\ə-ˈbəv \

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

aloft, over, overhead

Synonyms: Preposition


Synonyms: Noun

bliss, elysian fields, Elysium, empyrean, heaven, kingdom come, New Jerusalem, paradise, sky, Zion (also Sion)

Antonyms: Adverb

below, beneath, under

Antonyms: Preposition

below, beneath, under

Antonyms: Noun

Gehenna, hell, Pandemonium, perdition

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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


up above and down below Temperatures range from 5 below to 5 above.


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.


in her dying days she was supposedly visited by an angel from above
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

From the glass dining room above, diners can look directly down on to the hand of God. Candace Taylor, WSJ, "A Silicon Valley Retreat Where ‘Star Trek’ Meets ‘Star Wars’," 6 Dec. 2018 Most people in the battle seem to be around level 45 and above and are decked in Power Armor. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fallout 76’s first end-game nuke launches, starts apocalyptic battle," 15 Nov. 2018 Fresh off their bye, the Seahawks can go above .500 for the first time this season. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Seahawks vs. Detroit Lions: Week 8 national media predictions," 26 Oct. 2018 But 42 percent of people above 350 percent of the poverty line — $112,950 a year or more for that size family — were daily consumers. Rachel Sugar, Vox, "The more money you make, the more fast food you eat," 24 Oct. 2018 Normally, when hurricanes get above 30 degrees North in latitude, they get pulled poleward by the westerly pattern in the atmosphere between the tropics and poles. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "The Hurricane Florence forecast has gone from bad to worse," 12 Sep. 2018 When the air gets sticky and the temperature hits above 90 degrees, there’s nothing worse than having an underwire digging into your skin. Plus, a rigid bra is not exactly the best accompaniment to your collection of narrowly cut tank tops. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Here Are the 15 Best Bralettes for Summer," 16 Aug. 2018 When outside nighttime air temperatures are above 50 degrees, gradually expose them to the outdoors to harden them off. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "The Secret to Growing the Most Flavorful Eggplants," 27 July 2018 Shot in black and white and set around 1971, Roma — named for the Mexico City neighborhood in which Cuarón was raised — begins with a long, unmoving shot from above. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Roma, from celebrated director Alfonso Cuarón, is one of the year’s best movies," 20 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

But Cuba is facing another year of cash shortages and stagnant growth — unlikely to be much above 1 percent this year, the third in a row of zero to low growth. Andrea Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "Cubans welcome softer laws on business and art," 12 Dec. 2018 This, too, was effectively a campaign contribution for Trump above what Cohen was permitted to give, prosecutors said. Aaron Rupar, Vox, "What’s illegal about Trump’s hush payments to women, briefly explained," 12 Dec. 2018 On its own, Büro Ole Scheeren’s new King Power MahaNakhon tower in Bangkok, Thailand, is already the tallest building in the country and immensely photogenic thanks to its glassy, pixelated facade that soars above the rest of the city. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "‘Glass tray’ observation deck now open in Thailand’s tallest building," 11 Dec. 2018 The procedure caused vocal cord paralysis, meaning Amy couldn't talk above a whisper. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "How One Woman Is Using Art to Give a Voice to Those With Disabilities," 4 Dec. 2018 As if the art work above wasn't incredible enough already, a second portrait of Elizabeth, by military artist Stuart Brown, was unveiled on November 30. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Queen Elizabeth II's Outfit in Her New Portrait Has a Hidden Meaning," 3 Dec. 2018 Watch the full episode above and buy When's Happy Hour? here. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "This Ugly Christmas Stocking Sweater Will Literally Hold Your Beer (And Wine)," 30 Nov. 2018 Holding a pair of red pom-poms above her head, the singer does her best Rancho Carne Toros dance routine. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Watch Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" Video Reference "Bring It On," "Mean Girls," "Legally Blonde," and "13 Going on 30"," 30 Nov. 2018 And there is sort of an elite group above that who are much better paid. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "After 20,000 workers walked out, Google said it got the message. The workers disagree.," 21 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 Above, 16 of our favorite makes (at every price point) of Mary Janes. Rachel Waldman, Vogue, "Ditch Your Ballet Flats For Mary Janes," 28 June 2017 Above is Turkish coffee ice cream, Jivara-coffee Chantilly cream, ginger caramel, and chocolate fondant. Alex Beggs, Bon Appetit, "5 Fancy Desserts from the Best Pastry Chefs in the Country," 21 Apr. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The family's holiday greeting features the above photo, which was taken by Matt Porteous at the family's home Anmer Hall and released earlier this morning. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince George Stole the Show in the Royal Family Christmas Card This Year," 14 Dec. 2018 Manage your expectations and arm yourself with the above knowledge. Melissa Colgan, Harper's BAZAAR, "How to Shop for a Wedding Dress—When Bridal Salons Aren’t What You’d Expect," 11 Dec. 2018 And all of the above brings us to the events of the past couple of weeks. Todd Vanderwerff, Vox, "Why Netflix could have lost Friends — and what it means for the future of streaming," 11 Dec. 2018 Semi-related to the above: William Davies has a long, thoughtful piece about declining trust in institutions and journalists, considering it from both technological and political perspectives. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A looming strike over Project Dragonfly is putting new pressure on Google," 30 Nov. 2018 Okay, full disclosure: The above is a blatant generalization based on a handful of signs Aussies and Kiwis have shown off over the last couple of weeks during the royal tour. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Australians and New Zealanders Are Using Signs With 'Suits' Puns to Get Meghan Markle's Attention," 28 Oct. 2018 Few would likely guess that the above refers to San Antonio, Texas, the state’s second-largest city—and one of the U.S.’s least understood. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "San Antonio, the nation’s fastest-growing city, sees downtown rebound," 23 Oct. 2018 How will all of the above fare against the talent upgrade in Vegas? Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "What to watch for as Spurs summer leaguers hit Las Vegas," 6 July 2018 Entries that do not comply with the above requirements may not be eligible, and, if submitted, may be removed at any time in Sponsor’s sole discretion. Country Living, "Find the Horseshoe Sweepstakes June 2018," 30 Apr. 2018

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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Statistics for above

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for above

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

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More Definitions for above


\ə-ˈbəv \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with above

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for above

Spanish Central: Translation of above

Nglish: Translation of above for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of above for Arabic Speakers

Comments on above

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


having a pattern of small flowers

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