1. often throes A severe pang or spasm of pain, as in childbirth. See Synonyms at pain.
2. throes A condition of extreme difficulty or trouble: a country in the throes of economic collapse.
[Middle English throwe, thrawe, partly from Old English thrāwu, variant of thrēa, chastisement, affliction, pang, and probably also partly from Old English thōwian, to suffer, and partly from Old Norse thrā, hard struggle.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.