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

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



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

Synonyms for across

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Adverb

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of across in a Sentence

Preposition 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. Adverb 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Members created a sixth conference committee shortly before 3 p.m. to reconcile differences on a bill that would tighten the state’s firearms laws in the wake of a Supreme Court decision expanding gun rights across the country. Matt Stout,, 1 Aug. 2022 Now, its clinics see three to four patients traveling across state lines every week. Camryn Pak, San Francisco Chronicle, 31 July 2022 With heat waves rolling across the country, and states like Texas and Oklahoma experiencing record hot summers, workers exposed to the elements are increasingly struggling under the heat. Adiel Kaplan, NBC News, 31 July 2022 The pandemic was a political awakening for parents across the country, and teachers unions may come to regret their insistence on keeping schools shut down as much as parents do. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 31 July 2022 More than 18,000 people were still without power as of Saturday, meanwhile, according to, which tracks outages across the country. The Courier-Journal, 30 July 2022 In the 19th century, these schools were established across the country with the goal of eradicating Indigenous cultures and assimilating Native Americans into the white, Christian man’s society. Bryce Dole And Zack Demars, oregonlive, 30 July 2022 The jump in cases stems mainly from the highly transmissible omicron offshoot, BA.5, which, in recent weeks, has become the dominant strain in the United States driving a wave of cases across the country. Jenna Portnoy, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 The winner will be decided by votes from about 180,000 party members across the country. Jill Lawless, ajc, 30 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb As large as 1,000 feet across, the asteroids won’t get closer than 1.7 million miles from Earth. Tim Newcomb, Popular Mechanics, 27 July 2022 The Webb telescope has a mirror that’s about 21 feet across, made out of 18 beryllium hexagons, a metal that Materion specializes in. Sean Mcdonnell, cleveland, 15 July 2022 Eleven and a half feet high and more than 25 feet across, Guernica should have been a sensation when it was unveiled at the Paris World’s Fair. Hugh Eakin, The Atlantic, 12 July 2022 For the vase: Carousel is a purple quill mum that can measure up to 4 inches across. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, 9 July 2022 Spanning 22 feet across, the hull will ensure more stability and space than other narrower designs. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 16 June 2022 According to a dam-safety database maintained by the Utah State Engineer, Boulger’s dam, built in 1937 by the U.S. Forest Service, is 17 feet high and 274 feet across. Brian Maffly, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 June 2022 This is the widest glacier on earth, at 70 miles across, draining an area nearly as large as Idaho. Ted Scambos, The Conversation, 7 June 2022 On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Eckersley tried to get an outside fastball across, but Winfield reached out and slapped a grounder through the hole between shortstop and third for history. Ryan Ford, Detroit Free Press, 24 Apr. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The propellers, all four, are almost 17 feet across, and they’re attached to 2,400-hp Wright R-3350-24WA 18-cylinder radial engines, which give it a top speed of 225 mph and 190-mph cruise speed with a 4,900-mile range. J. George Gorant, Robb Report, 29 Mar. 2022 This week, Newport had subcontractors doing site work on the Willow Brook property, which is roughly across from Maxine Road on the eastern side of Route 177. Don Stacom,, 16 Dec. 2021 If Manchester United have hopes of closing the gap on their across-town rivals in Manchester City for next season’s Premier League, major reinforcements will be needed in the team, starting with Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho. Liam Canning, Forbes, 28 May 2021 Reflecting its sporting brief, the new model will only be available with four seats; the three-across rear bench is replaced by two individual thrones. Greg Kable, Car and Driver, 20 May 2021 The views here are unbeatable: across is El Capitan; to your right, Cathedral Rocks; Half Dome lays beyond. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, 4 Feb. 2021 The songs effortlessly dip into funk, R. & B., and even spoken word, sounding from across generations as acts of protest. Sheldon Pearce, The New Yorker, 8 Dec. 2020 John Prine's music cut across genre, age, race, and gender lines to affect everyone who was fortunate enough to come in contact with his plain-spoken wisdom and razor-sharp wit. Ew Staff,, 8 Apr. 2020 So far, the DOC has reported four inmates have tested positive along with ten staff across four prisons and a community corrections office. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Apr. 2020 See More

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.

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

Learn More About across

Time Traveler for across

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near across



across country

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for across

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Across.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for across


\ 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on across

Nglish: Translation of across for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of across for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Commonly Confused Words Quiz

  • vector image of a face with thought expression
  • I went to the ______ store to buy a birthday card.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!