I have some question about the usage of "through" and "outside of". Consider these sentences:

1a. He made transactions through Amazon Payments.
2a. He made sales through Ebay.
3a. He made wire transfers through Bank Of America.

According to some google searches, the opposite of the above sentences is not formed by inserting "not" before "through" like these:

1b. He made transactions not through Amazon Payments.
2b. He made sales not through Ebay.
3b. He made wire transfers not through Bank Of America.

but by replacing "through" with "outside of":

1c. He made transactions outside of Amazon Payments.
2c. He made sales outside of Ebay.
3c. He made wire transfers outside of Bank Of America.

Yet, for this context (Amazon Payments, Ebay, Bank Of America), the dictionary definition of "through" is not really a perfect opposite of the dictionary definition of "outside of". "Through" means "by using". And "outside of" does not quite mean "by not using". Could there be another meaning of "outside of" not found in mainstream dictionaries that would fit the current context?

  • 1
    Don't you mean, "Could there be a meaning of 'outside of' that can only be found outside of mainstream dictionaries?"
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:33
  • @J.R. I edited my question a bit.
    – meatie
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:39
  • The flaw in your logic is here: "the dictionary definition of 'through' is not really a perfect opposite of the dictionary definition of 'outside of'." Why should through have a "perfect opposite" in this context?
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:41
  • @J.R. So, what should "outside of" mean in this context?
    – meatie
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:44
  • 1
    It means what it means, and it means what the dictionary says it means: not within or part of something. What does "perfect opposite" mean in this context? What is the perfect opposite of light? Dark, or heavy?
    – J.R.
    Commented Apr 28, 2015 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


*Through Amazon" here means "via Amazon" or "with Amazon as intermediary" or "using Amazon as the go-between".

What is the opposite of using Amazon as the go-between?
--Not using Amazon as the go-between.

Payment intermediaries represent themselves as offering certain protections to the entities on both sides of the transaction. If the parties do not avail themselves of that protection, they are "outside" the protection. So, deeply embedded in the word "outside" is this notion of being unprotected, being outside the purview of the protector.

There's a lot more going on here than "the opposite of through".


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