\ 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

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

Seen from above, the scale of the system is dizzying. Matt Simon, WIRED, "Inside the Amazon Warehouse Where Humans and Machines Become One," 5 June 2019 Like artillery the drones can destroy targets beyond traditional line of sight and kill from above. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "This New Armored Vehicle Can Launch a Swarm of Killer Drones," 16 May 2019 There were obvious and significant spiritual benefits of gaining that kind of elevation: seen from above, the earth and all earthly concerns took on their true dimensions. María Gainza, Harper's magazine, "Both Sides Now," 10 May 2019 From above, this incredible structure features an incredible infinity pool, sun loungers, a dining area, and plenty of space to entertain. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "A Shanghai Architect Designs Insane Homes Inside (and Around) Rock Formations," 22 May 2019 Work hard: Work above and beyond your responsibilities. Liz Bentley, Marie Claire, "How to Get Promoted at Work In 3 Steps, According to a Career Coach," 9 May 2019 While there were many stars whose outfits were celebratory, some celebs definitely went above and beyond to stay true to this year’s Met Gala theme. Teen Vogue, "These Celebs Nailed The Met Gala 2019 Theme," 7 May 2019 Developers speak of Itch with reverence and delight, and almost everyone has a story about how Corcoran personally went above and beyond to help them achieve their vision for release. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "The game store that outshines Steam by staying small and weird," 29 Nov. 2018 One day Stefanie, who’d rediscovered the exhilaration of skiing with her older children (pictured above, along with her youngest son), approached the principal of the town’s only K–8 school. Melody Warnick, Woman's Day, "These Small-Town Heroes Are Helping Their Communities Thrive," 2 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

This has always been how the Phoenix Pinnacle running back speaks, just above a whisper, forcing words out just loud enough to hear in close proximity. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Pinnacle RB Matty Goodlow grew up bullied because of his voice, but his actions speak loudly," 13 June 2019 Arriving to the Monday, June 10, premiere of her upcoming Netflix series, The Dead Don't Die, Selena chose monochromatic elegance and wore a black dress that hit just above her knees. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Selena Gomez Wore a Black Celine Gown to the Premiere of “The Dead Don’t Die”," 11 June 2019 Their contentment carried on until the fall of 2002, when Becky was diagnosed with cancer of the supraglottis, the upper part of the larynx just above the vocal cords. Ann Neumann, Harper's magazine, "Going to Extremes," 10 June 2019 That’s just above the average of $65,875 across all districts in Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Washington and Waukesha counties. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "MPS is hemorrhaging workers, its teachers union says. Will a new salary schedule help?," 10 June 2019 Lift your leg so your foot is just above a high surface (again, this could be a box, chair, couch, etc.) and hold for 10 seconds. NBC News, "Train like an athlete: 5 postpartum exercises the Lamoureux twins love," 7 June 2019 Unemployment was just above 4 percent, the budget was being balanced and Communism was defeated. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "1998 Was a Seinfeld Election—Not an Impeachment Referendum," 6 June 2019 Washburn was the son of a carpenter from Martinsville, Virginia, just above the North Carolina border. oregonlive.com, "D-Day survivor: ‘Why were they killed and I wasn’t? Why?'," 5 June 2019 The Legally Blonde star is now rocking a short bob that hits just above the shoulder, with a choppy finish, layers to frame her face, and plenty of volume for a messy, more effortless look. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Reese Witherspoon Cut Off All Her Hair Into a Bob, and It Looks So Great For Summer," 5 June 2019

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

Did the players on the field notice any of the above? Corey Seymour, Vogue, "One Dad’s New Field of (Tiny) Baseball Dreams," 14 June 2019 Be a chemical engineer, a poet, a safari guide, an artist, a nurse, a pastry chef, a politician, a teacher, or maybe all of the above. Steve Smith, courant.com, "Rockville Grads Urged To Reshape The Future," 14 June 2019 All of the above were at one time the latest obtuse term for some complicated technology that’s been hyped as the next leap in gaming graphics. Boone Ashworth, WIRED, "What Is Ray Tracing? The Latest Gaming Buzzword Explained," 14 June 2019 The way Mazin distills the complexity of the situation into potent dialogue is a marvel. Overarching all of the above is Chernobyl’s most vital quality: Its devastating exposure of gigantic political failure. Kyle Smith, National Review, "Chernobyl: Devastating Indictment of Socialism, Not Trumpism," 5 June 2019 All of the above is a tee up for a drive directly into the sand trap of guilt. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, "There’s no such thing as ‘bad food.’ Four terms that make dietitians cringe.," 5 June 2019 All of the above are parts of systems of sexism and misogyny that exist in soccer, all over the world. Shireen Ahmed, Time, "This Is the Most Anticipated Women’s World Cup Ever. But Corruption and Abuse Still Block Women From Soccer," 5 June 2019 Which one of the above doesn’t belong on a list of national security threats to the United States? The Editorial Board, WSJ, "Case of the Killer Toyotas," 20 May 2019 While unique to the United States, the above-ground tombs of New Orleans are actually derived from a European model. Andrew Boyd, NOLA.com, "St. Louis Cemetery No. 1: Is Marie Laveau where they say she is?," 22 May 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

15 Jun 2019

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 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

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).


showing courage and determination

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