Trough vs. Through: What's the Difference?
A trough is a long, narrow container, while through is a preposition indicating movement from one side to another.
"Trough" and "Through" are distinct words with different pronunciations and meanings. "Trough" often refers to a container, typically elongated, used to hold water or food for animals. In contrast, "Through" is a versatile word that can function as a preposition, adverb, or adjective. It usually conveys the idea of entering one side and exiting the other. One could say the water flows through a pipe, but it might collect in a trough.
When considering their etymological roots, "Trough" comes from Old English "troh," which means a hollow or vessel, while "Through" comes from Old English "þurh," related to passing or moving. Even phonetically, they differ; "Trough" is pronounced as "trof" in American English, while "Through" is pronounced as "throo."
In everyday usage, "Trough" commonly signifies containers in farming or even valleys between waves. "Through," on the other hand, appears frequently in various contexts, from describing movement (going through a tunnel) to indicating time (all through the night). Importantly, "Through" has a broader range of application than "Trough."
Though these words might appear similar at a glance due to their spelling, their usages and contexts are distinctly different. It's essential to discern between them to ensure clarity in communication.
Part of Speech
Preposition, Adverb, Adjective
A long container or depression
Moving from one side to another
Old English "troh"
Old English "þurh"
Used for feeding animals
Indicating movement or passage
Trough and Through Definitions
The lowest point in a wave.
After the wave crest, the trough followed.
Moving in one side and out of the other side.
She walked through the door.
A long, narrow open container for animals to eat or drink from.
The horse drank water from the trough.
Continuing in time toward completion.
He worked through the night.
A point of low activity or achievement.
The company's sales hit a trough last year.
As a result of; because of.
She succeeded through hard work.
A long, hollowed-out area, such as those used for communal eating in ancient times.
The old church had a stone trough for holy water.
Indicating the extent or degree of something.
The rumor spread through the town.
A long, narrow, generally shallow receptacle for holding water or feed for animals.
In one side and out the opposite or another side of
Went through the tunnel.
Any of various similar containers for domestic or industrial use, such as kneading or washing.
Among or between; in the midst of
A walk through the flowers.
A gutter under the edge of a roof for carrying off rainwater.
By way of
Climbed in through the window.
A long, narrow depression, as between waves or ridges.
By the means or agency of
Bought the antique vase through a dealer.
A low point in a business cycle or on a statistical graph.
Into and out of the handling, care, processing, modification, or consideration of
Her application went through our office. Run the figures through the computer.
(Meteorology) An elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure, often associated with a front.
Here and there in; around
A tour through France.
(Physics) A minimum point in a wave or an alternating signal.
From the beginning to the end of
Stayed up through the night.
A long, narrow container, open on top, for feeding or watering animals.
One of Hank's chores was to slop the pigs' trough each morning and evening.
At or to the end of; done or finished with, especially successfully
We are through the initial testing period.
Any similarly shaped container.
Up to and including
A play that runs through December.
A volume that covers A through D.
A rectangular container used for washing or rinsing clothes.
Ernest threw his paint brushes into a kind of trough he had fashioned from sheet metal that he kept in the sink.
Past and without stopping for
Drove through a red light.
A short, narrow canal designed to hold water until it drains or evaporates.
There was a small trough that the sump pump emptied into; it was filled with mosquito larvae.
Because of; on account of
She succeeded through hard work. He declined the honor through modesty.
(Canada) A gutter under the eaves of a building; an eaves trough.
The troughs were filled with leaves and needed clearing.
From one end or side to another or an opposite end or side
Opened the door and went through.
A channel for conveying water or other farm liquids (such as milk) from place to place by gravity; any ‘U’ or ‘V’ cross-sectioned irrigation channel.
From beginning to end; completely
I read the article once through.
A long, narrow depression between waves or ridges; the low portion of a wave cycle.
The buoy bobbed between the crests and troughs of the waves moving across the bay.
The neurologist pointed to a troubling trough in the pattern of his brain-waves.
Throughout the whole extent or thickness; thoroughly
Warmed the leftovers clear through.
Got soaked through in the rain.
A letter that was shot through with the writer's personality.
(economy) low turning point or a local minimum of a business cycle
Over the total distance; all the way
Drove through to their final destination.
(meteorology) A linear atmospheric depression associated with a weather front.
To a conclusion or an accomplishment
See a matter through.
To eat in a vulgar style, as if from a trough.
He troughed his way through three meat pies.
Allowing continuous passage; unobstructed
A through street.
A long, hollow vessel, generally for holding water or other liquid, especially one formed by excavating a log longitudinally on one side; a long tray; also, a wooden channel for conveying water, as to a mill wheel.
Affording transportation to a destination with few or no stops and no transfers
A through bus.
A through ticket.
Any channel, receptacle, or depression, of a long and narrow shape; as, trough between two ridges, etc.
