Green’s Dictionary of Slang

come through v.

[fig. uses of SE; note late 19C US religious jargon come through, to accept conversion]

1. of an object, to deliver, to give up.

[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 56: Come through with ten bucks Jeffries. That’s a nice little fellow.
[US]Jackson & Hellyer Vocab. Criminal Sl. 25: come through [...] To give up, to deliver, [...] any material goods demanded.
[US] (ref. to late 19C) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 224: I had a letter from Konrad Ritchie’s lawyer, writing there was deposited for me in a New Orleans bank the sum of eleven thousand dollars. Konrad had come through.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 47/1: Come through. [...] 3. To pay, as tribute, ‘protection’ sums; to produce concealed loot upon the demand of suspicious associates.
[US]P. Thomas Down These Mean Streets (1970) 266: Well, this cat has come through with smokes and food and candy.
[US] M. McBride Frank Sinatra in a Blender [ebook] Not that Big Tony came through on his end. He still never found any crank.

2. (US) to pay one’s debts.

[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 19: You understand of course that we get our bit out of that mazuma. Come through.

3. (US) to confess, to provide information, to speak out.

[US]B. Fisher A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 104: The public’s gettin’ wise to you, / They can’t see why you don’t come through.
[US]G. Bronson-Howard God’s Man 379: Come through with the whole story or I’ll give an extra twist to that pretty little paw.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Tom, Dick, or Harry’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 249: He wouldn’t come through, and we never turned up his gun.
[US]J. Dixon Free To Love 260: In the morning Cathleen learned that Joe Neilsen had decided to ‘come through’ on the bomb plot.
[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 47/1: Come through. [...] 2. To confess; to implicate others.

4. to act as desired, to do what is wanted.

[US]Van Loan ‘The Mexican Marvel’ in Lucky Seventh (2004) 186: If the coon can’t come through with the language—.
[US]K. Nicholson Barker II i: If Chris has got the right stuff in him he’ll come through.
[US]D. Lamson We Who Are About to Die 193: The woman’s got the money on her, an’ she comes through with it without no trouble.
[US]B. Schulberg Harder They Fall (1971) 112: Whether it was a promise to do you a favour, or to fix your little red wagon, Nick always came through.
[UK]F. Norman Bang To Rights 138: She did um and ar a bit but she came through like a good un.
[US]M. Spillane Return of the Hood 55: Knock it off, Shaffer. Are you coming through?
[UK]G.F. Newman Sir, You Bastard 202: He’s phoning me. I think he’ll come through.
[US](con. 1940s–60s) H. Huncke ‘Florence’ in Eve. Sun Turned Crimson (1998) 199: Florence complained of Charlie not coming through fairly.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 285: You can call me back in one hour and tell me Boston came through, or I’ll call those assholes myself.
[US]Source Aug. 124: Teddy had someone look me up, and I came through with my verse instantly.

5. to survive, to overcome problems.

[US]Day Book (Chicago) 14 Oct. 9/1: Humphries might have come through safely but for a piece of luck that broke against him in the fourth inning.
[US]W.R. Burnett Little Caesar (1932) 91: Don’t beef, Sam. We’re gonna come through.