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From Middle English, from Old English þrang, ġeþrang ‎(crowd, press, tumult), from Proto-Germanic *þrangwą, *þrangwō ‎(throng), *þrangwaz ‎(push, drive), from Proto-Indo-European *trenk(w)- ‎(to beat, hew, press). Cognate with Dutch drang ‎(urge, push, impulse), German Drang ‎(urge, drive, impulse) or Gedränge ‎(jostle, hustle, throng), Danish trang ‎(urge), Norwegian trong ‎(need), Icelandic þröng ‎(narrow, tightly pressed, crowd, throng) and Swedish trång ‎(tight, narrow). Probably related to Albanian drojë ‎(fear, fear of the crowd) and to drang ‎(huge rod, pole, oar). More at thring.


throng ‎(plural throngs)

  1. A group of people crowded or gathered closely together; a multitude.
    • Daniel
      So, with this bold opposer rushes on / This many-headed monster, multitude.
    • Milton
      Not to know me argues yourselves unknown, / The lowest of your throng.
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, The Affair at the Novelty Theatre[1]:
      Miss Phyllis Morgan, as the hapless heroine dressed in the shabbiest of clothes, appears in the midst of a gay and giddy throng; she apostrophises all and sundry there, including the villain, and has a magnificent scene which always brings down the house, and nightly adds to her histrionic laurels.
  2. A group of things; a host or swarm.




throng ‎(third-person singular simple present throngs, present participle thronging, simple past and past participle thronged)

  1. (transitive) To crowd into a place, especially to fill it.
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 5, Death on the Centre Court:
      By one o'clock the place was choc-a-bloc. [] The restaurant was packed, and the promenade between the two main courts and the subsidiary courts was thronged with healthy-looking youngish people, drawn to the Mecca of tennis from all parts of the country.
  2. (intransitive) To congregate.
  3. (transitive) To crowd or press, as persons; to oppress or annoy with a crowd of living beings.
    • Bible, Mark v. 24
      Much people followed him, and thronged him.

Related terms[edit]



throng ‎(comparative more throng, superlative most throng)

  1. (Scotland, Northern England, dialect) Filled with persons or objects; crowded.
    • 1882, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Ribblesdale:
      EARTH, sweet Earth, sweet landscape, with leavés throng
      And louchéd low grass, heaven that dost appeal
      To, with no tongue to plead, no heart to feel;
      That canst but only be, but dost that long—