Continuing on a highway without exiting
The transverse section of a cyclonic area where the barometric pressure, neither rising nor falling, has reached its lowest point.
Passing or extending from one end, side, or surface to another
A through beam.
A narrow depression (as in the earth or between ocean waves or in the ocean bed)
Having finished; at completion
She was through with the project.
A channel along the eaves or on the roof; collects and carries away rainwater
Having no further concern, dealings, or connection
I'm through with him.
A concave shape with an open top
Having no more use, value, or potential; washed-up
That swimmer is through as an athlete.
A treasury for government funds
Doomed to death or destruction.
A long narrow shallow receptacle
From one side of an opening to the other.
I went through the window.
A container (usually in a barn or stable) from which cattle or horses feed
Entering, then later leaving.
I drove through the town at top speed without looking left or right.
A channel used to convey a liquid.
The gutter served as a trough for the rainwater.
Surrounded by (while moving).
We slogged through the mud for hours before turning back and giving up.
By means of.
This team believes in winning through intimidation.
In consequence of; as a result of.
(North America) To (or up to) and including, with all intermediate values.
From 1945 through 1991;
The numbers 1 through 9;
Your membership is active through March 15, 2013
Passing from one side of something to the other.
Interstate highways form a nationwide system of through roads.
They were through with laying the subroof by noon.
Without a future; done for.
After being implicated in the scandal, he was through as an executive in financial services.
No longer interested; wearied or turned off by experience.
She was through with him.
Proceeding from origin to destination without delay due to change of equipment.
The through flight through Memphis was the fastest.
(association football) In possession of the ball beyond the last line of defence but not necessarily the goalkeeper; through on goal.
From one side to the other by way of the interior.
The arrow went straight through.
From one end to the other.
Others slept; he worked straight through.
She read the letter through.
During a period of time; throughout
He worked through the night.
To the end.
He said he would see it through.
Leave the yarn in the dye overnight so the color soaks through.
Out into the open.
The American army broke through at Saint-Lô.
A large slab of stone laid in a dry-stone wall from one side to the other; a perpend.
(obsolete) A coffin, sarcophagus or tomb of stone; a large slab of stone laid on a tomb.
From end to end of, or from side to side of; from one surface or limit of, to the opposite; into and out of at the opposite, or at another, point; as, to bore through a piece of timber, or through a board; a ball passes through the side of a ship.
Between the sides or walls of; within; as, to pass through a door; to go through an avenue.
Through the gate of ivory he dismissedHis valiant offspring.
By means of; by the agency of.
Through these hands this science has passed with great applause.
Material things are presented only through their senses.
Over the whole surface or extent of; as, to ride through the country; to look through an account.
Among or in the midst of; - used to denote passage; as, a fish swims through the water; the light glimmers through a thicket.
From the beginning to the end of; to the end or conclusion of; as, through life; through the year.
From one end or side to the other; as, to pierce a thing through.
From beginning to end; as, to read a letter through.
To the end; to a conclusion; to the ultimate purpose; as, to carry a project through.
Going or extending through; going, extending, or serving from the beginning to the end; thorough; complete; as, a through line; a through ticket; a through train. Also, admitting of passage through; as, a through bridge.
Having finished or arrived at completion;
Certain to make history before he's done
It's a done deed
After the treatment, the patient is through except for follow-up
Almost through with his studies
Of a route or journey etc.; continuing without requiring stops or changes;
A through street
A through bus
From one end or side to the other;
Jealousy pierced her through
From beginning to end;
Read this book through
Over the whole distance;
This bus goes through to New York
Think this through very carefully!
This cylinder measures 15 inches through
Throughout the entire extent;
Got soaked through in the rain
I'm frozen through
A letter shot through with the writer's personality
Knew him through and through
Boards rotten through and through
At the end of; having finished.
He slept through the movie.
Is "Trough" related to farming?
Yes, troughs are often used in farming to feed or water animals.
Does "Trough" have meanings outside of containers?
Yes, like indicating the low point in a wave or a cycle.
Can "Through" be used to describe a container?
No, "Through" describes movement or extent, not a container.
Can "Through" act as an adjective?
Yes, e.g., a "through road" means a road passing from one side to another.
Is "Trough" always a physical object?
No, it can also signify low points in abstract cycles, like business cycles.
Can "Through" describe the cause of something?
Yes, e.g., "She succeeded through determination."
Are "Trough" and "Through" homophones?
No, they have different pronunciations.
Can "Through" indicate time?
Yes, e.g., "She worked through the night."
Is "Trough" used in meteorology?
Yes, it can indicate areas of low atmospheric pressure.
Can "Trough" be used in finance?
Yes, indicating the lowest point in a business cycle.
Is "Through" synonymous with "Via"?
In some contexts, like indicating a medium or way, they can be synonymous.
Does "Through" always indicate a complete passage?
Generally, yes, indicating from start to finish or one side to another.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.