Definition of through in US 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’
    • ‘Unable to find the house keys, she climbed through a window to get help.’
    • ‘Alyssa turned as the lady once again stepped through the doorway followed by her husband.’
    • ‘I signalled that I was going straight through, and moved slightly in front of the car to my right.’
    • ‘Work is in progress to investigate how the water moves through the roots of bean under chilling conditions.’
    • ‘I lay down on the ground and squeezed myself through the hole underneath the wall.’
    • ‘Slowly but surely the forces of the Red Army moved through Berlin in the spring of 1945.’
    • ‘A chilly wind penetrates the walls of the shelter and rain drips through a hole in the ceiling.’
    • ‘As the faeces move through the bowel, they rub away surface cells on the lining.’
    • ‘Several fans spot him and he trots through the stage door, but not before clasping my hand beefily.’
    • ‘We walked through the gate and the barrier slid closed behind us, locking us in the station.’
    • ‘I turned around and saw the lady had fallen through a hole in the walkway.’
    • ‘Drains woman suggests letters and leaflets shoved through doors may help.’
    • ‘Judging the right moment to let boats through comes with experience, says Fred.’
    • ‘Go through the gate and take the path which heads west and then northwest following the contours of a small hill.’
    • ‘This feature allows soluble fibre to form a gel while slowly moving through the gut.’
    • ‘One was blown up in Greengate by a bomb that went straight through the railway viaduct on to a parked bus.’
    • ‘They were out on a tracking activity which took them through their park and they were horrified at the state of it.’
    • ‘They marched through Bradford and staged a demonstration in Centenary Square.’
    • ‘The vast majority of HGV drivers drive carefully and courteously through these towns.’
    • ‘The two bikers today set off on the eighth stage, through Mauritania from Atar to Tidjikja.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 So 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’
      • ‘The driver and his passengers escaped unhurt when the brick was thrown through a small side window.’
      • ‘Two of them are thrown through two windows which are shown after without a crack.’
      • ‘Mortar rounds lobbed from the nearby hills smashed roofs and crashed through walls.’
      • ‘Four incisions, rasp the bone, drill the holes, hammer plugs through the tissue.’
      • ‘Pot plants were hurled through the bus windows - not necessarily by Cameron or Johnson.’
      • ‘A Malton shop severely damaged when a car careered through a display window was back in business today.’
      • ‘His reading light fell onto his mattress the other night and smouldered a hole through it.’
      • ‘I think that I have bumped my head hard against it rather than broken through.’
      • ‘And he vented his anger by putting his fist through a window of the house where the paint had been applied.’
      • ‘They threw a big rock out of my garden through the back window.’
      • ‘The crooks then tore a hole through the roof to get into the club's tea bar, before escaping with sweets and drinks.’
      • ‘The chanting increases, and suddenly a huge hole is blown through the high stone wall!’
      • ‘Private Geoff Gray was found dead with two bullet holes through his head last September.’
      • ‘If he had X-ray vision I think he would have burned a hole right through that poor girl.’
      • ‘Anyway after holding him up with a knife Ivan has put Dave through a window so it really is time to run away.’
      • ‘In February last year a brick was thrown through the side window of a bus.’
      • ‘This one was a weedy little thing that couldn't put a hole through a sheet of paper.’
      • ‘The operation normally involves drilling a hole through the skull to drain the clot.’
      • ‘Reports said that there were no injuries, but a shot was fired through the bus roof.’
      • ‘He had one foot on the floor of the vessel, and a hole had been burned through his chest.’
    2. 1.2 Moving around or from one side to the other within (a crowd or group)
      as preposition ‘making my way through the guests’
      • ‘His eyes were red from lack of sleep and he blinked repeatedly to stop tears as he walked through the crowds.’
      • ‘On Hogmanay I met my neighbour twice, swirling through the crowd at the local hall.’
      • ‘Afterwards, I would barge my way through the crowd to get to my sister Angela, where I felt happy.’
      • ‘All of this was topped off with a Chinese, and a fight through London's post-pub crowds.’
      • ‘Neil Ryan rose through the crowd and flicked it to Feehan who turned and slipped it to the net.’
