through - definition and synonyms

adjective, adverb, preposition 

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Through can be used in the following ways:
as a preposition (followed by a noun): They were riding through a forest.
as an adverb (without a following noun): There’s a hole in the roof where the rain comes through.
as an adjective: a through train
  1. 1
    from one end or side of something to the other
    1. a.
      into one end of a passage, tube, pipe etc and along it towards the other end

      The railway runs through a tunnel.

      Some pipes were almost blocked, so that hardly any water was trickling through.

    2. b.
      from one side of a window, door, gate etc to the other side of it

      She was watching him through the kitchen window.

      The man at the gate would not let us through.

      The men raced the stolen car through an army checkpoint at 100 mph.

      You could feel the wind whistling through tiny cracks in the wall.

    3. c.
      making a hole in something, or cutting it into pieces

      A workman was drilling through the concrete wall.

      The soles of his shoes were nearly worn through in places.

      Workers had cut through an electrical cable while they were digging.

    4. d.
      across an area or space, or between a group of things

      Maynard spent a year travelling through Europe and Asia, giving lectures.

      The path climbs steeply through the trees.

  2. 2
    during the whole of a period of time until the end of it

    Only one hotel remained open through the year.

    all through:

    He lay awake all through the night.

    the whole day/night/year etc through:

    They worked the whole day through.

    through to (=all the time until):

    The training programme will continue through to mid-April.

  3. 3
    happening because of someone or something

    In 1986 Professor Lowe retired through ill health.

    Most accidents occur through human error.

  4. 4
    by means of something
    1. b.
      using a particular system, service, or person

      Concert tickets are being sold through the Internet.

      Woods issued a statement through his agent.

    2. c.
      if you know or hear of something through another person, they told you about it after hearing it from someone else

      I heard through a friend of Caroline’s that there’s been trouble in the family.

  5. 5
    to the end of a bad or difficult experience
    1. a.
      experiencing an unpleasant situation until it ends

      I’ve been going through hell these last six months, waiting for the trial.

      women who had lived through the horror and suffering of war

    2. b.
      successfully reaching the end of a difficult situation or period

      We have come through the struggle stronger and more united than we were before.

      The pain was terrible, but he pulled through when most other men would have died.

  6. 6
    having finished an activity or piece of work

    I’m not sure what time he’ll be through with his meeting.

    Only one more letter to write. I’m nearly through.

  7. 7
    used for saying that you are connected to someone by phone
    be/get through:

    I tried to phone the mayor’s office, but I couldn’t get through.

    put someone through (=connect someone to someone else by phone):

    Can you put me through to Mr Pemberton, please?

     Synonyms and related words
  8. 8
    affecting every part of someone or something

    A rumour spread through the camp.

    Problems extend through the entire system.

    When she heard Bruno’s voice, it sent a chill of terror through her.

  9. 9
    if you get through an examination or test, you succeed in passing it

    I’m no good at languages, so I’d never get through the exam.

    He took his driving test for the third time and just managed to scrape through.

  10. 10
    if a proposal goes through a parliament, it is accepted by it and becomes law

    An anti-terrorism bill was rushed through parliament.

  11. 11
    reading or looking at every part of something, from the beginning to the end of it

    You’d better read through the instructions carefully.

    Christina hastily flicked through her diary.

    I’ve been searching through all the files, but I can’t find Hamilton’s letter.

  12. 12
    as far as a place, stage, or level
    1. a.
      if a train, bus etc goes through to a particular town, it goes as far as that town
      through to:

      Does this train go through to Glasgow?

    2. b.
      as far as a particular stage or level
      through to:

      The course takes students through to university degree level.

    3. c.
      successfully reaching a person or place

      In spite of the terrible weather one plane managed to get through.

  13. 13
    used for saying that a large amount of something is used during a period of time
    go/work/get through:

    We seem to be getting through two or three boxes of tissues a day.