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throwdown, n.

Frequency (in current use): 
Origin: Formed within English, by derivation. Etymon: to throw down at throw v.1 Phrasal verbs

 1. A type of small firework consisting of an explosive substance in a paper casing, which is designed to detonate with a sharp bang when thrown on to a hard surface.In quot. 1888   as a mass noun.

1877   Times 28 Dec. 12/2   Witness found girls at work making common street crackers, called ‘throw downs’.
1888   Society Herald 14 May 12/1   The story..is amusing, being brought about by Dick throwing what boys are very fond of possessing, ‘throwdown,’ which..are small bombs composed of a minute quantity of detonate powder.
1948   D. Ballantyne Cunninghams i. xiv. 78   He remembered the strange things he'd seen..the music and the streamers, the throwdowns, the Maoris, and the Salvation Army band.
1977   Listener 97 239/1   There were thousands of little ‘throw-downs’, little bangers that you threw down all over the place.
2014   Daily Tel. (Austral.) (Nexis) 16 May 23   It is likely the [fireworks] Bill would include smaller firecrackers like throwdowns and crazy jacks.

1877—2014(Hide quotations)


 2. Chiefly slang or colloq. An act of overthrowing or defeating a person or thing; a defeat, a downfall; spec. an act of throwing one's opponent to the ground in wrestling, judo, etc.

1887   Boston Daily Globe 10 Mar. 4/6   This is a Throw-Down for the Finance Committee.
1903   Architect 24 Apr. (Suppl.) 27/1   Any delay on the work is ‘a throw-down for the boss’.
1959   Lawrence (Kansas) Daily Jrnl.-World 19 Mar. 1/3   That amounted to a partial throw-down of one theory advanced by some scientists.
1967   Black Belt Aug. 44/1   I wasn't exactly anxious to give my boys over to what I considered a chop-down and throw-down advocator.
2015   Canberra Times (Nexis) 31 Jan. a28   The fascinating form of touch that comes with wrestling: from nudging and stroking to the sudden and deadly throwdown.

1887—2015(Hide quotations)


 3. slang (orig. U.S.). A performance by or contest between DJs, rappers, or similar artists. Also more generally: a contest; a confrontation.Originally in hip-hop contexts.

1979   Tabernacle Center (Lexington, N.Y.) Dec. 7 (promotional flyer) (Cornell Univ. Libr. Hip Hop Coll.)   M.Y.F. presents their second annual throwdown featuring Master ‘D’.
1982   Washington Post 25 July c1/2   More than 30,000 people gathered to shake their bodies to the music of some of the top soul and funk bands in the country. Yesterday's daylong concert, the ‘D.C. Throwdown’, was blessed with clear skies and easy breezes.
1993   Guardian 2 Oct. (Weekend Suppl.) 33/3   There, in a sunken netball court.., ‘graff’ teams from all over London met for Unity 2—the second year of a peace-themed, competitive ‘throwdown’. The walls are now covered in image, the court filled with empty spraycans.
1994   N. McCall Makes me wanna Holler (1995) vii. 63   Respect was incomplete until we had proven ourselves in the serious throwdowns with downtown boys... But it wasn't long before we gave up fistfighting for guns.
2013   North Shore News (Brit. Columbia) (Nexis) 5 July a29   Victoria's burgeoning coffee scene..includes ‘barista throwdowns’ in which contestants must prepare espresso, latte/cappuccino art and original drinks in timed performances.

1979—2013(Hide quotations)


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

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