\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

amid (or amidst), among (also amongst), mid, midst

Synonyms: Adverb

around, over, round, throughout

Synonyms: Adjective

complete, completed, concluded, done, down, ended, finished, over, over with, 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

Zach Gibson/Getty Images Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan after holding on to the Senate: push through more judges. Li Zhou, Vox, "Mitch McConnell is laser-focused on jamming through more judges," 7 Nov. 2018 Yes, Democrats will now be able to put more checks on the Trump administration, but Republicans will probably continue to push through more hyper-conservative judicial appointments, which could impact the shape of the U.S. for generations. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "What the Midterm Election Results Actually Mean for Abortion Access," 7 Nov. 2018 Clyburn was part of a Democratic majority for most of her tenure and was therefore able to push through much of her agenda. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "FCC is hurting consumers to help corporations, Mignon Clyburn says on exit," 21 May 2018 But wind that blew hard to start the game then died midway through came back, and Ashley’s opposite-field offering found the jet stream. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU baseball breaks four-game losing streak with win in 12th inning," 28 Apr. 2018 So strong, in fact, that Holiday can push through contested spaces that other guards cannot. Rob Mahoney,, "The Power of Jrue Holiday," 19 Apr. 2018 It was seen as a veiled warning to Theresa May not to use Labour to push through some kind of soft Brexit., "+1 212 318 2000," 28 Mar. 2018 The outlook at the end is dark, but soon enough Spring will come, and then maybe the threatening icicles will thaw and the buds of hope will push through. Sarah Begley, Time, "Ali Smith’s Winter Is Love in the Time of Brexit," 11 Jan. 2018 Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through, until cookies are lightly golden brown around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Cookie Skulls and Pumpkin Sugar Cookie Cutouts," 2 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In a machine recount, all ballots across the state are re-fed through vote tabulators. Arian Campo-flores, WSJ, "Florida Recount: How It Works," 9 Nov. 2018 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

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on through

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with through

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for through

Spanish Central: Translation of through

Nglish: Translation of through for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of through for Arabic Speakers

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).


a soft lustrous wool fabric with mohair

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