William Edward Thrift (28 February 1870 – 23 April 1942) was an Irish university professor and an independent Teachta Dála (TD).
He was elected to the House of Commons of Southern Ireland at the 1921 elections, representing the University of Dublin constituency as an independent Unionist, he did not participate in the Second Dáil. He was re-elected for the same constituency at the 1922 general election and became a member of the Third Dáil. He was re-elected at the next five general elections until 1937 when he retired from politics.
He was Provost of Trinity College, Dublin from 1937–42.