      • ‘I grabbed my bat and marched through the crowd of beer drinkers in the bar.’
      • ‘The patrons waiting in line at the club automatically parted as he moved through them to the door.’
      • ‘Jennifer wove her way through the crowd and guests, to the other side of the rather large cabin.’
      • ‘He was part of an angry mob of religious orthodox Jews who joined arms and danced through the crowd in a wave of fury.’
      • ‘As we pushed through the crowd to walk uptown, people around us were crying, or gasping in horror.’
      • ‘The Green Room was really packed; you had to push your way through the crowd to get to the bar or even find a place to stand.’
      • ‘A few arrests were made as police in riot gear and on horses swept through to disperse the crowd.’
      • ‘Picking up her glass she slithers through the crowd and stops beside him to wait.’
      • ‘A line of uniformed police proceeds through the crowds, led by a petite woman toting an Uzi.’
      • ‘At one stage it ripped through a flock of sheep, miraculously missing every one of the panicking beasts.’
      • ‘His use of the stage and his movement through the audience shows us how Sparrow tells a story.’
      • ‘Once there we pushed our way through the crowds and I called Kathryn to see where she was.’
      • ‘Cerys exchanged greetings in English and Welsh as she made her way quickly through the crowd.’
      • ‘We walked through the mess carefully, trying not to disturb too many of the objects.’
      • ‘Witnesses said an elderly man was thrown to the pavement, and someone in a car tried to drive his way through the crowd.’
    3. 1.3 So 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’
      • ‘I went straight over to the school at playtime and called to Robin through the gates.’
      • ‘He smiled at Chrissy through the car window as he squirted the last pennyworth in and twisted the petrol cap back on.’
      • ‘I sat there for an hour or so and people-watched as the pale spring sun streamed through thousands of panes.’
      • ‘Still, the ceilings are high and a lot of sunlight streams through the western windows.’
      • ‘He had woken up late with the sunlight already streaming through the windows of his flat.’
      • ‘Nothing could be seen in the house through the curtainless windows except one radiator lying on the floor.’
      • ‘The views to the front here are of the sea while the nearby woods can be seen through the side window.’
      • ‘Light colours were complemented by the natural light that streamed in through large windows at the front.’
      • ‘She was too weak to play and only smiled through the pain for the sake of her family.’
      • ‘It's so much nicer here in the summer, when the sun streams in through the back windows.’
      • ‘His photography was lovely and inspired me to start looking a little more carefully through the lens.’
      • ‘As I write, the sunlight is streaming through my window at the Ayrshire Hospice.’
      • ‘He can look down on all of us, has side windows through which to view the world, and a skylight to the stars.’
      • ‘The first rays of sunlight filtered through the clouds streaming shafts of gold on to the calm ocean.’
      • ‘We passed by the Convent and old Mrs Birrane peered at us through the closed gates.’
      • ‘She still remembers me though, and usually smiles through her window whenever I walk past.’
      • ‘He raises the crown into the golden rays of summer sunshine streaming through the windows.’
      • ‘There was a full moon tonight and a moderate amount of moonlight flooded through the window.’
      • ‘At the same time, a neighbour saw what was happening through a window and shouted that the police were coming.’
      • ‘While he stood there, the girl observed him carefully through her still wet eyelashes.’
    4. 1.4preposition 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’
      • ‘I followed the footpath around the new church and through a couple of gates to the old church.’
      • ‘The club boarded up a metal gate taking the path through the club grounds.’
      • ‘The factory district was beyond the main freeway through town and it was rush hour.’
      • ‘For the heritage part of the base, entry is through Granby Gate, off Granby Way in Devonport.’
      • ‘Cross the road in front of it and join a main path from the right which leads to a wood through a kissing gate along the banks of Blea Tarn.’
    5. 1.5 Expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another.
      as preposition ‘each joint can move through an angle within fixed limits’
      • ‘What angle do you turn through if you turn from NE to NW anticlockwise?’
      • ‘As I swing through the shot and rotate the spine rises and that allows me to move through the shot freely and take the pressure off my spine.’
  • 2Continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period)

