above

1 of 4

adverb

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

above

2 of 4

preposition

1
a
: in or to a higher place than : over
a room above the store
b
: upriver of
anchored about 10 miles above the city
2
a
: 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

above

3 of 4

noun

plural above
1
a
: 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.
2
a
: a higher authority
b
: heaven
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.

above

4 of 4

adjective

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

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
Pictured above: Baby Preemie Rainbow Cotton Tank, $8 (normally $14); carters.com But Take Note Sizing can run small, especially the older kids' clothing. Maya Polton, Parents, 18 May 2024 Watch the full Around the Table with Krasinski, Reynolds, and Fleming, above. Lauren Huff, EW.com, 17 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for above 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'above.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adverb

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

Preposition

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

Noun

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

Adjective

derivative of above entry 1

First Known Use

Adverb

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

Preposition

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

Noun

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Adjective

circa 1515, in the meaning defined above

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

Dictionary Entries Near above

Cite this Entry

“Above.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/above. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

above

1 of 3 adverb
1
: in or to a higher place : overhead
2
: higher on the same or a preceding page
3
: in or to a higher rank or number

above

2 of 3 preposition
1
: in or to a higher place than : over
2
: superior to
a captain is above a lieutenant
above criticism
3
: too proud or honorable to stoop to
above such mean tricks
4
: exceeding in number, quantity, or size : more than
above the average
5
: as distinct from and in addition to
heard the bell above the roar of the crowd

above

3 of 3 adjective
: written above

Legal Definition

above

1 of 2 adverb
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

2 of 2 adjective
: written or discussed higher on the same page or on a preceding page
the above argument

More from Merriam-Webster on above

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