Definition of through in English:


adverb & preposition

  • 1Moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location)

    [as preposition] ‘stepping boldly through the doorway’
    [as adverb] ‘as soon as we opened the gate, they came streaming through’
    into and out of, to the far side of, to the other side of, from one side of … to the other, from end to end of, between, past, by, down, along, across, by way of, via
    from one side to the other, from one end to another, from end to end, from side to side, from top to bottom, in and out the other end, in and out the other side
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    1. 1.1So as to make a hole or opening in (a physical object)
      [as preposition] ‘the truck smashed through a brick wall’
      [as adverb] ‘a cucumber, slit, but not all the way through’
    2. 1.2Moving around or from one side to the other within (a crowd or group)
      [as preposition] ‘making my way through the guests’
    3. 1.3So as to be perceived from the other side of (an intervening obstacle)
      [as preposition] ‘the sun was streaming in through the window’
      [as adverb] ‘the glass in the front door where the moonlight streamed through’
    4. 1.4[preposition]Expressing the position or location of something beyond or at the far end of (an opening or an obstacle)
      ‘the approach to the church is through a gate’
    5. 1.5Expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another.
      [as preposition] ‘each joint can move through an angle within fixed limits’
  • 2Continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period)

    [as preposition] ‘he showed up halfway through the second act’
    [as adverb] ‘to struggle through until payday’
    the whole time, all the time, from start to finish, without a break, without an interruption, uninterrupted, non-stop, continuously, constantly, throughout
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    1. 2.1So as to complete (a particular stage or trial) successfully.
      [as preposition] ‘she had come through her sternest test’
      [as adverb] ‘I will struggle through alone rather than ask for help’
    2. 2.2From beginning to end of (an experience or activity, typically a tedious or stressful one)
      [as preposition] ‘we sat through some very boring speeches’
      ‘she's been through a bad time’
      [as adverb] ‘Karl will see you through, Ingrid’
  • 3So as to inspect all or part of (a collection, inventory, or publication)

    [as preposition] ‘flipping through the pages of a notebook’
    [as adverb] ‘she read the letter through carefully’
  • 4North American [preposition] Up to and including (a particular point in an ordered sequence)

    ‘they will be in town from March 24 through May 7’
    up to and including
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  • 5[preposition] By means of (a process or intermediate stage)

    ‘dioxins get into mothers' milk through contaminated food’
    by means of, by way of, by dint of, through the agency of, via, using, with the help of, with the aid of, with the assistance of, thanks to, under the aegis of, by virtue of, as a result of, as a consequence of, on account of, owing to, because of
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    1. 5.1By means of (an intermediary or agent)
      ‘seeking justice through the proper channels’
  • 6[adverb] So as to be connected by telephone.

    ‘he put a call through to the senator’


  • 1[attributive] (of a means of public transportation or a ticket) continuing or valid to the final destination.

    ‘a through train from Boston’
    • ‘Through trains from Hull to Manchester Airport will run as far as Manchester Piccadilly.’
    • ‘Surely there should be a few through trains from Bromley North.’
    • ‘The first through train leaves at 8:45.’
    • ‘Through trains for returning holidaymakers will run from most holiday centres on July 3.’
  • 2[attributive] Denoting traffic that passes from one side of a place to another in the course of a longer journey.

    ‘neighborhoods from which through traffic would be excluded’
    • ‘The proposed scheme is for a flyover to separate local and through traffic at the roundabout.’
    • ‘More conventional routes are closed to through traffic by overflowing cardboard boxes.’
    • ‘This means that the car threads through traffic with ease and overtakes dawdlers in a flash.’
    • ‘This poses problems both for through traffic as well as for vehicles waiting to turn.’
    • ‘Here the right-turning traffic on to Kings Avenue is as great as through traffic.’
    • ‘The whole idea of this is to facilitate the easy movement of through traffic and allow the town to flourish.’
    • ‘Where did all the through traffic go when the park was shut during the foot and mouth crisis?’
    • ‘Overnight Marlborough lost much of the through traffic on which many of its businesses depended.’
    • ‘Ask anyone in Settle if they enjoy a sandwich at the Naked Man with the roar of polluting through traffic.’
    • ‘Stockton Lane in Grappenhall will be closed to through traffic for about four months.’
    • ‘Modernisation of the beach will include stopping through traffic to Blackgate Road.’
    • ‘Why can't they open the gates so those who want to use the park for recreation can get in and close it to through traffic?’
    1. 2.1Denoting a road that is open at both ends, allowing traffic free passage from one end to the other.
      ‘the shopping center is on a busy through road’
      • ‘So why is Council so determined to redevelop Junction St as a through road for heavy trucks?’
  • 3[attributive] (of a room) running the whole length of a building.

    • ‘This is a through room enjoying front and rear garden aspects and is fitted with a range of natural timber fronted units.’
  • 4informal [predicative] Having no prospect of any future relationship, dealings, or success.

    ‘she told him she was through with him’
    ‘you and I are through’
    • ‘If you can't do this, you and I are through as of this second!’
    • ‘She just left him, said she was through with him and disappeared.’
    finished, done, reached the end, completed, terminated
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  • through and through

    • In every aspect; thoroughly or completely.

      ‘Harriet was a political animal through and through’
      • ‘He may wear baseball boots, climbing trousers and T-shirts to work, but he is a businessman through and through.’
      • ‘Considered one of the last performers to come out of the string band tradition, Armstrong is a bluesman through and through.’
      • ‘Then the demise of Social Security becomes a Republican deed through and through.’
      • ‘When it comes to business I am an equal opportunity employer through and through.’
      • ‘In every spectator's book, that still makes them champions, through and through.’
      • ‘I am a republican through and through - and given half the chance I would abolish our monarchy tomorrow.’
      • ‘The first, which he repeated almost obsessively in all manner of formulations, is that society is a moral reality through and through.’
      • ‘He is a consumer through and through - but a discerning consumer, who hates settling for second best.’
      • ‘I think he is a gentleman through and through but, as we all know, that is not a prerequisite for good managership.’
      • ‘However, I don't think anyone can defend the script or acting - it is terrible through and through.’
      in every respect, to the core
      thoroughly, utterly, downright, absolutely, completely, totally, wholly, fully, entirely, really, perfectly, profoundly, properly, consummately, surpassingly, positively, simply, unconditionally, unreservedly, categorically, incontrovertibly, unquestionably, undeniably, altogether, out-and-out
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Old English thurh (preposition and adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch door and German durch. The spelling change to thr- appears c. 1300, becoming standard from Caxton onward.