Part of speech: preposition
Origin: Late Middle English, late 15th century
From side to side of; across.
In opposition to; counter to.
Examples of Athwart in a sentence
"The picnic tables and benches were arranged athwart the tent at odd angles."
"The recent economic stats run athwart to predictions from the previous quarter."
Popularity Over Time
This word comes from Middle English. The “a-” is an Old English prefix meaning “on, in, into.” The “-thwart” is likely from a Scandinavian source, probably the Old Norse “þvert,” meaning "across."
Did you Know?
“Athwart” is not commonly used in its preposition or adverbial forms in modern English, but it’s still present as a nautical term. “Athwartship” in British English means having a position across a vessel from side to side at right angles to the keel.