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From a variant (influenced by whack) of Middle English thakken (to stroke), from Old English þaccian (to touch gently, stroke, tap), from Proto-Germanic *þakwōną (to touch lightly), from Proto-Indo-European *teh₂g- (to touch). Cognate with Old Dutch þakolōn (to stroke), Old Norse þykkr (a thwack, thump, blow), Icelandic þjökka, þjaka (to thwack, thump, beat), Norwegian tjåka (to strike, beat), Latin tangō (touch). More at tangent. It should also be noted that early foreign scribes of Middle English confused "th" and "wh", as did some writers. This disappeared for the most part once Middle English spelling had developed. Doublet of thack.


  • enPR: thwăk, IPA(key): /θwæk/
  • Rhymes: -æk
  • (file)


thwack (plural thwacks)

  1. The act of thwacking; a strike or blow, especially with a flat implement.
  2. A heavy slapping sound.



thwack (third-person singular simple present thwacks, present participle thwacking, simple past and past participle thwacked)

  1. To hit with a flat implement.
    • (Can we date this quote by Washington Irving and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      a distant thwacking sound
  2. To beat.
  3. To fill to overflow.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Stanyhurst to this entry?)