\ˈthrü \

Definition of through 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a(1) used as a function word to indicate movement into at one side or point and out at another and especially the opposite side of drove a nail through the board

(2) : by way of left through the door

(3) used as a function word to indicate passage from one end or boundary to another a highway through the foresta road through the desert

(4) : without stopping for : past drove through a red light

b used as a function word to indicate passage into and out of a treatment, handling, or process the matter has already passed through her hands

2 used as a function word to indicate means, agency, or intermediacy: such as

a : by means of : by the agency of

b : because of failed through ignorance

c : by common descent from or relationship with related through their grandfather

3a : over the whole surface or extent of : throughout homes scattered through the valley

b used as a function word to indicate movement within a large expanse flew through the air

c used as a function word to indicate exposure to a specified set of conditions put him through hell

4 used as a function word to indicate a period of time: such as

a : during the entire period of all through her life

b : from the beginning to the end of the tower stood through the earthquake

c : to and including Monday through Friday

5a used as a function word to indicate completion or exhaustion got through the bookwent through the money in a year

b used as a function word to indicate acceptance or approval especially by an official body got the bill through the legislature


\ˈthrü \

Definition of through (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : from one end or side to the other

2a : from beginning to end

b : to completion, conclusion, or accomplishment see it through

3 : to the core : completely soaked through

4 : into the open : out break through


\ˈthrü \

Definition of through (Entry 3 of 3)

1a : arrived at completion or accomplishment is through with the job

b : washed-up, finished

2a : admitting free or continuous passage : direct a through road

b : extending from one surface to another a through mortise

3a : initiated at and destined for points outside a local zone through traffic

b(1) : going from point of origin to destination without change or reshipment a through train

(2) : of or relating to such movement a through ticket

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Synonyms & Antonyms for through

Synonyms: Preposition

by, via

Synonyms: Adverb

across, athwart, over

Synonyms: Adjective

complete, completed, concluded, done, down, ended, finished, over, terminated, up

Antonyms: Adjective

continuing, incomplete, ongoing, uncompleted, undone, unfinished

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Examples of through in a Sentence


He hit the nail through the wood. She looked through the binoculars. The bullet had gone through his hand. He just walked through the door. The security guards pushed their way through the crowd. She could see a figure through the fog. I looked through the window.


Let these people go through, please. The nail went completely through. It snowed heavily, but we made it through. We'll never get through—the mud is too deep. The package was shipped through to New Orleans. Read the essay through and tell me what you think.