    as adverb ‘to struggle through until payday’
    as preposition ‘he showed up halfway through the second act’
    • ‘Families are likely to have smelling, overflowing bins halfway through the second week.’
    • ‘Grenwood had their goal midway through the second half in what was a very close contest.’
    • ‘A scatty sort of goal midway through the first period put an end to that hope.’
    • ‘So I sat up through the night composing this monster of a posting to send to the news group.’
    • ‘The stellar performance of the troupe kept the crowds going all through the evening.’
    • ‘As Grant moved through his week of mea culpa, he gradually adopted a position of wry humility.’
    • ‘Changing the rules midway through a process was also a concern of the commission.’
    • ‘Midway through the second period Walker dived over from marker for the next try.’
    • ‘Is it just us that gets utterly bored with Wimbledon by mid-way through the second week?’
    • ‘It took them until halfway through the second period to click back into gear.’
    • ‘The only goal came half way through the second half when Callum Collier prodded the ball over from close range.’
    • ‘In introducing the revolving door midway through the second period he all but made certain that would be the case.’
    • ‘He even got up and dusted himself down from a gruesome Brian Lima tackle midway through the second period.’
    • ‘They opened the scoring midway through the first half and continued to dominate.’
    • ‘Privacy becomes very important as your child moves through the pre-teen years.’
    • ‘None of which was quite as embarrassing as what caused a halt to play on Court Three midway through the second week.’
    • ‘You may very well have turned these pages through the night - but did you actually read any of them?’
    • ‘Strang made sure of the second outcome midway through the first period of extra time.’
    • ‘A goal midway through the second half by Denis Cronin set Spa up for a deserved win.’
    • ‘The music has gone through various stages of evolution on the way to current sound.’
    the whole time, all the time, from start to finish, without a break, without an interruption, uninterrupted, non-stop, continuously, constantly, throughout
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 So 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’
      • ‘You know how in most countries, binge drinking is a stage you go through at uni?’
      • ‘Therefore a product that has not been tested on animals will still have been through clinical trials on humans.’
      • ‘Well, we have no set timetable, we allow children the time to start an activity, see it through and finish it.’
      • ‘I hope she will persist through this stage and will play again regularly again.’
      • ‘The stage that they pass through is akin to the annual examinations taken by a student.’
      • ‘Or that one needs to pay a solicitor as well as a barrister to go through a simple trial?’
      • ‘It will go through all stages today, and there will be no detailed scrutiny in terms of what it does.’
      • ‘It was a phase I had to go through in order to build up my confidence again.’
      • ‘Hopefully it won't be the end of the world, and we can go through to the next stage.’
      • ‘She loses her family and has to go through the various stages of denial before she can find peace.’
      • ‘Now the trio who will go through to the next stage have been announced by Bradford Council.’
      • ‘The host school did not field their strongest side and, as expected, did not make it through the group stage.’
      • ‘I know there are a lot of issues there, but we know that your experience will take you through.’
      • ‘One of the objections we often have to urgency is that bills go through all their stages in the House.’
      • ‘She made it through surgery and moved in with a friend for a few months and started to piece her life back together.’
      • ‘I've successfully made it through this without too much harm being done to my body.’
      • ‘It has really been worthwhile and I am proud I have seen it through to this particular stage.’
      • ‘I want to expand on that point and build my argument, as we go through the Committee stage.’
      • ‘This play continues on and takes us through the first stage of George's life as a widower.’
      • ‘O'Toole believes entrepreneurs go through four stages at the helm of a new venture.’
      to the end, to the finish, to the termination, to the completion, to the culmination, to a successful conclusion
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 From 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’
      • ‘You seem to be very cheerful and Ria was able to sit quietly through one of Angie's outbursts.’
      • ‘My mother knows a couple, newly married and who have just gone through the happy experience of having a set of twins.’
      • ‘Having been through the experience, and had the rest of his life to think about it, he admitted he did not know.’
      • ‘Those of us who are landbound never experience what seafarers go through in bad weather at sea.’
      • ‘It was an awful experience to go through, but it was part of my life, and I can never forget it.’
      • ‘This toddler has probably been watching mum and he may even have seen her go through this experience before.’
      • ‘The farmers have had to go through that same experience, it's uncanny how similar it is.’
      • ‘The evening is free of charge and open to all those who have been through the experience of cancer.’
      • ‘And of course you're right to look to other activities to get you through this and live it down.’
      • ‘I speak as a man who has never felt as though he has been through a traumatic experience.’
      • ‘She added she had made many friends in recent years who had been through the same devastating experience.’
      • ‘Better still, it is mellow enough to guide one through a stressful day of work.’
      • ‘How many uninspired Hunter S. Thompson riffs have we had to sit and shudder through?’
      • ‘Perhaps the person at Amazon would like to actually go through that experience one day.’
      • ‘I've been through the same experience with the Qatar Airways office in Makati.’
      • ‘You are likely to go through a major experience that touches you deeply and transforms you.’
      • ‘We have been through traumatic experiences and have no immediate family to turn to except each other.’
      • ‘Always a heavy drinker, she had stopped almost entirely in order to nurse James through his illness.’
      • ‘If he had been through the Bradford experience he would understand people's utter despair.’
      • ‘After today, fewer gay or lesbian couples will be forced to go through this experience.’
      throughout, all through, for the duration of, to the end of, until the end of, during
      View synonyms
  • 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’
    • ‘I take out my wallet and rifle through my collection of passes and membership cards.’
    • ‘This meant teachers had no time to go through trial papers with their pupils before finals.’
    • ‘While I was reading all the names through and coming to the 6th page he said to look on the last page!’
    • ‘It is worthwhile at this stage to go through the biosecurity report card of this Government.’
    • ‘They will also work their way through the many letters, comments and petitions sent to them.’
    • ‘I have a list of blogs to the right of my page that I go through meticulously on a daily basis.’
    • ‘A helpful search facility allows the user to hunt through the huge collection of items.’
    • ‘He said he had gone through the statement very carefully with Mr Rousell and made various comments.’
    • ‘Reading through the letter he found a huge load of information on the man they next set out to con.’
    • ‘Reading through it carefully and studying the diagrams, I put the book down to try it.’
    • ‘Whenever we paged through the wedding album, Mom told the saga of her bridesmaid, the lesbian.’
    • ‘It's never been easier to browse through and sample the inventory of an online music store.’
    • ‘The Eagles look at each other, puzzled, while he leafs carefully through the pages.’
    • ‘The site is well illustrated, but cries out for a search engine to save plodding through up to six pages per category.’
    • ‘Look carefully through past test papers and you can see a pattern to the questions posed.’
    • ‘Cannily, you have navigated your way through billions of pages, and you have found me.’
    • ‘I'll be sending the books home with him tomorrow so his wife can page through and have a look.’
    • ‘Go through it then carefully and acquaint those with it worthy of sharing in such things.’
    • ‘To stave off the ennui as I do my pain, I've started to go through my old video collection.’
    • ‘I'm fed up with constantly finding you in the hallway sifting through the letters.’
  • 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’
    • ‘Pharmacy students at University of the Pacific will embark on an educational adventure in London from March 9 through March 18.’
    up to and including, to … inclusive, from … to … inclusive
    View synonyms
  • 5preposition By means of (a process or intermediate stage)

