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

Over the course of six years, the team catalogued 2,341 Cepheids stretching across the galaxy, taking 206,726 images of the stars. Smithsonian, "New 3D Map Shows Milky Way’s Big Twist," 3 Aug. 2019 The group launched as educators across Alaska struggle to respond to Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s June 28 vetoes, including $130 million cut from the state university system -- about 40% of state funding. Alex Demarban, Anchorage Daily News, "Initiative group forms to boost educational support and performance in Alaska," 3 Aug. 2019 Apple has paused human review of utterances entirely across the globe, Google has paused it in the EU, and Amazon is simply offering this clearer opt-out. Dieter Bohn, The Verge, "Amazon will let you opt out of human review of Alexa recordings," 3 Aug. 2019 The second: Cellphones across the capital city detonated with flash-flood, storm-alert warnings: Run! Washington Post, "Gene Weingarten: A sudden storm, followed by utter panic — and a road map for world peace," 2 Aug. 2019 According to Scenic Houston, among its efforts was curtailing billboards across the city. Roy Kent, Houston Chronicle, "Scenic Houston announces appointment of Claudia Williamson as interim president and CEO," 2 Aug. 2019 Through BPS’s Exam School Initiative, up to 750 students across the city can access a preparatory course at no cost. Jim Stergios,, "Tackling equity at Boston’s exam schools," 2 Aug. 2019 DoorDash already provides delivery services for more than 310,000 restaurants across 4,000 cities in the U.S. and Canada. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "DoorDash Goes Shopping: Term Sheet," 2 Aug. 2019 Most of the more than 4,000 exoplanets astronomers have found across the past few decades come from NASA’s pioneering Kepler mission, which launched in 2009 and ended in late October 2018. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, "One Search to (Almost) Rule Them All: Hundreds of Hidden Planets Found in Kepler Data," 2 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Relentless rains this year, combined with drenching storms that brought devastating floods across much of the Midwest and halted barge traffic, funneled much more water downriver than usual and compounded the damage. Rory Doyle, New York Times, "Where Floods of ‘Biblical Proportion’ Drowned Towns and Farms," 30 July 2019 Brought to Germany for their fur in the 1930s, raccoons have since proliferated across much of Europe. Douglas Main, National Geographic, "Raccoons are spreading across Earth—and climate change could help," 29 July 2019 Fernandez has now scored 11 goals across all competitions since joining the Timbers in May. The Argentine striker has scored an incredible eight goals in nine appearances in MLS play. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy: Players to watch, TV channel, how to watch live stream online," 25 July 2019 Her organization, along with others representing tenants and communities of color, backed the legislation allowing up to four houses within neighborhoods zoned for single-family homes across much of the state. Los Angeles Times, "Oregon vowed not to become California — and passed sweeping housing crisis legislation," 19 July 2019 The second-year forward scored two pretty goals to give him four goals and two assists in the last four games across all competitions. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Minnesota United shows depth in 3-2 road win over Montreal," 6 July 2019 But by the middle of the century the game had been banned for females across much of the continent, including in Germany, the Netherlands, Italy and France. Kevin Baxter,, "Jill Ellis came to America to prosper in soccer, and now, the world is catching up," 29 June 2019 Nelson infused beautiful guitar licks across much of his hour-long closing set, matched by little sister Bobbie's swinging saloon piano and Mickey Raphael's sweet harmonica fills, and contrasted by Nelson's signature plain-spoken delivery. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "7 takeaways from Willie Nelson's Outlaw Music Festival at Summerfest," 28 June 2019 By the time Gondwana began to bust up, dinosaurs and other iconic animal groups had used it as a superhighway to spread across much of the Southern Hemisphere. Gemma Tarlach, Discover Magazine, "Plate Tectonics: The Slow Dance of Our Planet's Crust," 12 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

5 Aug 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).


a period when something is suspended

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