above

above

synonyms, antonyms, definitions, examples & translations of above in English

English Online Dictionary. What means above‎? What does above mean?

English

Alternative forms

  • aboue (obsolete)

Etymology

From Middle English above, aboven, abuven, from Old English ābufan, onbufan from a (on) + bufan (over), (akin to Icelandic ofan (from above), Middle Dutch bōven, Old Frisian bova, Middle High German bobene) from (by) + ufan (over); also cognate with Danish oven, Dutch boven, German oben, Swedish ovan, Old Saxon oƀan, Old High German obana.

The preposition, adjective and the noun derive from the adverb.

Pronunciation

  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əˈbʌv/
  • (General American) IPA(key): /əˈbʌv/
  • Rhymes: -ʌv

Preposition

above

  1. Physically over; on top of; worn on top of, as clothing. [first attested before 1150.]
  2. In or to a higher place; higher than; on or over the upper surface. [first attested before 1150]
    Antonyms: below, beneath
    • (Can we date this quote?) Translation of Genesis 2:20,
      Fowl that may fly above the earth.
  3. Farther north than. [first attested before 1150]
  4. Rising; appearing out of reach height-wise. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  5. (figuratively) Higher than; superior to in any respect; surpassing; higher in measure, degree, volume, or pitch, etc. than; out of reach; not exposed to; not likely to be affected by; incapable of negative actions or thoughts. [first attested around 1150–1350]
    • (Can we date this quote?) translation of Acts 36:13,
      I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun.
  6. Higher in rank, status, or position. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  7. In addition to; besides. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  8. Surpassing in number or quantity; more than. [first attested around 1350–1470]
  9. In preference to.
  10. Too proud to stoop to; averse to; disinclined; too honorable to give.
  11. Beyond; on the other side.
  12. (theater) Upstage of.

Usage notes

  • (surpassing in number or quantity): passing into the adverbial sense.

Derived terms

Translations

Adverb

above (not comparable)

  1. Directly overhead; vertically on top of. [first attested before 1150.]
  2. Higher in the same page; earlier in the order as far as writing products go. [first attested before 1150.]
  3. Into or from heaven; in the sky. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  4. In a higher place; upstairs; farther upstream. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  5. Higher in rank, power, or position. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  6. (archaic) In addition. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  7. More in number. [first attested around 1350–1470]
  8. Above zero; above freezing. [first attested in the mid 20th century.]
  9. (biology) On the upper half or the dorsal surface of an animal.

Derived terms

"Above" is also used as the first part of a compound in the sense of before, previously; as, above-cited, above-described, above-mentioned, above-named, above-said, above-specified, above-written, above-given.

Translations

Adjective

above (not comparable)

  1. Of heaven; heavenly. [first attested around (1150 to 1350).]
  2. Being located higher on the same page or on a preceding page. [first attested in the mid 18th century.]

Usage notes

  • Above is often used elliptically as an adjective by omitting the word said, mentioned, quoted, or the like:
    • the above(-said) observations
    • the above(-cited) reference
    • the above(-quoted) articles

Translations

Noun

above (uncountable)

  1. Heaven. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  2. Something, especially a person's name in legal documents, that appears higher on the same page or on a preceding page.
  3. Higher authority.
  4. (archaic) betterment, raised status or condition.

Usage notes

  1. Above is often used further elliptically as a noun by omitting the noun, where it is should be clear what is omitted.
    See the above.

Related terms

  • abovesaid
  • aboves'd

Translations

References


  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The vertical axis", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8
  • Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], →ISBN), page 4
  • Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], →ISBN), page 4

Further reading

  • above at OneLook Dictionary Search

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This article based on an article on Wiktionary. The list of authors can be seen in the page history there. The original work has been modified. This article is distributed under the terms of this license.