    ‘dioxins get into mothers' milk through contaminated food’
    • ‘Transmission occurs through food or faecal contamination from an infected person or animal.’
    • ‘British Airways said it aimed to achieve the cuts through voluntary means such as natural wastage.’
    • ‘The bug is passed on from person to person or through food contaminated by a sufferer.’
    • ‘This is achieved through diet, herbal remedies, and massage using Ayurvedic oils.’
    • ‘But it was put on hold in the hope that a better pay deal could be achieved through negotiations.’
    • ‘My plan is to not actively seek it out through deliberate use of radio, tv, web or print.’
    • ‘But we are confident that this will be achieved through the support of the local community.’
    • ‘We believe it's important for children to learn how to win and lose and that is achieved well through sport.’
    • ‘It has been achieved largely through the instrumentality of parliamentary democracy.’
    • ‘Infections can also enter the body through cuts in the skin or through contaminated food.’
    • ‘And dreams can only be achieved through hard work and a bit of luck along the way.’
    • ‘The only way to achieve this is through targeted and strategic communication.’
    • ‘It is a mechanism through which societies seek to achieve political objectives.’
    • ‘Medical teams are baffled by the youngster's condition which means he has to be fed milk through a tube.’
    • ‘If we are to address the roots of terror, it will be through diplomacy and justice, not more terror.’
    • ‘But he knows what can be achieved through hard work and he isn't giving up hope.’
    • ‘The horror is achieved through editing, sound, composition, lighting and drama.’
    • ‘However, even greater diversification can be achieved through an index tracker.’
    • ‘They tucked food into Basi's mouth with their fingers and fed him milk through a syringe.’
    • ‘We all want to live in peace, but sometimes that peace for which we long can only be achieved through conflict.’
    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
    View synonyms
    1. 5.1 By means of (an intermediary or agent)
      ‘seeking justice through the proper channels’
      • ‘The business was conducted by correspondence or through an intermediary, we assume.’
      • ‘He operates solely through agents, who do the vetting, credit checks and so on.’
      • ‘However, he said the thieves themselves would not be paid either directly or through an agent.’
      • ‘The privilege covers direct communications and communications through agents.’
      • ‘They ruled the country in all but name through the Agent and Consul-General Lord Cromer.’
      • ‘We contacted customers through travel agents and call centres to get them there before the strike.’
      • ‘Mrs Blood has written to the Government through her solicitor about changing the law.’
      • ‘If booked as a package through a travel agent, they should make a claim on their travel insurance.’
      • ‘The credit may be transmitted to the supplier through an intermediary bank in its own country.’
      • ‘Approximately five years ago I put my house on the market through a local agent.’
      • ‘The traditional way of doing it is to say we're going to divorce, let's go through solicitors.’
      • ‘Up to six retailers are attempting to hawk their leases through agents to see if anyone will take over their units.’
      • ‘At the same time messages were being passed back and forth through the mysterious intermediary.’
      • ‘Last night Bieber issued a statement through his solicitor hinting that he was ready to launch an appeal.’
      • ‘If you are looking for a package holiday you may prefer to book it through a travel agent.’
      • ‘God wants each one of us to be an agent through whom he brings his life into the world.’
      • ‘One solution would be to let this house through a good local agent, and rent one in Somerset.’
      • ‘Some of those are now likely to be offered for resale through independent estate agents.’
      • ‘Berezovsky said that he reported the matter to British intelligence through an intermediary.’
      • ‘The second niggling point is the large proportion of sales made through tied agents.’
  • 6adverb So as to be connected by telephone.

