thwart [thwawrt] /θwɔrt/ Show IPA
verb (used with object)
to oppose successfully; prevent from accomplishing a purpose.
to frustrate or baffle (a plan, purpose, etc.).
to extend across.
a seat across a boat, especially one used by a rower.
a transverse member spreading the gunwales of a canoe or the like.
passing or lying crosswise or across; cross; transverse.
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
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.