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

In fact, conditions have improved dramatically for women in India across most industries. Jessica Andrews, Teen Vogue, "Designer Anita Dongre Talks Dressing Priyanka Chopra, Beyoncé, and Sophie Turner," 14 Mar. 2019 The resulting assortment—which, like most of what Ferrer uses in his own projects, focuses on midcentury items from across Europe— is an unprecedented offering for a big box store. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "You Can Now Buy Vintage at CB2, Thanks to a Line from Charlie Ferrer," 14 Mar. 2019 The notion of clean or natural beauty products is ill-defined across the industry, but within the confines of Whole Foods, product quality standards are front and center. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Whole Foods' Annual Beauty Week Event Has Arrived and Every Product Is on Sale," 12 Mar. 2019 Young Women in Bio is a nonprofit organization with 13 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Shannon Willoby, Redbook, "Why Girls Need More Mentors in STEM," 8 Mar. 2019 Women are over represented in many low paying jobs but under represented in leadership positions across nearly every industry. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Ryan Seacrest Faces Backlash for Wearing 'Time's Up' Bracelet on Golden Globes Red Carpet," 7 Jan. 2019 Celebrating the second year of the movement, the campaign looks back on the organization's progress thus far and also calls to double the number of women in leadership positions across all industries. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Celebrities to Wear Time's Up Ribbons and Bracelets at 2019 Golden Globes," 6 Jan. 2019 The incident leads him down a path to study the phenomenon, leading him across the world. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "Our favorite science fiction and fantasy books of 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 And this spring, the Atelier Ace team opens Maison De La Luz, a smaller guesthouse across the street from the Ace Hotel New Orleans in the Warehouse District. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Next Great Food Scene, Beach Town, and More: The 2019 Trends We're Calling Now," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Gifts: While members across all three levels receive a birthday gift, VIB and Rouge members will be able to choose either a gift or 250 extra points. Melanie Rud Chadwick, Allure, "Exclusive: Sephora Is Upgrading Its Beloved Beauty Insider Program This Month," 9 Aug. 2018 Not so, said comptroller Thomas Shack, whose office is now probing employee perks across all state agencies. Kay Lazar,, "Despite warning, MassDOT continued toll-free perk for workers, retirees," 8 June 2018 The finished nests are about a foot across, with a bowl for the eggs that is 1 to 6 inches deep and 6 to 9 inches across. Jane Ford-stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Seven things you never knew about the sex lives of mallard ducks," 10 Apr. 2018 The 'omnibus' spending bill spreading billions across all agencies of government was supposed to be released Monday night to allow time for passage through the House and Senate before a government shutdown deadline at midnight Friday. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Facebook's stock faces wild ride after Cambridge Analytica outrage," 20 Mar. 2018 Anderson said that one storm will move across the Great Lakes and New England, while the other will begin from the Gulf of Mexico and move upward. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "The First Major Snowstorm of 2019 Will Hit a Large Part of the Country This Weekend," 8 Jan. 2019 Plus, the Caps are getting one of the top 10 post-championship sales spikes across all major sports since Fanatics began tracking the data in 2011. Matthew Gutierrez, WSJ, "The Capitals’ Stanley Cup Win Spurs Merchandise Boom in Russia," 13 June 2018 From April 4-15, thousands of elite sportsmen and women from 71 nations and territories will compete across 18 sports -- including seven para-sports -- and bid for a total of 275 gold medals. CNN, "Commonwealth Games 2018: A guide to the 'Friendly Games'," 3 Apr. 2018 In terms of a fan base deserving this, the Vikings have to be damn near the top across all professional sports. Conor Orr,, "Which Fan Base Is the Most Miserable? Ranking the Vikings, Eagles, Jaguars and Patriots," 19 Jan. 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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Learn More about across

Statistics for across

Last Updated

18 Mar 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).


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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