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In earlier editions of D&D, such as 3.5, a character could throw a melee weapon using feats like Throw Anything.

In D&D 5th edition, is there any rule, ability, or method which would allow a player character to throw a one-handed melee weapon without the Thrown property, such as a longsword?

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Yes

The relevant excerpt from the Improvised Weapon rules in the Player's Handbook (p.148):

If a character [...] throws a melee weapon that does not have the thrown property, it also deals 1d4 damage. An improvised thrown weapon has a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.

So any weapon can be thrown, however they will deal significantly less damage. This can be done without any special training. Taking the Tavern Brawler feat (PHB p. 170) will grant you proficiency in the relevant attack.

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Throwing a non-thrown melee weapon is covered under the rules for improvised weapons. Throwing a sword is considered making an improvised attack and has a range of 20/60 and will deal 1d4 damage.

You can improve this somewhat by taking the Feat "Tavern Brawler", which gives you proficiency with improvised weapons, although you'll still only deal 1d4 damage.

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