See more synonyms for through on
  1. 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.
  2. past; beyond: to go through a stop sign without stopping.
  3. 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.
  4. over the surface of, by way of, or within the limits or medium of: to travel through a country; to fly through the air.
  5. during the whole period of; throughout: They worked through the night.
  6. having reached the end of; done with: to be through one's work.
  7. to and including: from 1900 through 1950.
  8. by the means or instrumentality of; by the way or agency of: It was through him they found out.
  9. by reason of or in consequence of: to run away through fear.
  10. 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.
  1. in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other: to push a needle through; just passing through.
  2. all the way; along the whole distance: This train goes through to Boston.
  3. throughout: soaking wet through.
  4. from the beginning to the end: to read a letter through.
  5. to the end: to carry a matter through.
  6. to a favorable or successful conclusion: He barely managed to pull through.
  1. having completed an action, process, etc.; finished: Please be still until I'm through. When will you be through with school?
  2. at the end of all relations or dealings: My sister insists she's through with selfish friends.
  3. passing or extending from one end, side, or surface to the other: a through wound coming left to right and out the other side.
  4. traveling or moving to a destination without changing of trains, planes, etc.: a through flight.
  5. (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.
  6. (of a bridge truss) having a deck or decks within the depth of the structure.Compare deck(def 16).
  7. of no further use or value; washed-up: Critics say he's through as a writer.
  1. 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 confusedthrew through

Synonym study

8. See by1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for through

Contemporary Examples of through

Historical Examples of through

  • He heard the hum and clang of an electric car off through a chestnut grove.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • When the boy got through, he cast a speculative glance at the carpetbag.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The captain looked at it through his glass, and then examined the chart.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He went up and handed it to her through the narrowly opened door.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Through the teaching of Moses he was to become the sole Master of the Jewish race.

    Ancient Man

    Hendrik Willem van Loon

British Dictionary definitions for through


  1. going in or starting at one side and coming out or stopping at the other side ofa path through the wood
  2. occupying or visiting several points scattered around in (an area)
  3. as a result of; by means ofthe thieves were captured through his vigilance
  4. mainly US up to and includingMonday through Friday
  5. duringthrough the night
  6. at the end of; having (esp successfully) completed
  7. through with having finished with (esp when dissatisfied with)
  1. (postpositive) having successfully completed some specified activity
  2. (on a telephone line) connected
  3. (postpositive) no longer able to function successfully in some specified capacityas a journalist, you're through
  4. (prenominal) (of a route, journey, etc) continuous or unbrokena through train
  1. through some specified thing, place, or period of time
  2. thoroughly; completely
Also: (informal or poetic) thro', (informal or poetic) thro, (chiefly US) thru

Word Origin for through

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

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

Idioms and Phrases with through


In addition to the idioms beginning with through

  • through and through
  • through one's hat
  • through one's head
  • through one's mind
  • through rose-colored glasses
  • through the mill
  • through the motions
  • through thick and thin

, see

  • break through
  • carry through
  • come through
  • come up (through)
  • cross (pass through) one's mind
  • fall between (through) the cracks
  • fall through
  • follow through
  • get through
  • get through one's head
  • go through
  • go through channels
  • go through the motions
  • go through the roof
  • jump through hoops
  • leaf through
  • let daylight through
  • let slip (through the fingers)
  • lie through one's teeth
  • live through
  • muddle through
  • pay through the nose
  • pull through
  • put through
  • put someone through his or her paces
  • rise through the ranks
  • run through
  • sail through
  • see through
  • see through rose-colored glasses
  • sink through the floor
  • sit out (through)
  • sleep through
  • squeak by (through)
  • squeeze through
  • talk through one's hat
  • think through
  • win through
  • work one's way into (through)
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.