\ ə-ˈbəv How to pronounce above (audio) \

Definition of above

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : in the sky : overhead the clouds above
b : in or to heaven
2a : in or to a higher place
b : higher on the same page or on a preceding page except as stated above
c : upstairs
d : above zero 10 degrees above
3 : in or to a higher rank or number 30 and above
4 archaic : in addition : besides
5 : upstage



Definition of above (Entry 2 of 4)

1a : in or to a higher place than : over a room above the store
b : upriver of anchored about 10 miles above the city
2a : superior to (as in rank, quality, or degree) A sergeant is above a corporal.
b : out of reach of above suspicion
c : in preference to puts his child's needs above his own needs
d : too proud or honorable to stoop to not above taking undue credit
3 : exceeding in number, quantity, or size : more than men above 50 years old
4 : as distinct from and in addition to heard the whistle above the roar of the crowd


plural above

Definition of above (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : something that is above Select one of the above.
b : a person whose name is written above Contact any of the above for more information.
2a : a higher authority
b : heaven



Definition of above (Entry 4 of 4)

: written or discussed higher on the same page or on a preceding page Contact me at the above address.

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Synonyms & Antonyms for above

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Noun

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Preposition

Antonyms: Noun

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Using Above as an Adjective or Noun: Usage Guide


Although still objected to by some, the use of above as a noun to mean "something that is above" none of the above the above is Theseus's opinion — William Blake and as an adjective without the above reserve — O. W. Holmes †1935 I was brought up on the above words — Viscount Montgomery has been long established as standard.

Examples of above in a Sentence

Adverb up above and down below Temperatures range from 5 below to 5 above. Preposition He raised his arms above his head. They hung a mirror above the mantel. We rented an apartment above a restaurant. Temperatures were above average all week. men above 50 years old She values her private time above her fame. He puts his child's needs above his own. Noun in her dying days she was supposedly visited by an angel from above
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Try the Trefis machine learning engine above to see for yourself how Marathon Oil stock is likely to behave after any specific gain or loss over a period. Trefis Team, Forbes, "Will The Rally Continue In Marathon Oil?," 4 Mar. 2021 For the most part, the temperature of the soil around roots stays at or above freezing. Richard B. Primack, The Conversation, "January warm spells, March freezes: How plants manage the shift from winter to spring," 4 Mar. 2021 None of the mocks above went beyond the first round. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Ohio State football’s Justin Fields could be crucial to two NFL franchises on draft night," 4 Mar. 2021 Additional requirements for gatherings, as well as exceptions to the limits above, are provided in Attachment I. 5. Anchorage Daily News, "Read the full text of Anchorage’s emergency order removing capacity restrictions on businesses," 4 Mar. 2021 Before a search warrant is conducted, it must be approved by a deputy chief or above, three ranks higher than what was previously required, according to Lightfoot. Peter Martinez, CBS News, "Chicago mayor proposes search warrant changes after botched police raid," 3 Mar. 2021 The left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimated Democrats' changes would lift 9.9 million children above or closer to the poverty line. Nicholas Wu, USA TODAY, "Biden's COVID-19 relief plan includes a child tax credit boost popular with Democrats but a 'nightmare' to Republicans," 3 Mar. 2021 While Melguizo and Tapia look head-and-shoulders above, the first step in avoiding a trap is knowing of its existence, and there’s lots of room from 3 on down to 10-12 for guys to move. Brant Parsons, orlandosentinel.com, "Class 3A state wrestling preview: South Dade and SW Miami to battle for team glory," 3 Mar. 2021 The bill passed by the House cuts off payments for those earning $100,000 or above. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, "Stimulus check update: Fewer people will get $1,400 payments under new Senate deal," 3 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Typically, trivia challenges don’t require the competitors to do anything but sit or stand above water. Kyndall Cunningham, Vulture, "The Challenge: Double Agents Recap: Trivial Pursuit," 11 Feb. 2021 Myers, 37, said the company managed to stay above water through loans from family members and the use of her personal credit cards. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "9 million U.S. small businesses fear they won't survive pandemic," 9 Feb. 2021 On Friday, 19% of patients in the hospital region covering the Dallas-Fort Worth area were COVID-19 patients — above the 15% threshold the state has used to define high hospitalizations. Dallas News, "Tarrant County reports 40 more COVID-19 deaths; Dallas County adds 10 fatalities, 1,024 new cases," 6 Feb. 2021 The three-day requirement has proved tricker for providers; only three health systems are above the 90% threshold while four are below 80%. Jeremy Olson, Star Tribune, "Signs of vaccinations paying off emerge in Minnesota," 2 Feb. 2021 Henriksen's great navigating the father's constantly changing moods and unpredictable mental state, and Mortensen's top notch as a man trying desperately to keep his head above water. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this weekend: Netflix's 'Malcolm & Marie,' Amazon Prime's 'Bliss,' 'Falling'," 4 Feb. 2021 Made of 180 miles of twine, with 1.6 million knots, the billowing net is 424 feet long and 72 feet above ground at its highest point. Ellen Albanese, BostonGlobe.com, "The St. Pete Pier is part park, part playground, part marketplace — and all new," 3 Feb. 2021 Instead, the figures will keep their heads above water and survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Sheila Grissett | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "Good Times: Keeping our heads above water at Mardi Gras and beyond," 30 Jan. 2021 The searchlight fell upon a pair of heads and shoulders rising above the water. New York Times, "Risking Everything to Come to America on the Open Ocean," 28 Jan. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The above comes from Amy Francis-Smith, vice president of the Birmingham Architecture Association, England. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "Hard conversations need great design," 24 Nov. 2020 All of the above is based on what is known about the virus now. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, "Can the Pac-12 really play football games in the spring? It's doubtful," 15 Aug. 2020 All of the above is to say: there's a mountain of content on HBO Max, and quite a bit of stuff that counts as both popular and critically acclaimed, but the service does an awful job of laying out a mat for new users to discover it. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "HBO Max is live: $15/mo for a massive library, significant headaches," 27 May 2020 For some of us, none-of-the-above is a viable option. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Who Can Beat Trump? Who Knows?," 20 Feb. 2020 The authentic visual above was posted by the climate scientist Ed Hawkins, from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom. Jeff Berardelli, CBS News, "2,000 years of Earth's climate in one simple chart – and the copycat that isn't what it seems," 30 Jan. 2020 To see images taken from high above was to realize this still novel technology might one day show far more than previously imagined. Peter Manseau, Smithsonian, "Meet Mr. Mumler, the Man Who “Captured” Lincoln’s Ghost on Camera," 11 Oct. 2017 After the war, however, Roman coins (like the one above) match the signature of the silver mines in the Iberian Peninsula. Lizzie Wade, Science | AAAS, "This coin reveals when Rome became an empire," 14 Aug. 2017 All of the above are made from chemicals or materials that are bad for the environment, so follow Forecastle's lead and stay away from the cliche party accessories. 5. Bailey Loosemore, The Courier-Journal, "5 ways to help save the planet at Forecastle Festival," 6 July 2017 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Big trees, with trunks more than 21 inches in diameter, make up just 3% of these forests but store 42% of the above-ground carbon. William Moomaw, The Conversation, "Keeping trees in the ground where they are already growing is an effective low-tech way to slow climate change," 22 Feb. 2021 All of the above-ground work — which totaled $7 million — was approved by the State House Trust, which oversees all projects in the complex. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, "Lawyers Mall, the state capital’s First Amendment gathering space, to reopen after two years of repairs," 27 Nov. 2020 In this case, Virgin’s hyperloop contraption in Nevada involves an above-ground tube with a pod that zoomed through it. Rob Verger, Popular Science, "The first hyperloop passengers just took a short but important ride," 11 Nov. 2020 Connected to an above-ground container, the tube would draw up wastewater samples in 15 minute intervals for 24 hours. Naseem S. Miller, orlandosentinel.com, "Rollins Colleges taps into wastewater to track COVID-19 on campus," 23 Oct. 2020 CPS Energy, however, has about twice as many above-ground cables as Austin Energy. Diego Mendoza-moyers, ExpressNews.com, "Outages few and far between for CPS Energy customers in 2019," 10 Oct. 2020 Strangers waved from an above-ground pool at me and a woman a few chairs over. Richard Morgan, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Coast-to-Coast Train Trip Restored My Faith in Travel," 30 Sep. 2020 The High Line attracts millions of visitors a year as an above-ground park stretching 1.45 miles along the west side of Manhattan. Sophie Vershbow, Vogue, "In a Pandemic, Rediscovering What Home Means," 5 Sep. 2020 The bottom of the formation also is similar to an above-ground root system. Antonio Fins, USA TODAY, "Fact Check: Devil's Tower National Monument was formed by magma; tree claim is false," 29 Aug. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'above.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of above


