From the second edition (1989):
Forms: α. 1 þrá, þráh, 3 þraȝhe, 4 thrau(e, 4–5 þraw(e, 4–6 thraw; 4 trau, trawe, (5 drawe). β. 3 þroȝe, 3–5 þrowe, 3–6 throwe, 5–6 throw; 5 trowe. γ. 5 threwe. [OE. þrá, þráh fem. a (point or space of) time, a season. Not found in the cognate langs.; if in OTeut., its form would naturally be *þraiā, Goth. *þráiga.]
1. The time at which anything happens; an occasion. many a throw, many a time, often.
Like minute, instant, often used in advb. phrases with preposition omitted, as that throw, this throw, any throw, the same throw.
Beowulf 2884 Ferendra to lyt þrong ymbe þeoden þa hyne sio þra becwom. c888 K. Ælfred Boeth. xxxvii. §1 Onwæcnað sio wode þra þære wrænnesse. 971 Blickl. Hom. 117 Nis þæt eower‥þæt e witan þa þrae & þa tide. a1250 Owl & Night. 478 Blisse myd heom sume þrowe. Ibid. 1455, I singe myd heom one þrowe [v.r. þroȝe]. 1390 Gower Conf. III. 36 This riche man the same throwe With soudein deth was overthrowe. 14‥ Hoccleve Compl. Virgin 73 O thynke how many a throwe Thow in myn armes lay. c1440 Lovelich Merlin 9949 Ȝoure Ryng to taken me jn this threwe, To ȝoure cosin le-ownces that j myhte it schewe. c1460 Towneley Myst. xx. 380 Peter, thou shall thryse apon a thraw fforsake me, or the cok craw. 1513 Douglas Æneis x. xiii. 53 The casting dart‥Smate worthy Anthores the ilk thraw.
2. A space of time; a while; in later use always, a brief while, an instant, a moment.
a1000 Cædmon's Gen. 1426 (Gr.) Þær se hala bad sunu Lameches soðra ehata lange þrae. a1000 Juliana 464 (Gr.) Is þeos þra ful strong,‥ic sceal þinga ehwylc þolian. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 33 Nis nawiht þeos weorld; al heo aȝeð on ane alpi þraȝe. c1200 Ormin 3475 Wass mikell weȝȝe till þatt land‥& forrþi wass hemm ned to don God þraȝhe to þatt weȝȝe. c1205 Lay. 640 He tah hine aȝein ane þrowe. a1300 Cursor M. 3281 (Cott.) Had he noght rested bot a thrau [v.rr. þraw, þrowe]. 1375 Barbour Bruce vii. 34 He‥said eftir a litill thraw, Þat he suld wenge in hy thar blude. c1386 Chaucer Man of Law's T. 855 Now lat vs stynte of Custance but a throwe [v.r. trowe]. 1423 Jas. I Kingis Quair xlv, Quhen I a lytill thrawe had maid my moon. c1440 Promp. Parv. 493/1 Throwe, a lytyl wyle, momentum. c1570 Pride & Lowl. (1841) 64 They were defaced in a throw. 1590 Spenser F.Q. iii. iv. 53 Downe himselfe he layd Upon the grassy ground to sleepe a throw.
b. be throwes, by turns, time about. rare.
1390 Gower Conf. I. 55 After that cause and nede it ladde, Be throwes ech of hem it hadde.