From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: þrǫng



From Middle English throng, thrang, from Old English þrang, ġeþrang (crowd, press, tumult), from Proto-Germanic *þrangwą, *þrangwō (throng), from *þrangwaz (pressing, narrow), from Proto-Indo-European *trenkʷ- (to beat; pound; hew; press). Cognate with Dutch drang, German Drang. Compare also German Gedränge (throng).



throng (plural throngs)

  1. A group of people crowded or gathered closely together.
    Synonyms: crowd, multitude
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book IV”, in Paradise Lost. [], London: [] [Samuel Simmons], [], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, →OCLC:
      Not to know me argues yourselves unknown,
      The lowest of your throng.
    • 1885, Gilbert and Sullivan, The Mikado, act 1:
      Perhaps you suppose this throng / Can't keep it up all day long?
    • 1905, Baroness Emmuska Orczy, chapter 2, in 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.
    • 1939, Ammianus Marcellinus, John Carew Rolfe, Ammianus Marcellinus, volume 1, Harvard University Press, page 463:
      Here, mingled with the Persians, who were rushing to the higher ground with the same effort as ourselves, we remained motionless until sunrise of the next day, so crowded together that the bodies of the slain, held upright by the throng, could nowhere find room to fall, and that in front of me a soldier with his head cut in two, and split into equal halves by a powerful sword stroke, was so pressed on all sides that he stood erect like a stump.
    • 2019 May 12, Lorenzo Tondo, “I have seen the tragedy of Mediterranean migrants. This ‘art’ makes me feel uneasy”, in The Guardian[2]:
      I imagine throngs of people – well-dressed, sipping spritzes – in front of a boat that, to me, is a coffin which held 700 people.
  2. A group of things; a host or swarm.
    • 2001, Trivium (lyrics and music), “Amongst the Shadows & the Stones”:
      Bloody corpses, broken bones reveal / A throng of clashes crushed, our nightmare sealed / Amongst the shadows and the stones



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, in 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.
    • 1611, The Holy Bible, [] (King James Version), London: [] Robert Barker, [], →OCLC, Mark 5:24:
      Much people followed him, and thronged him.
    • 1861, E. J. Guerin, Mountain Charley, page 24:
      Pulling my hat down over my eyes, so as to hide somewhat the emotions which had thronged my countenance, I took a long look at the man whom I so long had sought.

Related terms[edit]



throng (comparative more throng, superlative most throng)

  1. (Northern England, Scotland) Filled with persons or objects; crowded. [from 16th c.]
    • 1882, Gerard Manley Hopkins, “Ribblesdale”, in Robert Bridges, editor, Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins: Now First Published [], London: Humphrey Milford, published 1918, →OCLC, stanza 1, page 54:
      Earth, sweet Earth, sweet landscape, with leavès throng / And louchèd 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— []
  2. (Northern England, Scotland) Busy; hurried. [from 17th c.]
    • 1903, Samuel Butler, chapter 59, in The Way of All Flesh:
      Mr Shaw was very civil; he said he was rather throng just now, but if Ernest did not mind the sound of hammering he should be very glad of a talk with him.
    • 1992, Alasdair Gray, Poor Things, Bloomsbury 2002, p. 200:
      [P]eople were having holidays all round the world, though the Glasgow shops and offices and factories were as throng with business as ever.