Definition of through in English:

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Pronunciation: /θruː/

preposition& adverb

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
More example sentences
  • Alyssa turned as the lady once again stepped through the doorway followed by her husband.
  • Drains woman suggests letters and leaflets shoved through doors may help.
  • The vast majority of HGV drivers drive carefully and courteously through these towns.
into and out of, to the other/far side of, from one side of … to the other, from end to end of, between, past, by, down, along, across, by way of, via;
throughout, around in, all over
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/side
1.1So as to make a hole or opening in (a physical object): [as preposition]: the lorry smashed through a brick wall [as adverb]: a cucumber, slit, but not right through
More example sentences
  • 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!
  • Mortar rounds lobbed from the nearby hills smashed roofs and crashed through walls.
1.2Moving around or from one side to the other within (a crowd or group): [as preposition]: making my way through the guests
More example sentences
  • Jennifer wove her way through the crowd and guests, to the other side of the rather large cabin.
  • Afterwards, I would barge my way through the crowd to get to my sister Angela, where I felt happy.
  • A few arrests were made as police in riot gear and on horses swept through to disperse the crowd.
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
More example sentences
  • Still, the ceilings are high and a lot of sunlight streams through the western windows.
  • As I write, the sunlight is streaming through my window at the Ayrshire Hospice.
  • He raises the crown into the golden rays of summer sunshine streaming through the windows.
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
More example sentences
  • I followed the footpath around the new church and through a couple of gates to the old church.
  • The factory district was beyond the main freeway through town and it was rush hour.
  • 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.
1.5Expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another: [as preposition]: each joint can move through an angle within fixed limits
More example sentences
  • 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 towards completion of (a process or period): [as preposition]: the goal came midway through the second half [as adverb]: to struggle through until pay day
More example sentences
  • It took them until halfway through the second period to click back into gear.
  • 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.
the whole time, all the time, from start to finish, without a break, without an interruption, uninterrupted, non-stop, continuously, constantly, throughout
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
More example sentences
  • Therefore a product that has not been tested on animals will still have been through clinical trials on humans.
  • Or that one needs to pay a solicitor as well as a barrister to go through a simple trial?
  • I've successfully made it through this without too much harm being done to my body.
to the end, to the finish, to the termination, to the completion, to the culmination, to a successful conclusion
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
More example sentences
  • Those of us who are landbound never experience what seafarers go through in bad weather at sea.
  • After today, fewer gay or lesbian couples will be forced to go through this experience.
  • You are likely to go through a major experience that touches you deeply and transforms you.
throughout, all through, for the duration of, until/to the end of, during
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
More example sentences
  • The Eagles look at each other, puzzled, while he leafs carefully through the pages.
  • It's never been easier to browse through and sample the inventory of an online music store.
  • To stave off the ennui as I do my pain, I've started to go through my old video collection.
4 [preposition] North American Up to and including (a particular point in an ordered sequence): they will be in London from March 24 through May 7
More example sentences
  • 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, (from …) to … inclusive
5 [preposition] By means of (a process or intermediate stage): dioxins get into mothers' milk through contaminated food
More example sentences
  • However, even greater diversification can be achieved through an index tracker.
  • Infections can also enter the body through cuts in the skin or through contaminated food.
  • The bug is passed on from person to person or through food contaminated by a sufferer.
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
5.1By means of (an intermediary or agent): seeking justice through the proper channels
More example sentences
  • Berezovsky said that he reported the matter to British intelligence through an intermediary.
  • Up to six retailers are attempting to hawk their leases through agents to see if anyone will take over their units.
  • We contacted customers through travel agents and call centres to get them there before the strike.
6 [adverb] So as to be connected by telephone: he put a call through to the Naturalists' Trust Office
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The Colon family was sleeping when the phone call came through.


