AskDefine | Define thorough

Dictionary Definition

thorough adj
1 painstakingly careful and accurate; "our accountant is thorough"; "thorough research"
2 very thorough; exhaustively complete; "an exhaustive study"; "made a thorough search"; "thoroughgoing research" [syn: exhaustive, thoroughgoing]

User Contributed Dictionary




From þuruh.


  1. painstaking and careful not to miss or omit any detail
    The Prime Minister announced a thorough investigation into the death of a father of two in police custody.
    He is the most thorough worker I have ever seen.
    The infested house needs a thorough cleansing before it will be inhabitable.
  2. utter; complete; absolute
    It is a thorough pleasure to see him beg for mercy.


utter; complete; absolute

Extensive Definition

In 17th century England, Thorough was a name given by the Earl of Strafford to a scheme of his to establish absolute monarchy in England. Although "Thorough" is largely attributed to the Earl of Strafford, its implementation can also be accredited to the Archbishop of Canterbury William Laud.

Thorough and Laud

Laud exploited his secular and religious roles to implement the policy of thorough in England. Laud used his authority as Archbishop of Canterbury to appoint only Arminian clergymen as Bishops, this in turn meant that most of the vicars that they appointed would also be Arminian. Arminianism is a sect of Protestant Christianity which believes in the "Divine Right of Kings" and the (Catholic reminiscent) "Beauty of Holiness". Laud hoped that his new, Arminian Church of England would make the English conform into believing in 'Divine Right' and supporting Charles I's personal rule and setting up of a parliament-independent monarchy.
Laud used his authority over the prerogative courts to humiliate the gentry, who were largely Puritan and Presbyterian. As Puritans and Presbyterians, the gentry were opposed to Laud's beliefs and opposed to the idea of a parliament-independent monarchy. It is arguable whether the opposition of the gentry was based on religious grounds or on grounds of their own prospects of personal gain from a limited monarchy.

Thorough and Strafford

Strafford was Lord Deputy of Ireland, and domiciled in Ireland for much of the personal rule, leaving the running of England largely down to Laud. Although the application of Thorough in Ireland was entirely down to Strafford. The fear that Strafford instilled in the Irish through the policy of "Thorough" can be demonstrated when looking at the ease in which Strafford extracted subsidies from the Irish Parliament as the Second Bishops War approached during 1640.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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