Middle English Dictionary Entry

thurgh prep.
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Entry Info

Definitions (Senses and Subsenses)

Note: For additional forms see LALME 4.96-101; this list, however, combines the adv. and the prep. and also includes cpds. which in the MED are treated individually.
(a) Freq. in phrases with verbs of cutting, stabbing, piercing, etc.: in at one side or surface and out at another side or surface of (a solid object or substance, a body, bodily part, etc.), right through (sb.); also in fig. contexts; also, into and beneath the surface of (the earth, a part of the body) without complete penetration; also, in emphatic collocation: ~ and ~, straight through (sb., the heart), right through, or repeatedly through [could also be construed as thurgh adv. with trans. verb]; (b) from one side to the other through the opening of (a hollow or perforated object, a hole in a solid object, a ring, loop, etc.); between the meshes of (a sieve, strainer, straining cloth, etc.), through the pores of (a sponge); also, onward between (gates, the parted waters of the Red Sea), onward through the opening of (a door), outward or inward through (a bodily orifice); also in fig. context; speken ~ the nose, to speak nasally; (c) throughout (the body, a part of the body); also, within (a part of the body) [quot. ?a1425 *Chauliac(3)]; (d) over the surface from one end, side, or boundary of (a place, land, building, chamber, etc.) to another, onward across;—also used postpositively [quot. ?1440]; onward through (a fire, darkness); also in fig. context; over an expanse of (sea, sky, etc.); along (a street, passage), along the length of; also, across or over (a mark on an object); also, in emphatic collocation: ~ and ~, straight through (lands), right on through;—used postpositively; (e) in all directions over the whole surface or extent of (the world, a land, town, place, etc.), to or in every part or region of, throughout; also in fig. context;—also used postpositively [quot. a1400(a1325)]; (f) between or among the individual members or constituent parts of (a group of persons, a mass of sth., a woods, patch of grass, etc.); ~ the aboundaunce (middel) of, onward through the midst of (a crowd of persons); ~ thikke and (~) thinne, ~ thinne and thikke, through the densest and thinnest sections, esp. of a forest [see also thik(ke n. & thin(ne n.]; (g) in phrases with verbs of hearing, seeing, and looking: through (a door, wall, window, clear water, etc.); in (a mirror); (h) in phrases with verbs of traveling: by way of (a specified route); through the way of (death);—used in fig. contexts; (i) in fig. phrases: passen ~ min brand (honde), to be forced to deal with my sword (me), have to confront; (j) throughout (a chapter of a written text), from beginning to end of; (k) throughout (mankind), everywhere among.
(a) During and to the end or conclusion of (a period of time), from beginning to end of (a period or stage of life), over the whole period of (a life, a night, day, etc.); ~ dai and ~ night, ~ night and dai; also, in elliptical phrase: ~ here wordes, during the time of their arguments, while they were arguing; (b) in comb.: ~ of, during and to the end of (a period of time); ?error for thurgh-out(e prep.
(a) On account of (sb., an object), due to; also, because of a connection to or with (sb., the Holy Spirit); because of the actions of (sb.); because of having (a wise bishop); ~ min tonge, thanks to my tongue, as a result of my speech; ~ this relik, thanks to this relic, on account of the protection afforded by this relic; (b) as a result of (circumstances, a condition or state, phenomenon, an emotion, etc.), owing to; on account of (an uproar, a blow, etc.); by reason of (Christ's mercy, someone's cruelty, etc.); (c) in subordinating conjunctive phrase: ~ that, because of the fact that, by reason of the fact that, in that; (d) on account of a deliberate act of (disobedience, destruction, etc.), through the willful activity of; because of (someone's action), as a consequence of (an act, someone's counsel, oversight, behavior, etc.); (e) in response to (sb. or sth., an expressed wish, prayer, a dream, miracle, teaching, etc.), in reaction to; on (someone's advice); in obedience to (a command); also, at the instigation of (the devil), through the inspiration of (the Holy Spirit); with (someone's permission).
(a) By the agency of (sb., a pagan deity, an angel, animal), through the person of, by; also, at the behest of (sb.); with the help of (the devil, an animal); al ~ me-self, all by myself, through my own efforts; ben tokned ~, to be betokened by (an animal); (b) by the agency or power of (God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Trinity, the Virgin Mary); by means of (divine grace, mercy, power, etc.), by (Christianity, the gospel, the benignity of Mary, etc.); ~ prophecie, through divine inspiration; (c) by means of (an object, a substance, condition, stratagem, faculty, phenomenon, etc.), by the agency of; by the use of (sth.); also, by way of (an example); ~ graunt, by warrant of (a papal grant); ~ min honde, by my own hand; ~ mouth (speche), by (someone's) speech or word(s, through (someone's) lips, by the agency of (sb.); ben bitokned (tokned) ~, to be betokened by (sth.); knouen ~ mouth, acknowledge (Christ) with (one's) lips, pay lip service to; (d) by a deliberate act of (abstinence, disobedience, good works, help, etc.), by the performance of (toil, fraud, etc.); by means of the exercise of (a faculty, the act of loving, etc.); by the receiving of (a sacrament), by the inflicting or suffering of (pain, death, judgment, etc.); also with inf. as obj. [quot. a1225(c1200), 2nd]; ~ experience (sighte) of ded bodies, by dissection (visual examination) of cadavers; ~ touchinge of, by the fact of being touched by (sth.); (e) in misc. phrases: ~ al might, with all (one's) might; ~ graunt, with (someone's) assent, with the agreement (of sb.); ~ (the) vertu of, by virtue of (God, Christ, an object, the Passion, etc.); (f) in affirmations, oaths, and asseverations.
In accordance with (sth.), according to, by: (a) ~ custume (desert, kinde, etc.), customarily (deservedly, by nature, etc.); dien ~ (used) deth, to die the (common) death; (b) ~ (god, right) resoun, rightly; naturally; ~ no resoun, for no reason, on no account; (c) ~ laue (right, etc.), according to law, lawfully; by right(s, rightfully; ~ right of, through entitlement from (sb.); by right of (sth.).
(a) With respect to (sth.), in connection with; the more ~ birthe, the elders; (b) ~ alle thing(es, ~ eches kinnes thing, in every respect, in all respects, with respect to every matter; —freq. with diminished force, used as rime tag or as mildly emphatic expression.
For the sake of (sb. or sth.).
In misc. senses: (a) appropriate to (sth.); (b) at (a price), for; (c) by (a name), under; (d) down through (a people or race), from; (e) in honor of (sb.), after; (f) ~ colour of, on grounds of (sth.), under color of; (g) within (the imagination of one's heart).
Gram. The preposition 'thurgh'.

Supplemental Materials (draft)

  • ?a1500(?a1425) Boeth.Bk.Comfort (BodAuct F.3.5)226/16 : The ryche man..thorutgh synne ..was to be beryede in helle.
  • ?a1500(?a1425) Boeth.Bk.Comfort (BodAuct F.3.5)233/197 : Womman throrew tendre kepynge of the seke geues him gretter coumfort thanne a man.
Note: New spellings 'thorutgh' and 'throrew' added to form section.