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through definition


This page has 20 definitions of through in English. Through is a preposition, an adjective, an adverb and noun. Examples of how to use through in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .


Alternative forms

Etymology 1

From Middle English thrugh, thruch, thruh, metathetic variants of thurgh, thurh, from Old English þorh, þurh, þerh, þærh (through, for, during, by, by means of, by use of, because of, in consequence of), from Proto-Germanic *þurhw (through), from Proto-Indo-European *tr̥h₂kʷe, suffixed zero-grade from *terh₂- (to pass through) + *-kʷe (and). Cognate with Scots throch (through), West Frisian troch (through), Dutch door (through), German durch (through), Gothic 𐌸𐌰𐌹𐍂𐌷 (þairh, through), Latin trans (across, over, through), Albanian tërthor (through, around), Welsh tra (through). See also thorough.




  1. From one side of an opening to the other.
    I went through the window.
    • 2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly):
      A “moving platform” scheme [] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays.
  2. Entering, then later leaving.
    I drove through the town at top speed without looking left or right.
    • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate [], New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, [], OCLC 16832619, page 16:
      Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging. [] He walked the whole way, walking through crowds, and under the noses of dray-horses, carriage-horses, and cart-horses, without taking the least notice of them.
    • 1914, Louis Joseph Vance, chapter III, in Nobody, New York, N.Y.: George H[enry] Doran Company, published 1915, OCLC 40817384:
      Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
    • 2013 May 25, “No hiding place”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8837, page 74:
      In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%.
  3. Surrounded by (while moving).
    We slogged through the mud for hours before turning back and giving up.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.
    • 2013 June 22, “Snakes and ladders”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 76:
      Risk is everywhere. [] For each one there is a frighteningly precise measurement of just how likely it is to jump from the shadows and get you. “The Norm Chronicles” [] aims to help data-phobes find their way through this blizzard of risks.
  4. By means of.
    This team believes in winning through intimidation.
    • 2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      But the home side were ahead in the eighth minute through 18-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain.
    • 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
  5. In consequence of; as a result of.
    • 2012, Dimitri Yanuli, You Might Be Right, but You Ain't Right with the Word of God
      Our minds and hearts are corrupted with the Adamic virus at birth, and through a lifetime of sin and tragedy, our hearts and thoughts get more evil and more corrupted as we experience life's tragedies.
  6. (Canada, US) To (or up to) and including, with all intermediate values.
    from 1945 through 1991;  the numbers 1 through 9;  your membership is active through March 15, 2013
    • 2019 February 3, “UN Study: China, US, Japan Lead World AI Development”, in Voice of America[2], archived from the original on 7 February 2019:
      It includes patent requests in machine learning through 2016, the last year for which details are available.
Derived terms
Related terms
terms related to the preposition "through"
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.



  1. From beginning to end.
    The baby cried the whole night through.


through (not comparable)

  1. Passing from one side of something to the other.
    Interstate highways form a nationwide system of through roads.
    • 1994, Don A. Halperin, G. Thomas Bible, Principles of Timber Design for Architects and Builders (page 137)
      It is possible to use a through bolt so that the bolt will be loaded axially, but usually axial loads are only components of the total load on the bolt.
  2. Finished; complete.
    They were through with laying the subroof by noon.
  3. Without a future; done for.
    After being implicated in the scandal, he was through as an executive in financial services.
  4. No longer interested; wearied or turned off by experience.
    She was through with him.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter I, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803:
      “I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.
    • 1977, Iggy Pop, Lust For Life:
      I'm worth a million in prizes / Yeah, I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk / No more beating my brains / No more beating my brains / With the liquor and drugs / With the liquor and drugs
  5. Proceeding from origin to destination without delay due to change of equipment.
    The through flight through Memphis was the fastest.
    • 1940 November, “Notes and News: The First Corridor Train”, in Railway Magazine, page 618:
      Also the 10.45 a.m. from Paddington by the same route is called "Through Train via Severn Tunnel," but in later years, when made up of corridor stock, it is called "Through Corridor Express via Severn Tunnel." The frequent use of "through" on the South Wales section of G.W.R. began when the Severn Tunnel route was used for through trains between Paddington and South Wales in the summer of 1887 in order to draw continual attention to the improved facilities.
  6. (soccer) In possession of the ball beyond the last line of defence but not necessarily the goalkeeper; through on goal.
Derived terms


through (not comparable)

  1. From one side to the other by way of the interior.
    The arrow went straight through.
  2. From one end to the other.
    Others slept; he worked straight through.
    She read the letter through.
  3. During a period of time; throughout
    He worked through the night.
  4. To the end.
    He said he would see it through.
  5. Completely.
    Leave the yarn in the dye overnight so the color soaks through.
  6. Out into the open.
    The American army broke through at Saint-Lô.
Derived terms


through (plural throughs)

  1. A large slab of stone laid in a dry-stone wall from one side to the other; a perpend.


  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "Bounded landmarks", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8

Etymology 2

From Middle English thrugh, þrouȝ, throgh, from Old English þrūh (trough, conduit, pipe; box, chest; coffin, tomb), from Proto-Germanic *þrūhs (excavated trunk, trough), from Proto-Indo-European *terh₃u- (to rub, turn, drill, bore).


  • IPA(key): /θɹʌf/, /θɹuː/
  • Rhymes: -ʌf, -uː
  • Hyphenation: through


through (plural throughs)

  1. (obsolete) A coffin, sarcophagus or tomb of stone; a large slab of stone laid on a tomb.