1

after

adverb af·ter \ ˈaf-tər \
Updated on: 9 Dec 2017

Definition of after

: following in time or place : afterward, behind, later
  • we arrived shortly after
  • returned 20 years after

Examples of after in a Sentence

  1. Don't tell them until after.

  2. I expected her then, but she arrived the week after.

  3. He ate lunch and left just after.

Recent Examples of after from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'after.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of after

Middle English after, efter, going back to Old English æfter, going back to Germanic *after- (whence Old Saxon & Old High German aftar "after, behind,' Old Norse eptir, Gothic aptaro), perhaps from Indo-European *h1epi-, *h1opi- "on, at" + *-ter-, suffix of separation and distinctness — more at epi-
Note: The initial element has alternatively been assigned to Indo-European *h2epo-, "(away) from" (see 1of); cf. Sanskrit apataram, "farther off." In a Germanic context the forms may well have interacted with each other.


2

after

preposition

Definition of after

1 a : behind in place
  • people lined up one after another
b (1) : subsequent to in time or order
  • 20 minutes after 6
(2) : subsequent to and in view of
  • after all our advice
2 used to indicate the object of a stated or implied action
  • go after gold
  • was asking after you
3 : so as to resemble: such as
a : in accordance with
  • He's a man after my own heart.
b : with the name of or a name derived from that of
  • named after his father
c : in the characteristic manner of : in imitation of
  • writing after the manner of Hemingway

Examples of after in a Sentence

  1. We arrived shortly after six o'clock.

  2. He returned after 20 years.

  3. before, during, and after the war

  4. He left just after nightfall.

  5. He finished the exam after me.

  6. Call me after your arrival.

  7. She was going to arrive tomorrow but I'm now expecting her the day after tomorrow instead.

  8. He left after an hour.

  9. How can you say that after what happened last night?

  10. It's the highest mountain after Mount Everest.

Origin and Etymology of after

Middle English after, efter, going back to Old English æfter, identical with the adverb æfter 1after when governing an object

after Synonyms

Synonyms
après, behind, below, following, next to, past
Antonyms
afore [chiefly dialect], ahead of, before, ere, of, previous to, prior to, to
Related Words
since
Near Antonyms
toward (or towards)

3

after

conjunction

Definition of after

: subsequently to the time when
  • We will come after we make plans.

Examples of after in a Sentence

  1. He returned after 20 years had passed.

  2. Don't tell them until after they've had dinner.

  3. He left just after the show ended.

  4. Call me after you arrive.

  5. He finished the exam after I did.

  6. It happened not long after he graduated from college.

Origin and Etymology of after

Middle English, elliptically for after that, from after 2after + that 3that


4

after

adjective

Definition of after

1 : later in time
  • in after years
2
[Middle English, probably from afte 1aft + -er 1-er]
: located toward the rear and especially toward the stern of a ship or tail of an aircraft
  • an after cabin

Examples of after in a Sentence

  1. had heard that the after section of an aircraft is safer in the event of a crash

  2. in after years the government set up a special fund for disabled veterans of the war

Recent Examples of after from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'after.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of after

independent use of after-

after Synonyms

Synonyms
aft, back, hind, hinder, hindmost, posterior, rear, rearward
Antonyms
anterior, fore, forward, front, frontal
Related Words
dorsal
Near Antonyms
ventral

5

after

auxiliary verb af·ter \ ˈäf-tər \

Definition of after

chiefly Irish
used with a present participle to indicate action completed and especially just completed
  • the poor old man is after dying on me
  • —J. M. Synge

Origin and Etymology of after

2after, copying Irish prepositional constructions tar éis, i ndiaidh, etc.


6

after

noun

Definition of after

Recent Examples of after from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'after.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of after

by shortening


after-

prefix

Definition of after-

1 a used as the first part of a compound to indicate an event or entity that follows or results from the thing denoted by the second part of the compound
  • afterbirth
  • afterlife
  • afternoon
b used as the first part of a compound to indicate an event or entity of the same nature as the thing denoted by the second part of the compound but which follows that event or entity and is less intense or significant
  • afterglow
  • aftershock
  • afterthought
2 the rear or lower part
  • afterdeck

Origin and Etymology of after-

Middle English after, going back to Old English æfter, form in composition of adverbial æfter 1after


AFTER Defined for English Language Learners

after

adverb

Definition of after for English Language Learners

  • : following in time : at a later time


after

preposition

Definition of after for English Language Learners

  • : at a time following (something or someone) : later than (something or someone)

  • —used to describe a time following a specified hour

  • : following and because of (something)


after

conjunction

Definition of after for English Language Learners

  • : later than the time that : later than when


after

adjective

Definition of after for English Language Learners

  • : later in time


AFTER Defined for Kids

1

after

adverb af·ter \ ˈaf-tər \

Definition of after for Students

: following in time or place : at a later time
  • He ate and left immediately after.

2

after

preposition

Definition of after for Students

1 : behind in time or place
  • They got there after me.
  • after lunch
2 : for the reason of catching, seizing, or getting
  • Run after the ball.
  • They're going after the championship.
3 : following in order or in a series
  • The number 20 comes before 21 and after 19.
4 : following the actions or departure of
  • Don't expect me to clean up after you.
5 : with the name of
  • He's named after his father.

3

after

conjunction

Definition of after for Students

: following the time when
  • I opened the door after she knocked.


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