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

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

  • aboue (obsolete)

From Middle English above, aboven, abuven, from Old English ābufan, onbufan, from on (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.

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


  1. Physically over; on top of; worn on top of, said of 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
  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]
  6. Higher in rank, status, or position. [first attested around 1150–1350]
  7. (Scotland) 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 towards;
  11. Beyond; on the other side.
  12. (theater) Upstage of.
  • (surpassing in number or quantity): passing into the adverbial sense.

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.

above (not comparable)

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

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.

The preposition above is often used further elliptically as a noun by omitting the associated noun, where it is should be clear what is omitted: e.g. See the above.

  • abovesaid
  • aboves'd
  • Category:English phrasal verbs with particle (above)
  • 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
  • “above”, in The Century Dictionary [], New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911, →OCLC.
  • “above”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
  • “above, prep.” in the Dictionary of the Scots Language, Edinburgh: Scottish Language Dictionaries.

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