    ‘he put a call through to the senator’
    • ‘The Colon family was sleeping when the phone call came through.’
    • ‘Someone out there is going to read this and figure out who Lynn is and get that message-center operator to put a call through.’


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

    ‘a through train from Boston’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Through trains from Hull to Manchester Airport will run as far as Manchester Piccadilly.’
    1. 1.1 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’
      • ‘More conventional routes are closed to through traffic by overflowing cardboard boxes.’
      • ‘Here the right-turning traffic on to Kings Avenue is as great as through traffic.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Ask anyone in Settle if they enjoy a sandwich at the Naked Man with the roar of polluting through traffic.’
      • ‘The proposed scheme is for a flyover to separate local and through traffic at the roundabout.’
      • ‘This means that the car threads through traffic with ease and overtakes dawdlers in a flash.’
      • ‘The whole idea of this is to facilitate the easy movement of through traffic and allow the town to flourish.’
      • ‘This poses problems both for through traffic as well as for vehicles waiting to turn.’
      • ‘Where did all the through traffic go when the park was shut during the foot and mouth crisis?’
      • ‘Modernisation of the beach will include stopping through traffic to Blackgate Road.’
      • ‘Overnight Marlborough lost much of the through traffic on which many of its businesses depended.’
      • ‘Stockton Lane in Grappenhall will be closed to through traffic for about four months.’
    2. 1.2 Denoting 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?’
  • 2attributive (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.’
  • 3informal 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
    View synonyms


  • through and through

    • In every aspect; thoroughly or completely.

      ‘Harriet was a political animal through and through’
      • ‘I am a republican through and through - and given half the chance I would abolish our monarchy tomorrow.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, I don't think anyone can defend the script or acting - it is terrible through and through.’
      • ‘He may wear baseball boots, climbing trousers and T-shirts to work, but he is a businessman through and through.’
      • ‘He is a consumer through and through - but a discerning consumer, who hates settling for second best.’
      • ‘The first, which he repeated almost obsessively in all manner of formulations, is that society is a moral reality 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 think he is a gentleman through and through but, as we all know, that is not a prerequisite for good managership.’
      in every respect, to the core
      View synonyms


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 onwards.