From Old Norse þvert ‘across’, originally neut. of thverr (transverse, across), cognates include Old English þweorh (transverse, perverse, angry, cross), Danish tvær, Gothic 𐌸𐍅𐌰𐌹𐍂𐍃 (þwaírs, “angry”), Dutch dwars (cross-grained, contrary), Low German dwars (cross-grained, contrary), German quer, from Proto-Germanic *þwerhaz, altered by influence of Proto-Germanic *þweraną (to turn) from Proto-Germanic *þerh-, from Proto-Indo-European *twork-/*twerk- (twist).
- (transitive) To prevent; to halt; to cause to fail; to foil; to frustrate.
- The police thwarted the would-be assassin.
- Our plans for a picnic were thwarted by the thunderstorm.
- The proposals of the one never thwarted the inclinations of the other.
1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 22, The Mirror and the Lamp:
- Not unnaturally, “Auntie” took this communication in bad part. […] Next day she […] tried to recover her ward by the hair of the head. Then, thwarted, the wretched creature went to the police for help; she was versed in the law, and had perhaps spared no pains to keep on good terms with the local constabulary.
2011 December 10, David Ornstein, “Arsenal 1-0 Everton”, BBC Sport:
- Everton were now firmly on the back foot and it required some sharp work from Johnny Heitinga and Phil Jagielka to thwart Walcott and Thomas Vermaelen.
- (obsolete) To move across or counter to; to cross.
- An arrow thwarts the air.
- John Milton (1608-1674)
- Swift as a shooting star / In autumn thwarts the night.
thwart (plural thwarts)
- (nautical) A brace, perpendicular to the keel, that helps maintain the beam (breadth) of a marine vessel against external water pressure and that may serve to support the rail.
- A well made doughout canoe rarely needs a thwart.
- (nautical) A seat across a boat on which a rower may sit.
- The fisherman sat on the aft thwart to row.
- Situated or placed across something else; transverse; oblique.
- Moved contrary with thwart obliquities.
- (figuratively) Perverse; crossgrained.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Shakespeare to this entry?)
thwart (not comparable)
- Obliquely; transversely; athwart.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Milton to this entry?)