in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other: to pass through a tunnel; We drove through Denver without stopping. Sun came through the window.
past; beyond: to go through a stop sign without stopping.
from one to the other of; between or among the individual members or parts of: to swing through the trees; This book has passed through many hands.
over the surface of, by way of, or within the limits or medium of: to travel through a country; to fly through the air.
during the whole period of; throughout: They worked through the night.
having reached the end of; done with: to be through one's work.
to and including: from 1900 through 1950.
by the means or instrumentality of; by the way or agency of: It was through him they found out. through, with.
by reason of or in consequence of: to run away through fear.
in at the first step of a process, treatment, or method of handling, passing through subsequent steps or stages in order, and finished, accepted, or out of the last step or stage: The body of a car passes through 147 stages on the production line. The new tax bill finally got through Congress.
in at one end, side, or surface and out at the other: to push a needle through; just passing through.
all the way; along the whole distance: This train goes through to Boston.
throughout: soaking wet through.
from the beginning to the end: to read a letter through.
to the end: to carry a matter through.
to a favorable or successful conclusion: He barely managed to pull through.
having completed an action, process, etc.; finished: Please be still until I'm through. When will you be through with school?
at the end of all relations or dealings: My sister insists she's through with selfish friends.
passing or extending from one end, side, or surface to the other: a through wound coming left to right and out the other side.
traveling or moving to a destination without changing of trains, planes, etc.: a through flight.
(of a road, route, way, course, etc., or of a ticket, routing order, etc.) admitting continuous or direct passage; having no interruption, obstruction, or hindrance: a through highway; through ticket.
(of a bridge truss) having a deck or decks within the depth of the structure. Compare deck ( def 16 ).
of no further use or value; washed-up: Critics say he's through as a writer.
through and through,
through the whole extent of; thoroughly: cold through and through.
from beginning to end; in all respects: an aristocrat through and through.

before 900; Middle English (preposition and adv.), metathetic variant of thourgh, Old English thurh, cognate with German durch; akin to Old English therh, Gothic thairh through, Old High German derh perforated, Old English thyrel full of holes (adj.), hole (noun). See thirl

threw, through.

By, through, with indicate agency or means of getting something done or accomplished. By is regularly used to denote the agent (person or force) in passive constructions: It is done by many; destroyed by fire. It also indicates means: Send it by airmail. With denotes the instrument (usually consciously) employed by an agent: He cut it with the scissors. Through designates particularly immediate agency or instrumentality or reason or motive: through outside aid; to yield through fear; wounded through carelessness. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To through
World English Dictionary
through (θruː)
1.  going in or starting at one side and coming out or stopping at the other side of: a path through the wood
2.  occupying or visiting several points scattered around in (an area)
3.  as a result of; by means of: the thieves were captured through his vigilance
4.  chiefly (US) up to and including: Monday through Friday
5.  during: through the night
6.  at the end of; having (esp successfully) completed
7.  through with having finished with (esp when dissatisfied with)
8.  (postpositive) having successfully completed some specified activity
9.  (on a telephone line) connected
10.  (postpositive) no longer able to function successfully in some specified capacity: as a journalist, you're through
11.  (prenominal) (of a route, journey, etc) continuous or unbroken: a through train
12.  through some specified thing, place, or period of time
13.  thoroughly; completely
[Old English thurh; related to Old Frisian thruch, Old Saxon thuru, Old High German duruh]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

c.1300, metathesis of O.E. þurh, from W.Gmc. *thurkh (cf. O.S. thuru, O.Fris. thruch, M.Du. dore, Du. door, O.H.G. thuruh, Ger. durch, Goth. þairh "through"), from PIE base *tr- "through" (cf. Skt. tirah, Avestan taro "through, beyond," L. trans "beyond," O.Ir. tre, Welsh tra "through").
Not clearly differentiated from thorough until early Mod.Eng. Spelling thro was common 15c.-18c. Reformed spelling thru (1917) is mainly Amer.Eng.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with through, see break through; carry through; come through; come up (through); cross (pass through) one's mind; fall between (through) the cracks; fall through; follow through; get through; get through one's head; go through; go through channels; go through the motions; go through the roof; jump through hoops; leaf through; let daylight through; let slip (through the fingers); lie through one's teeth; live through; muddle through; pay through the nose; pull through; put through; put someone through his or her paces; rise through the ranks; run through; sail through; see through; see through rose-colored glasses; sink through the floor; sit out (through); sleep through; squeak by (through); squeeze through; talk through one's hat; think through; win through; work one's way into (through).

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Clean water comes through a self-coiling hose that's fed by a ground-level hose
  bib under the table.
Plastic foam flats with tapered individual cells are sold by nurseries and
  through seed catalogs.
The goal: to represent the creatures that lived in or moved through that space.
The team then sorted through their habitat cubes, coaxing out every inhabitant,
  down to a size of about a millimeter.
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