Definition of across

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1a : from one side to the opposite side of : over, through swam across the river
b : on the opposite side of lives across the street from us
2 : so as to intersect or pass through at an angle sawed across the grain of the wood
3 : so as to find or meet Researchers have come across important new evidence.
4a : throughout … obvious interest across the nation.— Robert Goralski
b : so as to include or take into consideration all classes or categories


\ ə-ˈkrȯs How to pronounce across (audio) , chiefly dialectal -ˈkrȯst\

Definition of across (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : in a position reaching from one side to the other : crosswise cut the potato across into thin slices
2 : to or on the opposite side The stream was small enough to jump across.
3 : so as to be understandable, acceptable, or successful trying to get an argument across



Definition of across (Entry 3 of 3)

: being in a crossed position stood with her arms across

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Synonyms for across

Synonyms: Preposition

athwart, over, through

Synonyms: Adverb

athwart, over, through

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Examples of across in a Sentence


We took a ferry across the river. We saw them walking across the street. She reached across the table to shake his hand. They traveled back and forth across the border. Airplanes flew across the sky above us. He was seated across the table from me. The accident happened just across the state line. A smile spread across her face. Looking out across the ocean, he saw land. The sun's light spread across the mountains.


The streams are small enough to jump across. They walked across to the other side of the street. They reached across and shook each other's hand. At its widest point, the pond measures 150 feet across. I saw them crossing the street and I waited until they were safely across.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

The troopers’ conduct, the suit says, has sent a clear message to communities across Pennsylvania: The state police are in the immigration-enforcement business. Jeff Gammage, ProPublica, "ACLU Sues Pennsylvania State Police, Alleging They’ve Overstepped in Acting as Immigration Authorities," 5 July 2019 Since then, lower prices have been achieved across the country through the mechanism of open bidding by developers. Kuwar Singh, Quartz India, "A southern state has dealt India’s renewable energy industry a fresh blow," 5 July 2019 His father raced across the country to bring him back to Sebastopol, assuming the comfort of home would help. Jocelyn Wiener,, "Calif. counties inconsistent in offering critical treatment for early psychosis," 5 July 2019 Parades marking America’s Declaration of Independence 243 years ago were also scheduled for Annapolis, Arbutus, Bel Air, Catonsville, Dundalk,and other communities across the state. Jeff Barker,, "Fourth of July parade spectators bemoan political tone of a holiday that has grown ‘more complicated’," 4 July 2019 Independence Day falls on a Thursday this year, and the July 4th weekend will bring barbecues, fireworks and parades to communities across the nation. Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY, "What's open and closed on July 4th: Mail, banks, and stores impacted by Independence Day," 4 July 2019 Lakshmi’s plea coincides with protesters across the country who are demanding the closure of detention facilities holding migrant children and families, according to CNN. Diane J. Cho,, "Padma Lakshmi Bakes a 'Truly American Pie' for July 4th with Message for Trump Administration," 4 July 2019 Jones’ arrest sparked outrage across the country, and a rekindling of the national debate surrounding the state’s Heartbeat Law. Essence, "Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Alabama Woman Who Suffered Miscarriage After Being Shot In Stomach," 4 July 2019 Her position is part of a project by the Jewish Emergent Network, which represents seven nondenominational and innovative communities across the country. Josefin Dolsten,, "Filipino-American dancer turned rabbi wants to change the conversation about Jews of color," 3 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Fireworks have already been restricted or banned across much of the state by order of the Fire Marshal. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, "More record-breaking heat and wildfire smoke forecast for week of Fourth of July," 1 July 2019 Those odds also are improved by the habitat conditions across much of turkey range as summer arrives. Shannon Tompkins,, "Texas turkeys thriving after mild, wet spring," 8 June 2019 The base also measures 65 stacks across and 65 back. Molly Hudson, azcentral, "Phoenix YouTuber says it took common cents to build record-setting pyramid," 20 June 2019 This is the home of the world-famous Blue Hole, a remarkable circular limestone sinkhole in the seafloor that stretches nearly 1,000 feet across and more than 400 feet deep. National Geographic, "Belize High School Expedition," 12 June 2019 For this upcoming school year, an enrollment growth of 850 students across all grade levels is being projected, school officials have said. Jess Nocera,, "Howard schools to begin redistricting process," 7 June 2019 Spread across vast oceans, some seahorses are less than an inch long and some can change color to camouflage themselves -- making them challenging to spot. Sarah Lazarus, CNN, "Used as a natural Viagra in Chinese medicine, seahorse numbers are declining," 6 June 2019 There isn’t a binding policy across all dioceses on whether lawmakers should be barred from receiving communion in such circumstances, Budde said. Elvia Malagón,, "Catholic bishop in Springfield: No communion for Madigan, Cullerton for supporting 'abominable' Illinois abortion rights bill," 6 June 2019 Native support for Face Authentication in Android Q could make the experience more consistent across all Android devices. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Latest Android Q beta hints at native support for face unlock," 6 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