When the police were through with him, a taxi took him, his suitcase, the homburg funeral hat, in the other direction … — Annie Proulx, Atlantic, November 1997 I tell him I like fanzines. This one's mad, he says, really mad. I can borrow it when he's through. — Lynne Tillman, Motion Sickness, 1991 Today though, once experience shows on a woman's face, she's through. — Patricia Volk, New Woman, November 1990 I'm not through yet. I have one more topic to discuss. If you're through using the phone, I'd like to use it next. Is this a through road? The left lane is for through traffic only.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through, or until the loaves are nicely colored and sound hollow when tapped. Daniel Neman, sacbee, "Artistry, flavor blends are marks of Moroccan," 10 July 2018 The story takes a paranormal twist about midway through, as Milo and the surviving team approach a prehistoric life force hidden in the bowels of the cave. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction Chronicles: The Intoxicating Attraction of the Abyss," 8 June 2018 Listeners are unusually inclined to listen to the show all the way through, particularly impressive given the hosts’ refusal to bag the usual big game. Allison Stewart,, "True-crime podcast 'Small Town Murder' is suddenly killing it," 26 Apr. 2018 Another trash truck fell through, causing the Water Department to issue more defect notices for properties further down the block. Claudia Vargas,, "'Nightmare on Monroe Street': A tiny Queen Village block's six-year feud with the Philly Water Department," 6 July 2018 Secrets are unearthed, and a web of rivalries and resentments among frenemy writers emerge for Cormoran and Robin to sort through. Inkoo Kang, The Hollywood Reporter, "'C.B. Strike': TV Review," 31 May 2018 There are a few possible explanations to sort through. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "It seems someone is producing a banned ozone-depleting chemical again," 16 May 2018 Instead of filtering data for humans to sort through, the drones could use that information to increase their own intelligence, eventually replacing humans as a more efficient and effective monitor. Caroline Lester, The Atlantic, "What Happens When Your Bomb-Defusing Robot Becomes a Weapon," 26 Apr. 2018 But Baldwin wasn't through yet, getting in one last zinger. Joey Morona,, "President Donald Trump, Alec Baldwin trade insults on Twitter," 2 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Danny Rose gets a through ball on the left from Jordan Henderson and gets off a clean shot. Andrew Das, New York Times, "England Shakes Its Shootout Curse and Saves Its World Cup," 5 July 2018 Bedoya sprung Burke with a through ball that split two Red Bulls defenders, and the Jamaican striker hit a cool, low shot. Jonathan Tannenwald,, "Haris Medunjanin, Cory Burke lead Union's 2-1 win over Red Bulls in U.S. Open Cup," 16 June 2018 Hernandez and Vela were through on goal but the latter couldn't quite find his compatriot with a through ball and Germany were able to recover to win back the ball. Joe Marcovitch, Pro Soccer USA, "Germany 0-1 Mexico: Reigning champions stunned by magnificent El Tri in World Cup opener," 17 June 2018 Much of the transmission in this outbreak is thought to be person-to-person through injection drug use and from generally poor sanitation, according to the CDC. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Hepatitis outbreaks: 10 things to know about the liver disease," 15 June 2018 Hector Villalba intercepted a Will Johnson pass intended for Spector and passed to Martinez, who then played a through ball for Miguel Almirón. Jordan Culver, Pro Soccer USA, "Atlanta United thrashes Orlando City 4-0, extends Lions’ MLS losing skid to eight," 30 June 2018 Drake’s frustration and fatigue have been something of a through line in his art. Juan Vidal, Billboard, "Drake's Strikes Back With Double Album 'Scorpion'," 29 June 2018 Barnwell Road will also have a through lane and a right-hand turn lane. Arielle Kass, ajc, "Fulton County to get nearly $15 million for transportation projects," 28 June 2018 The company is planning a major expansion push with a fresh store design that includes a drive-through lane at some locations. Paul Takahashi, Houston Chronicle, "Jamba Juice to expand in Houston," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'through.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of through


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


before the 13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for through


Middle English thurh, thruh, through, from Old English thurh; akin to Old High German durh through, Latin trans across, beyond, Sanskrit tarati he crosses over


see through entry 1


see through entry 1

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Statistics for through

Last Updated

21 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for through

The first known use of through was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for through



English Language Learners Definition of through

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: into one side and out the other side of (something)

: from one side or end to another side or end of (something)

—used to describe movement within a place or an area of land, air, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of through (Entry 2 of 3)

: from one side or end to the other

: over the whole distance

: from the beginning to the end



English Language Learners Definition of through (Entry 3 of 3)

: having reached the end of an activity, job, etc.

: no longer in a romantic relationship

: no longer able to continue in a role, activity, etc.


\ˈthrü \

Kids Definition of through

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : into at one side and out at the other side of He drove a nail through the wood.

2 : from one side or end to another of We rode through town.

3 : by way of I got in through the window.

4 : among sense 1 There's a path through the trees.

5 : by means of She succeeded through hard work.

6 : over the whole of The rumor swept through school.

7 : during the whole of The baby slept through the night.

8 : to and including We're open Monday through Friday.

9 : into and out of I'm through the worst of it.



Kids Definition of through (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : from one end or side to the other The nail went through.

2 : from beginning to end He read the book through in one evening.

3 : to completion I plan to see the job through.

4 : in or to every part Heat the sauce through.



Kids Definition of through (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : having reached an end We're through with the job.

2 : allowing free or continuous passage : direct a through road

3 : going from point of origin to destination without changes or transfers through trains

4 : coming from and going to points outside a local zone through traffic

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Comments on through

What made you want to look up through? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

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