Etymology
Advertisement
push (n.)

1560s, "a driving or impelling thrust," from push (v.). By 1590s as "a vigorous attempt." By 1803 as "a determined advance, a pushing forward." The sense of "persevering enterprise, a determined effort to get on" especially if inconsiderate of others is by 1855. Phrase when push comes to shove "when action must back up threats" is by 1936. An earlier Middle English noun push "a pustule, pimple, boil" probably is from pus by influence of push.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
through (prep., adv.)

late 14c., metathesis of Old English þurh, from Proto-Germanic *thurx (source also of Old Saxon thuru, Old Frisian thruch, Middle Dutch dore, Dutch door, Old High German thuruh, German durch, Gothic þairh "through"), from PIE root *tere- (2) "to cross over, pass through, overcome." Not clearly differentiated from thorough until early Modern English. Spelling thro was common 15c.-18c. Reformed spelling thru (1839) is mainly American English.

Related entries & more 
push (v.)

c. 1300, pushen, "to shove, move onward, strike with a thrusting motion, thrust forcibly against for the purpose of impelling," from Old French poulser (Modern French pousser), from Latin pulsare "to beat, strike, push," frequentative of pellere (past participle pulsus) "to push, drive, beat" (from PIE root *pel- (5) "to thrust, strike, drive").

Transitive meaning "urge, incite, press" is by 1570s; that of "promote, advance or extend by persistence or diligent effort" is from 1714; intransitive sense of "make one's way with force and persistence (against obstacles, etc.)" is by 1718. The meaning "approach a certain age" is from 1937. For palatization of -s-, OED compares brush (n.1); quash. Related: Pushed; pushing.

To push up daisies "be dead and buried" is from World War I, but variants with the same meaning date back to 1842.

"Pushing up the daisies now," said a soldier of his dead comrade. [The American Florist, vol. xlviii, March 31, 1917]

To push (someone) around "bully, browbeat, domineer" is by 1923. To push (one's) luck is from 1754. To push the envelope in the figurative sense is by late 1980s.

Related entries & more 
follow-through (n.)

1896, of golf swings, from verbal phrase follow through; see follow (v.) + through (adv.). Figurative use from 1926.

Related entries & more 
drive-through (adj.)

"that may be used or experienced while driving a car," 1949 (in an advertisement for the Beer Vault Drive-Thru in Ann Arbor, Michigan), from the verbal phrase; see drive (v.) + through (adv.).

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
run-through (n.)

"a rehearsal," especially a hasty one, 1923, from the verbal phrase; see run (v.) + through (adv.). The verbal phrase is attested by mid-15c. as "examine, inspect;" by 1670s as "read over rapidly." Its sense of "to pierce or stab through the body" is from late 15c.

Related entries & more 
push-cart (n.)

"hand-cart," by 1893, from push (v.) + cart (n.).

Related entries & more 
go through (v.)

"to execute, carry to completion" (a plan, etc., often with with), 1560s; see go (v.) + through (adv.). Meaning "to examine" is 1660s; "to endure, suffer, undergo" is by 1712; "to wear out" (of clothes, etc.) by 1959.

Related entries & more 
walk-through (n.)

also walkthrough, 1944, "an easy part" (in a theatrical production), from walk (v.) + through. Meaning "dry run, full rehearsal" is from 1959, from the notion of "walking (someone) through" something.

Related entries & more 
push-up (n.)

also pushup, type of physical exercise (originally done on parallel bars), 1893, from the verbal phrase (by 1660s); see push (v.) + up (adv.). As an adjective, "that pushes up or may be pushed up," from 1892; of bras from 1957. Related: Push-ups

Related entries & more