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From Middle English throbben; possibly of imitative origin.


  • enPR: thrŏb, IPA(key): /θɹɒb/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒb


throb (third-person singular simple present throbs, present participle throbbing, simple past and past participle throbbed)

  1. (intransitive) To pound or beat rapidly or violently.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  2. (intransitive) To vibrate or pulsate with a steady rhythm.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  3. (intransitive, of a body part) To pulse (often painfully) in time with the circulation of blood.
    (Can we add an example for this sense?)
  4. (figurative, with "with") To exhibit an attitude, trait, or affect powerfully and profoundly.
    • 1977 April 23, Arlene Silva, “Suzanne Fox's Silent Stories”, in Gay Community News, page 10:
      Having been married and divorced, Suzanne throbs with attitudes of strength, liberation and equality.

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throb (plural throbs)

  1. A beating, vibration or palpitation.
    • 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: [] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] [], →OCLC:
      My bosom was now bare, and rising in the warmest throbs, presented to his sight and feeling the firm hard swell of a pair of young breasts, such as may be imagin'd of a girl not sixteen, fresh out of the country

Derived terms[edit]