1 [attributive] (With reference to public transport) continuing or valid to the final destination: a through train from London
More example sentences
  • The first through train leaves at 8:45.
  • Through trains from Hull to Manchester Airport will run as far as Manchester Piccadilly.
  • Through trains for returning holidaymakers will run from most holiday centres on July 3.
without changes
1.1(Of traffic) passing from one side of a place to another in the course of a longer journey: precincts from which through traffic would be excluded
More example sentences
  • Overnight Marlborough lost much of the through traffic on which many of its businesses depended.
  • This poses problems both for through traffic as well as for vehicles waiting to turn.
  • More conventional routes are closed to through traffic by overflowing cardboard boxes.
1.2(Of a road) open at both ends, allowing free passage from one end to the other: the village lies on a busy through road
More example sentences
  • So why is Council so determined to redevelop Junction St as a through road for heavy trucks?
2 [attributive] (Of a room) running the whole length of a building.
Example sentences
  • This is a through room enjoying front and rear garden aspects and is fitted with a range of natural timber fronted units.
3 [predicative] (Of a team or competitor) having successfully passed to the next stage of a competition: Swindon Town are through to the third round
More example sentences
  • The New Zealand Warriors are through to the preliminary finals in Australia's National Rugby League.
  • Manchester United are through to the knockout stages for the eighth successive season.
  • I don't see why we can't beat Sweden and Nigeria and if so, then we will be through to the next stage.
4 [predicative] informal Having no prospect of any future relationship, dealings, or success: she told him she was through with him you and I are through
More example sentences
  • She just left him, said she was through with him and disappeared.
  • If you can't do this, you and I are through as of this second!
finished, done, reached the end, completed, terminated;
no longer involved with, no longer wanting anything to do with, tired of


through and through

In every aspect; thoroughly or completely: Harriet was a political animal through and through
More example sentences
  • He is a consumer through and through - but a discerning consumer, who hates settling for second best.
  • Considered one of the last performers to come out of the string band tradition, Armstrong is a bluesman through and through.
  • The first, which he repeated almost obsessively in all manner of formulations, is that society is a moral reality through and through.


Old English thurh (preposition and adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch door and German durch. The spelling change to thr- appears circa1300, becoming standard from Caxton onwards.

  • thorough from Old English:

    Old English thuruh was an alteration of thurhthrough’, and the two forms were both originally used for through. The adjective ‘carried out in every detail’ dates from the late 15th century, a period when it also meant ‘going or extending through something’ surviving in late Middle English thoroughfare (literally ‘a track going through’), and familiar from Shakespeare's ‘Over hill, over dale, Thorough bush, thorough briar’ in A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Words that rhyme with through

accrue, adieu, ado, anew, Anjou, aperçu, askew, ballyhoo, bamboo, bedew, bestrew, billet-doux, blew, blue, boo, boohoo, brew, buckaroo, canoe, chew, clew, clou, clue, cock-a-doodle-doo, cockatoo, construe, coo, Corfu, coup, crew, Crewe, cru, cue, déjà vu, derring-do, dew, didgeridoo, do, drew, due, endue, ensue, eschew, feu, few, flew, flu, flue, foreknew, glue, gnu, goo, grew, halloo, hereto, hew, Hindu, hitherto, how-do-you-do, hue, Hugh, hullabaloo, imbrue, imbue, jackaroo, Jew, kangaroo, Karroo, Kathmandu, kazoo, Kiangsu, knew, Kru, K2, kung fu, Lahu, Lanzhou, Lao-tzu, lasso, lieu, loo, Lou, Manchu, mangetout, mew, misconstrue, miscue, moo, moue, mu, nardoo, new, non-U, nu, ooh, outdo, outflew, outgrew, peekaboo, Peru, pew, plew, Poitou, pooh, pooh-pooh, potoroo, pursue, queue, revue, roo, roux, rue, Selous, set-to, shampoo, shih-tzu, shoe, shoo, shrew, Sioux, skean dhu, skew, skidoo, slew, smew, snafu, sou, spew, sprue, stew, strew, subdue, sue, switcheroo, taboo, tattoo, thereto, thew, threw, thro, thru, tickety-boo, Timbuktu, tiramisu, to, to-do, too, toodle-oo, true, true-blue, tu-whit tu-whoo, two, vendue, view, vindaloo, virtu, wahoo, wallaroo, Waterloo, well-to-do, whereto, whew, who, withdrew, woo, Wu, yew, you, zoo

For editors and proofreaders

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