through line

variants: or throughline \ ˈthrü-​ˌlīn How to pronounce through line (audio) \ or less commonly through-line

Definition of through line

: a common or consistent element or theme shared by items in a series or by parts of a whole But Kent's latest nonetheless reveals a fascinating through line in her work, which centers on, as she puts it, "disrespect for the feminine"—and the inciting power of female rage.— Rachel Handler Vang was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, and came to the United States in the late 1980s. For him and his family, food was the throughline keeping them connected to their culture, wherever they were.— Sharyn Jackson Perverse moments like these are a throughline in Decker's work. The Texas native specializes in "bad" desires—awkward wants that tend to go unexpressed, or which otherwise seem too compromising to confess even to oneself.— K. Austin Collins Unlike Tokyo's great shopping thoroughfares, which have a certain logical through-line (if not aesthetic, at least socioeconomic), Osaka's arcades are mismatched, high-low jumbles of retail diversions.— Simon Dumenco

First Known Use of through line

1936, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of through line was in 1936

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Cite this Entry

“Through line.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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