What Does Through the Roof Mean?

Go Through the Roof Meaning

Definition: To increase sharply; to reach extreme heights.

Origin of Through the Roof

This expression originated in the first half of the 1900s. It probably is related to a literal roof of a house. If something actually were to go through the roof of a house, it would have risen very high and fast, and unexpectedly as well.

People often use this idiom to describe prices that shoot up quickly, or stocks. In this sense, the phrase is being used metaphorically.

An alternative definition for this idiom is to become extremely angry. However, that meaning more commonly appears with the wording to hit the roof.

Examples of Through the Roof

define through the roofIn this example, a woman uses the expression to talk about the cost of medicine for her son.

Rodrigo: I’m starting my Christmas shopping early this year. What about you?

Alisha: I’m not sure I’ll be able to afford many gifts. My son needs an epipen, as you know, because of his severe allergies. He needed to use his old ones, so I had to replace them.

Rodrigo: Oh yeah. I heard that the price shot up.

Alisha: The new cost went through the roof! It was over a 500% increase!

through the roof idiom meaningIn the example below, two siblings are discussing sales for their online business.

Luis: Whoa! Stephanie, look at this!

Stephanie: What is it?

Luis: I just checked our online orders for kimchi. They’ve gone through the roof since yesterday!

Stephanie: Wow! That’s a much bigger order than we’ve ever had before! We went from getting one or two a day to getting an order for 100! What happened to cause that?

Luis: Apparently one of our customers loved our kimchi so much that she wants to serve it at her wedding.

More Examples

This excerpt is from an article about the winners of a race.

  • “I think for the most part it was going really well,” Piceu said. “Above 12,000 feet, my respiration went through the roof and my lungs felt really tight. So I just sort of slowly creeped my way up Grant Swamp Pass, and I just turned around and looked down and there she (Frost) was coming up the pass, and I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh.’” –Denver Post

This excerpt is from an article about successful advertising for a beer company.

  • In the summer of 1955, Bert and Harry tried out in the two burg markets, and Piels sales instantly went through the roof. –New York Daily News


The expression to go through the roof means to rise steeply.