I know that the phrase carry through means to complete something successfully. But what is the logic behind it? In other word, what does each word mean in this phrase? The context is as follows:

...almost before they knew what was happening, the Rebellion had been successfully carried through...

2 Answers 2


It's a pretty obvious metaphor: TASK -> JOURNEY.

Carry is what you do to something you are taking on a journey, so in this metaphorical sense the task. Through can mean "all the way through", i.e. "to the end" (though we do not usually use it of literal journeys in that sense).

Note that each word in the phrase means nothing at all, any more than each syllable in "syllable" has a meaning. The meaning is borne by the whole phrase, not distributed among the words.


It does also imply success and whatever it was they were trying to accomplish or defeat/ overcome.

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