In his five seasons in Arizona, Palmer etched his name across team record books. Katherine Fitzgerald, azcentral, "Carson Palmer on Cardinals' Ring of Honor: 'I don't think I quite grasp the magnitude'," 5 June 2019 To evoke the iconic mob wife, Polko styled Teigen's hair into a loose bob with a smooth, all-across fringe with ends that Polko curled inward. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Chrissy Teigen’s New Bob Is Giving Us Scarface Vibes," 18 Mar. 2019 That requires the participation of staff across departments. Nancy Harris, Recode, "A practical guide to the European Union’s GDPR for American businesses," 16 May 2018 The Italian international performed some stunning stopovers, before using Ádám Nagy as a shield to guide a vicious shot across goal and into the corner of Antonio Mirante's far post., "Bologna 1-2 AC Milan: Rossoneri Survive Late Scare From Rossoblu to End Barren Winless Run," 29 Apr. 2018 The campaign highlights fixes the bank has made, as well as its more than 165-year-old history, including its role transporting gold across American as the nation was expanding westward. Deon Roberts, charlotteobserver, "Wells Fargo knows customers are still frustrated. Here's what they're doing about it. | Charlotte Observer," 7 May 2018 First, Cuadrado fired a cross-cum-shot across goal which was cruelly deflected into his own net by Milan Skriniar in the 87th minute., "Juventus Comes Back From 2-1 Deficit to Beat 10-Man Inter," 28 Apr. 2018 Insigne then drew Donnarumma into action, after firing a shot across goal straight into the enormous frame of the prodigious 19-year-old., "AC Milan 0-0 Napoli: Rossoneri Survive Gli Azzurri Onslaught to Effectively End Serie A Title Race," 15 Apr. 2018 And, because such practices are passed across generations, any systematic harm done to a community’s ability to support children will ripple across time; in the United States, such systematic harm has been waged on people of color. Jack Schneider, The Atlantic, "What School-Funding Debates Ignore," 22 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'across.' 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 across


1538, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


circa 1576, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for across


derivative of across entry 2


Middle English a-croiz, a-cros "in the shape of a cross, in a crossed position, from one side to another," borrowed from Anglo-French en croiz (from en "in, on"—going back to Latin in— + croiz "cross," going back to Latin cruc-, crux) with assimilation of Anglo-French croiz to cros cross entry 1 and en to a- a- entry 1 — more at in entry 1


derivative of across entry 2

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Statistics for across

Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for across

The first known use of across was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for across



English Language Learners Definition of across

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: from one side to the other side of (something)
: on the other side of (something)
: so as to reach or spread over or throughout (something)



English Language Learners Definition of across (Entry 2 of 2)

: from one side to the other
: in a measurement from one side to the other side
: on the opposite side


\ ə-ˈkrȯs How to pronounce across (audio) \

Kids Definition of across

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : from one side to the other They reached across and shook hands.
2 : a measurement from one side to another The lake is a mile across.
3 : on the opposite side Watch me till I get across.



Kids Definition of across (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to or on the opposite side of The chicken ran across the street. My grandparents live across the street.
2 : so as to pass, go over, or intersect at an angle Lay one stick across another.
3 : in every part of The story spread all across town.

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More from Merriam-Webster on across

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with across

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for across

Spanish Central: Translation of across

Nglish: Translation of across for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of across for Arabic Speakers

Comments on across

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


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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