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downthrow, v.

Forms:  see down adv.   and throw v.1(Show Less)
Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymons: down- prefix, throw v.1
Etymology: < down- prefix + throw v.1
Compare to throw down at throw v.1 Phrasal verbs.
With sense 2   compare downthrow n. 2.
Instances of this verb dating from before the development of modern conventions of word division are difficult to distinguish from those of to throw down at throw v.1 Phrasal verbs. Compare the following examples from early modern texts, which probably show the phrasal verb with word order dictated by the demands of rhyme and metre:
1600   E. Fairfax tr. Tasso Godfrey of Bulloigne xviii. lxxi. 329   Meane-while below With iron fronts the rammes the walles downe throw.
a1729   E. Taylor Metrical Hist. Christianity (1962) 271   The Earth..Great Constantine's Attili Gate down threw.
1751   M. Mendez Seasons Summer 10   Wanton Colin, full of am'rous Play, Down throweth Susan, who doth shriek for Dread.

 1. transitive. To throw or drop (something) in a downward direction, to knock (a person) to the ground. Also fig.: to bring down (a person) from a position of high standing, to overthrow (a ruler, an institution, etc.). Now rare (chiefly poet. in later use).

1563   W. Baldwin et al. Myrrour for Magistrates (new ed.) f. C.xxviiiv   Downthrow we strayt his sellie nephewes twaye, from princes pompe, to woful prisoners lyfe.
1581   N. Burne Disput. Headdis of Relig. f. 43v   Inducing subiectis to oppres and dounthrau thair maisters.
1612   H. Ainsworth Bk. Psalmes Englished with Annot. lxxviii. 204/2   When Gods ire Came up against them, & their fatt-men slew: and choyse-yong-men of Israel, down-threw.
a1861   D. Grey Poet. Wks. (1874) 39   At the breathless nerve-dissolving noon, When hot the undiminished sun downthrows Direct his beams, they from the field retire.
1893   G. Musgrave tr. Dante Divine Comedy: Hell xxx. 195   One of them..Its tusklike fangs deep-plunging in his nape, Downthrew him.
1974   Lebanon (Pa.) Daily News 28 May 17/2   She..could not have believed, one June day ago, love would now downthrow her sweet studied mask of quietness by which he was deceived.

1563—1974(Hide quotations)


 2. intransitive. Geology. Of a fault: to exhibit a downthrow in a particular location, direction, etc. (see downthrow n. 2). Also transitive: to displace (strata, rock, etc.) downwards at a fault.

1849   J. E. Portlock Rudimentary Treat. Geol. iii. 51   The bed a has been first up-thrown along the line or fault d f to a1, and subsequently down-thrown along the fault f h to a2.
1924   W. B. Wright Geol. Ballycastle Coalfield iii. 21   The Ballycastle Coalfield is divided in two by an east and west fault known as the Great Gaw, downthrowing to the north.
1954   J. F. Kirkaldy Gen. Princ. Geol. xv. 220   One view of the African Rift is that it was formed by tension, the bounding faults being normal faults hading and downthrowing towards the valley.
1975   Nature 25 Sept. 300/2   During the Cretaceous,..the South African continent was subjected to strong vertical movements, resulting in peripheral faults downthrowing 18,000 m towards the contiguous ocean basins.
1991   R. P. Randel & R. W. Johnson Geol. of Suswa Area (Nairobi, Mines & Geol. Dept.) vii. 33   Faulting then occurred, downthrowing the Kirikiti Basalts.
2015   A. Racey & M. F. Ridd Petroleum Geol. Myanmar iv. 36/2   NE–SW-trending normal cross-faults with throws of several hundred feet are common, mostly downthrowing to the north.

1849—2015(Hide quotations)


This entry has been updated (OED Third Edition, December 2018).

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