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Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English thraven, from Old English þrafian (to press; urge; compel; rebuke; argue; contend), from Proto-Germanic *þrabōną (to press; drive), from Proto-Indo-European *trep- (to scamper; trample; quake; tread). Cognate with Saterland Frisian troawje, droawje (to trot), West Frisian drave (to trot), Dutch draven (to lope; trot), German traben (to trot), Swedish trava (to trot), Icelandic þrefa (to wrangle; dispute).


thrave (third-person singular simple present thraves, present participle thraving, simple past and past participle thraved)

  1. (transitive, Britain, dialectal) To urge; compel; importune.
Related terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English thrave, threve, thrafe, from Old Norse þrefi (a bunch or handful of sheaves), related to Old Norse þrifa (to grasp). Cognate with Swedish trave, Danish trave.

Alternative forms[edit]


thrave (plural thraves)

  1. (Britain, dialectal) A sheaf; a handful.
  2. (Britain, dialectal, obsolete) Twenty-four (or in some places, twelve) sheaves of wheat; a shock, or stook.
  3. (Britain, dialectal, obsolete) Two dozen, or similar indefinite number; a bunch; a throng.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for thrave in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)