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1b


circa 1515, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for above


Middle English above, aboven, going back to Old English abufan, from a- a- entry 1 + bufan "above" (akin to Old Saxon bi-oƀan, Middle Dutch bōven, Old Frisian bova, Middle High German bobene), from be- be- + ufan "above, from above," going back to Germanic *uban- (whence Old Saxon oƀana "from above," Old High German obana), from *ub- "above, on" + *-an-, adverbial suffix — more at over entry 1


Middle English above, aboven, derivative of above, aboven above entry 1


Middle English above "a higher position," derivative of above, aboven above entry 1


derivative of above entry 1

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Time Traveler for above

Time Traveler

The first known use of above was before the 12th century

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Statistics for above

Last Updated

7 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Above.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/above. Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for above


\ ə-ˈbəv How to pronounce above (audio) \

Kids Definition of above

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: in or to a higher place Stars shine above.



Kids Definition of above (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : higher than : over above the clouds
2 : too good for You're not above that kind of work.
3 : more than I won't pay above ten dollars.
4 : to a greater degree than She values her family above all else.
5 : having more power or importance than A captain is above a lieutenant.



Kids Definition of above (Entry 3 of 3)

: said or written earlier Read the above definition.



Legal Definition of above

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : higher on the same page or on a preceding page the discussion above
2 : higher or superior in rank or authority the court above
above the line
: in calculations that yield adjusted gross income or profit



Legal Definition of above (Entry 2 of 2)

: written or discussed higher on the same page or on a preceding page the above argument

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More from Merriam-Webster on above

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for above

Nglish: Translation of above for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of above for Arabic Speakers

Comments on above

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