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preposition \ə-ˈgen(t)st, -ˈgin(t)st, -ˈgān(t)st\

Simple Definition of against

  • : in opposition to (someone or something)

  • : in competition with (someone or something)

  • —used to indicate the person or thing that is affected or harmed by something

Full Definition of against

  1. 1 a :  in opposition or hostility to <spoke against his enemies> b :  contrary to <against the law> c :  in competition with <racing against each other> d :  as a basis for disapproval of <had nothing against him>

  2. 2 a :  directly opposite :  facing <she sat down just over against me — Daniel Defoe> b obsolete :  exposed to

  3. 3 :  compared or contrasted with <profits are up against last year>

  4. 4 a :  in preparation or provision for <saving against an uncertain future> b :  as a defense or protection from <a shelter against the cold>

  5. 5 a :  in the direction of and into contact with <knocked against the ropes> b :  in contact with <leaning against the wall>

  6. 6 :  in a direction opposite to the motion or course of :  counter to <sail against the wind>

  7. 7 a :  as a counterbalance to <weighing risk against profit> b :  in exchange for <a lower rate against the dollar> c :  as a charge on <charged against her account>

  8. 8 :  before the background of <viewed against the sky>

Examples of against

  1. We must continue the struggle for justice and against injustice.

  2. She voted against the proposal.

  3. He spoke against appeasing the enemy.

  4. Some people were for the proposal but others were against it.

  5. There's a law against doing that.

  6. two runners racing against each other

  7. Touching the ball with your hands is against the rules.

Origin of against

Middle English, alteration of againes, from again

First Known Use: 13th century




Definition of against


  1. :  in preparation for the time when <throw on another log of wood against father comes home — Charles Dickens>

14th Century

First Known Use of against

14th century

AGAINST Defined for Kids


preposition \ə-ˈgenst\

Definition of against

  1. 1 :  opposed to <Everyone was against her idea.>

  2. 2 :  not agreeing with or allowed by <against the law>

  3. 3 :  as protection from <We built a shelter against the cold.>

  4. 4 :  in or into contact with <The ball bounced against the wall.>

  5. 5 :  in a direction opposite to <against the wind>

  6. 6 :  before the background of <green trees against a blue sky>

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up against? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

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