Meaning of “through” in the English Dictionary

"through" in British English

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throughpreposition, adverb

uk /θruː/ us /θruː/

through preposition, adverb (PLACE)

A2 also US not standard thru from one end or side of something to the other:

They walked slowly through the woods.
The boy waded through the water to reach his boat.
He struggled through the crowd till he reached the front.
How long the journey takes will depend on how long it takes to get through the traffic.
Her words kept running through my mind/head (= I kept hearing her words in my imagination).
We drove through the tunnel.
I saw him drive through a red light (= he did not stop at the red traffic light).
I'll put you through (= connect you by phone) (to the sales department).

More examples

  • The teacher drew a diagram showing how the blood flows through the heart.
  • She walked through the city centre with its drab, grey buildings and felt depressed.
  • She heard the eerie noise of the wind howling through the trees.
  • Our new sofa doesn't fit through the door.
  • Some poisonous gases can enter the body by absorption through the skin.

through preposition, adverb (TIME)

B1 from the beginning to the end of a period of time:

It rained all/right through June and into the first half of July.
We sat through two of the speeches and then left.
She had just enough energy to get through the day.
US She works Monday through Thursday (= from Monday to Thursday).

More examples

  • If I can just get through the training period, it won't be so bad after that.
  • We've gone through a few financially insecure years.
  • Unfortunately, I lost interest half way through the film.
  • Electricians worked through the night to localize the faulty switches.
  • The bells ring at regular intervals through the day.


uk /θruː/ us /θruː/

through preposition (RESULT)

B1 as a result of:

More examples

  • Several political prisoners have been released through the intercession of Amnesty International.
  • If he fails it won't be through lack of effort.
  • The soil has been so heavily leached through intensive farming that it is no longer fertile.
  • A lot of water is wasted through leakage.
  • Four million hours were lost last year through stress-related illnesses.

through preposition (USING)

B1 by; using:

I got my car through my brother who works in a garage.
We sold the bike through advertising in the local paper.

More examples

  • The performers tell the story through song and dance.
  • She met her husband through a dating agency.
  • The police entered the building through the side door.
  • She still controls the company indirectly through her son, who is the managing director.
  • Speaking through an interpreter, the president said the terms of the ceasefire were completely unacceptable.


uk /θruː/ us /θruː/

(Definition of “through” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"through" in American English

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throughadjective, adverb [ not gradable ]

us /θru/

through adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (ACROSS)

from one side or end to the other, from one part to another, or from the beginning to the end:

We drove through the tunnel
We took a shortcut through the woods.
Have you read the report all the way through?

If you drive through a red light or stop sign, you do not stop at it.

through adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (FINISHED)

finished or completed:

Are you through with that book?
My girlfriend says we’re through (= our relationship is over).

through adjective, adverb [ not gradable ] (DURING)

during a period of time, esp. from the beginning to the end:

We sat through two lectures and then left.
She had just enough energy to get through the day.
I work Tuesdays through Saturdays (= each day during this period).


us /θru/

through preposition (AS A RESULT)

as a result of:

Bob learned of the contract through a story in the newspaper.

through preposition (USING)

by; using:

Schools are financed through property taxes.

(Definition of “through” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)