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From Middle English thresshen, threshen, threschen, from Old English þrescan, from Proto-Germanic *þreskaną.

Compare West Frisian terskje, Dutch dorsen, Low German dörschen, German dreschen, Danish tærske, Swedish tröska, Yiddish דרעשן(dreshn). Doublet of thrash.


  • enPR: thrĕsh, IPA(key): /θɹɛʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛʃ


thresh (third-person singular simple present threshes, present participle threshing, simple past and past participle threshed)

  1. (transitive, agriculture) To separate the grain from the straw or husks (chaff) by mechanical beating, with a flail or machinery.
  2. (transitive, literary) To beat soundly, usually with some tool such as a stick or whip; to drub.
  3. (intransitive, literary) To violently toss the limbs about.
    • 1967, J. A. Baker, The Peregrine, page 41:
      The jay fell all lopsidedly and threshing, as though it were having a fit. The ground killed it.


Derived terms[edit]