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Blech. These are the grossest words.


[throo] /θru/
in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other:
to pass through a tunnel; We drove through Denver without stopping. Sun came through the window.
past; beyond:
to go through a stop sign without stopping.
from one to the other of; between or among the individual members or parts of:
to swing through the trees; This book has passed through many hands.
over the surface of, by way of, or within the limits or medium of:
to travel through a country; to fly through the air.
during the whole period of; throughout:
They worked through the night.
having reached the end of; done with:
to be through one's work.
to and including:
from 1900 through 1950.
by the means or instrumentality of; by the way or agency of:
It was through him they found out.
Synonyms: through, with.
by reason of or in consequence of:
to run away through fear.
in at the first step of a process, treatment, or method of handling, passing through subsequent steps or stages in order, and finished, accepted, or out of the last step or stage:
The body of a car passes through 147 stages on the production line. The new tax bill finally got through Congress.
in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other:
to push a needle through; just passing through.
all the way; along the whole distance:
This train goes through to Boston.
soaking wet through.
from the beginning to the end:
to read a letter through.
to the end:
to carry a matter through.
to a favorable or successful conclusion:
He barely managed to pull through.
having completed an action, process, etc.; finished:
Please be still until I'm through. When will you be through with school?
at the end of all relations or dealings:
My sister insists she's through with selfish friends.
passing or extending from one end, side, or surface to the other:
a through wound coming left to right and out the other side.
traveling or moving to a destination without changing of trains, planes, etc.:
a through flight.
(of a road, route, way, course, etc., or of a ticket, routing order, etc.) admitting continuous or direct passage; having no interruption, obstruction, or hindrance:
a through highway; through ticket.
(of a bridge truss) having a deck or decks within the depth of the structure.
Compare deck (def 16).
of no further use or value; washed-up:
Critics say he's through as a writer.
through and through,
  1. through the whole extent of; thoroughly:
    cold through and through.
  2. from beginning to end; in all respects:
    an aristocrat through and through.
Origin of through
before 900; Middle English (preposition and adv.), metathetic variant of thourgh, Old English thurh, cognate with German durch; akin to Old English therh, Gothic thairh through, Old High German derh perforated, Old English thyrel full of holes (adj.), hole (noun). See thirl
Can be confused
threw, through.
Synonym Study
By, through, with indicate agency or means of getting something done or accomplished. By is regularly used to denote the agent (person or force) in passive constructions: It is done by many; destroyed by fire. It also indicates means: Send it by airmail. With denotes the instrument (usually consciously) employed by an agent: He cut it with the scissors. Through designates particularly immediate agency or instrumentality or reason or motive: through outside aid; to yield through fear; wounded through carelessness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for through
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He had been chasing her for his answer, and she had escaped him through a gate.

    The Manxman Hall Caine
  • When she got through he thanked her and said it was always wise to trust a woman's intuition.

    Still Jim Honor Willsie Morrow
  • The realization of the good of all in and through the act of each is the social ideal.

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • No; not through any failure; not through any of the accidents which will happen in all medical practice.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • No, spears and blowpipes, through which they send poisoned arrows.

    Rob Harlow's Adventures George Manville Fenn
British Dictionary definitions for through


going in or starting at one side and coming out or stopping at the other side of: a path through the wood
occupying or visiting several points scattered around in (an area)
as a result of; by means of: the thieves were captured through his vigilance
(mainly US) up to and including: Monday through Friday
during: through the night
at the end of; having (esp successfully) completed
through with, having finished with (esp when dissatisfied with)
(postpositive) having successfully completed some specified activity
(on a telephone line) connected
(postpositive) no longer able to function successfully in some specified capacity: as a journalist, you're through
(prenominal) (of a route, journey, etc) continuous or unbroken: a through train
through some specified thing, place, or period of time
thoroughly; completely
Also (informal or poetic) thro', (informal or poetic) thro, (chiefly US) thru
Word Origin
Old English thurh; related to Old Frisian thruch, Old Saxon thuru, Old High German duruh
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for through

c.1300, metathesis of Old English þurh, from West Germanic *thurkh (cf. Old Saxon thuru, Old Frisian thruch, Middle Dutch dore, Dutch door, Old High German thuruh, German durch, Gothic þairh "through"), from PIE root *tere- "to cross over, pass through, overcome" (cf. Sanskrit tirah, Avestan taro "through, beyond," Latin trans "beyond," Old Irish tre, Welsh tra "through").

Not clearly differentiated from thorough until early Modern English. Spelling thro was common 15c.-18c. Reformed spelling thru (1917) is mainly American English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with through
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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