thrash

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thrash

To move wildly or violently, without accomplishing anything useful. Paging or swapping systems that are overloaded waste most of their time moving data into and out of core (rather than performing useful computation) and are therefore said to thrash. Thrashing can also occur in a cache due to cache conflict or in a multiprocessor (see ping-pong).

Someone who keeps changing his mind (especially about what to work on next) is said to be thrashing. A person frantically trying to execute too many tasks at once (and not spending enough time on any single task) may also be described as thrashing.

Compare multitask.
References in periodicals archive ?
He urged everyone to get out of their seats and party while legendary axeman Richie Sambora thrashed around with his guitar and Tico Torres produced thunder claps and rumbling on the drums.
Jurors were told staff had made several alterations to the bed because Adam thrashed around during the night, but the bed was not properly adapted to cope with Adams' condition.
It's a common complaint from cricket-watchers, who hark back to a romanticised past when the lower order thrashed around in entertaining fashion.
Barry Haggerty, 58, a chartered surveyor, from Olney, Buckinghamshire, ran it over on April 12 and returned to the scene to drive forwards and backwards over it as it thrashed around in pain.
He returned to the scene and drove forwards and backwards over the cat as it thrashed around in pain, eventually killing it.
Police say he was so crazed that they had to hobble him but he still thrashed around in the back of a police car.
Once free of the car, "Ishahak thrashed around in the water, so Lennon said he pulled her to the bank by her hands.
As he thrashed around in the shadows I couldn't take my eyes off him.