norse thvert across, neuter of thverr transverse; cognate with Old English thweorh crooked, cross, Gothic thwairhs cross, angry
Related forms
thwartedly, adverb
thwarter, noun
unthwarted, adjective
unthwarting, adjective
Synonyms
1. hinder, obstruct. Thwart, frustrate, baffle imply preventing one, more or less completely, from accomplishing a purpose. Thwart and frustrate apply to purposes, actions, plans, etc., baffle, to the psychological state of the person thwarted. Thwart suggests stopping one by opposing, blocking, or in some way running counter to one's efforts. Frustrate implies rendering all attempts or efforts useless or ineffectual, so that nothing ever comes of them. Baffle suggests causing defeat by confusing, puzzling, or perplexing, so that a situation seems too hard a problem to understand or solve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for thwart
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By this means we shall know their plots, and will thwart them, you by listening to my enemies and I to yours.

    Droll Stories, Complete Honore de Balzac
  • If it please you to take a leap into nothing it were pity to thwart you.

    Micah Clarke Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Catherine never went more directly to her own ends than in just such schemes which appeared to thwart them.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
  • He set on the thwart and bragged about what he'd do when he got back to "Petey" again.

    Cape Cod Stories Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Placing himself in an angular position on the thwart, with his right hand hold of the seat, he began to row with his left.

British Dictionary definitions for thwart

thwart

/θwɔːt/
verb
1.
to oppose successfully or prevent; frustrate: they thwarted the plan
2.
(obsolete) to be or move across
noun
3.
(nautical) a seat lying across a boat and occupied by an oarsman
adjective
4.
passing or being situated across
5.
(archaic) perverse or stubborn
preposition, adverb
6.
(obsolete) across
Derived Forms
thwartedly, adverb
thwarter, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old Norse thvert, from thverr transverse; related to Old English thweorh crooked, Old High German twerh transverse
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 thwart
adv.

c.1200, from Old Norse þvert "across," originally neuter of thverr (adj.) "transverse, across," cognate with Old English þweorh "transverse, perverse, angry, cross," from Proto-Germanic *thwerkhaz (cf. Middle Dutch dwers, Dutch dwars "cross-grained, contrary," Old High German twerh, German quer, Gothic þwairhs "angry"), altered (by influence of *thwer- "to turn") from *therkh-, from PIE *twork-/*twerk- "twist" (cf. Latin torquere "to twist," Sanskrit tarkuh "spindle," Old Church Slavonic traku "band, girdle," Old High German drahsil "turner," German drechseln "to turn on a lathe").

v.

"oppose, hinder," mid-13c., from thwart (adv.). Related: Thwarted; thwarting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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