Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To beat rapidly or violently, as the heart; pound.
  • intransitive v. To vibrate, pulsate, or sound with a steady pronounced rhythm: boat engines throbbing.
  • n. The act of throbbing; a beating, palpitation, or vibration.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To pound or beat rapidly or violently
  • v. To vibrate or pulsate with a steady rhythm
  • n. A beating, vibration or palpitation

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A beat, or strong pulsation, as of the heart and arteries; a violent beating; a papitation
  • intransitive v. To beat, or pulsate, with more than usual force or rapidity; to beat in consequence of agitation; to palpitate; -- said of the heart, pulse, etc.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To beat or pulsate, as the heart, but with increased or quickened force or rapidity; palpitate.
  • To quiver or vibrate.
  • n. A beat or strong pulsation; a violent beating, as of the heart and arteries; a palpitation: as, a throb of pleasure or of pain.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a deep pulsating type of pain
  • n. an instance of rapid strong pulsation (of the heart)
  • v. tremble convulsively, as from fear or excitement
  • v. expand and contract rhythmically; beat rhythmically
  • v. pulsate or pound with abnormal force

Etymologies

Middle English throbben, of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Appears 14th century; possibly of imitative origin. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The steady _throb -- throb -- throb_ of the propeller was again shaking the yacht as she took up her journey.

    The Pirate of Panama A Tale of the Fight for Buried Treasure

  • As I stood waiting and listening for the enemy's order to attack, I could feel my heart go _throb, throb, throb, throb_, so hard that I seemed to be hearing it at the same time making a dull echo in my brain.

    Charge! A Story of Briton and Boer

  • At last one word escaped from his lips, and in an instant -- _throb, throb, throb, throb_ -- there was a heavy beating on his ribs, a joyous whining sound greeted his ears, and a cold nose and wet tongue were playing about his face.

    Sappers and Miners The Flood beneath the Sea

  • I'll be there steady ready to take up the fight of mother and daughter divided unsatisfied forever antagonistic cry sorrow let your ovary throb from the pain of my absence

    Women Among Us: Achy Obejas

  • And between the last ‘ob’ in the word throb and the words now written, I have passed a delicious period of perhaps an hour, perhaps a minute, I know not how long, thinking of that holy first love and of her who inspired it.

    The Fitz-Boodle Papers

  • And between the last 'ob' in the word throb and the words now written, I have passed a delicious period of perhaps an hour, perhaps a minute, I know not how long, thinking of that holy first love and of her who inspired it.

    The Fitz-Boodle Papers

  • a ruptured disk, the feet or knees whose throb is just the way it is.

    WILLIAM DAVID BARNETT 10 NOVEMBER 1958 - 19 JUNE 2001

  • I'm reaching the major changes stage, and trying to figure out how to make it all work makes my brain throb. (wum, wum, wum.)

    I found my rain pants!

  • Something uplifting in the criminal action of the girl so touched Frederick that the nearness of tears called a throb to his throat.

    Tess of the Storm Country

  • To this, as they went, every throb of her consciousness prompted her -- every throb, that is, but one, the throb of her deeper need to know where she

    The Golden Bowl — Complete

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  • When he takes the place of the gods,
    And chaos is his and the years,
    And the thunderous histories of worlds
    Throb loud for his ears?

    - Maxwell Anderson, 'Full Circle'.

    September 21, 2009

  • Citation on willowherb.

    June 22, 2008