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, 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

Other small cities across the country have turned to public-private partnerships and local investments to attempt to kickstart local businesses. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "When towns lose a factory, what comes next?," 29 Nov. 2018 Instead, media outlets have found a lot of ways to talk about what appears to be happening as vote counts keep rolling in slowly across a district or state. Dara Lind, Vox, "America’s love-hate relationship with the New York Times election needle, explained," 6 Nov. 2018 Most recently, Fortnite was invaded by the mysterious cube, which slowly rolled across the map, and eventually created a floating island. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fortnite’s mysterious cube is gone, leaving behind a brand new location," 4 Nov. 2018 This year alone, there are more than 200 LGBT candidates running for office across the country. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "6 Political Candidate Organizations Helping Women Run for Office," 25 Oct. 2018 Thanksgiving may not be celebrated across the pond, but that didn’t stop Meghan Markle from getting into the holiday spirit. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Meghan Markle Gets Into the Thanksgiving Spirit," 21 Nov. 2018 These wildfires rage across thousands of acres and devastate entire ecosystems like clockwork (kind of the opposite of those people in Patagonia). Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Annual 'Suffocations' Are the Forest Fires of the Ocean," 30 Oct. 2018 While progress has been made in many areas across the Commonwealth, there is always scope to offer more opportunities to the next generation of young adults, and specifically to young women. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's First Speech on the Royal Tour Centered Around the Importance of Women's Education," 24 Oct. 2018 Opposition leader Bill Shorten joined the apology, saying Australia had failed tens of thousands of children, across generations. Trevor Marshallsea, Fox News, "PM formally apologizes to Australian child sex abuse victims," 22 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

There is severe depression across much of the patient population. Jacqueline Detwiler, Popular Mechanics, "The Heroes of Science Who Are Unlocking the Brain," 3 Oct. 2018 Massive infernos continue to rage across much of the West. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke’s claim that “environmental terrorists” are to blame for wildfires, explained," 17 Aug. 2018 An atmospheric high pressure system parked over Scandinavia has made the weather hotter and drier than usual across much of northern Europe. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Climate change brings Britain and Ireland’s hidden past to the surface," 1 Aug. 2018 The bridge, spanning almost 14,000 feet across, also stands almost 700 feet high! Laura Schwecherl, SELF, "14 Experienced New York City Marathoners Share Their Best Tips for First-Timers," 30 Oct. 2018 The hypothetical storm would require search and rescue resources across 75 percent of the island. Arelis R. Hernandez And Joel Achenbach,, "Failure of imagination hindered federal response to hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico," 14 July 2018 Finally, the main cabin is only nine seats across, meaning each of the 220 seats is 18.5 inches in width, the widest of Delta's international fleet. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Refurbished Delta planes feature fancy suites, premium seating," 2 July 2018 Cillessen has had to settle for an understudy role whilst Marc-André ter Stegen took centre stage with last terms La Liga champions, making just 11 appearances across all competitions., "Barcelona Stopper Jasper Cillessen Set to Leave Camp Nou as Spanish Giants Offer Cut Price Deal," 30 June 2018 The current is too strong to swim across without resting, the journey is too treacherous to make it without help. Jenny Sharaf, The Cut, "Madame Clairevoyant: Horoscopes for the Week of June 25," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 Salah completed the rout 15 minutes from the end, receiving the ball from Mane before driving a powerful effort across goal into the bottom corner. USA TODAY, "Liverpool wins at West Ham in EPL as Mane returns to action," 4 Nov. 2017 Abend made a bee-line across and became another passing option for Totsch. Daniel Karell, The Courier-Journal, "Video study: How making space is leading to more goals for Louisville City FC," 13 July 2017

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

9 Dec 2018

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

: in a measurement from one side to the other side

: on the opposite side



English Language Learners Definition of across (Entry 2 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)


\ə-ˈkrȯs \

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).


living or existing for a long time

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