after

adverb
af·​ter | \ ˈaf-tər How to pronounce after (audio) \

Definition of after

 (Entry 1 of 7)

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

after

preposition

Definition of after (Entry 2 of 7)

1a : 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 goldwas 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

— see also take after

after

conjunction

Definition of after (Entry 3 of 7)

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

after

adjective

Definition of after (Entry 4 of 7)

1 : later in time in after years
2 [Middle English, probably from afte aft entry 1 + -er -er entry 1] : located toward the rear and especially toward the stern of a ship or tail of an aircraft an after cabin
af·​ter | \ ˈäf-tər How to pronounce after (audio) \

Definition of after (Entry 5 of 7)

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

after

noun

Definition of after (Entry 6 of 7)

after-

prefix

Definition of after- (Entry 7 of 7)

1a 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 afterbirthafterlifeafternoon
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 afterglowaftershockafterthought
2 the rear or lower part afterdeck

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Synonyms & Antonyms for after

Synonyms: Adverb

Synonyms: Preposition

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adverb

Antonyms: Preposition

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of after in a Sentence

Adverb Don't tell them until after. I expected her then, but she arrived the week after. He ate lunch and left just after. Preposition We arrived shortly after six o'clock. He returned after 20 years. before, during, and after the war He left just after nightfall. He finished the exam after me. Call me after your arrival. She was going to arrive tomorrow but I'm now expecting her the day after tomorrow instead. He left after an hour. How can you say that after what happened last night? It's the highest mountain after Mount Everest. Conjunction He returned after 20 years had passed. Don't tell them until after they've had dinner. He left just after the show ended. Call me after you arrive. He finished the exam after I did. It happened not long after he graduated from college. Adjective had heard that the after section of an aircraft is safer in the event of a crash in after years the government set up a special fund for disabled veterans of the war
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb The couple had previously listed the home for about $52 million in late 2019 but took it off the market shortly after. Helena Madden, Robb Report, 2 June 2021 Soon after, Sawayama was shortlisted for the BRITs’ 2021 Rising Star Award. Mitchell Kuga, Billboard, 2 June 2021 This style of furniture, with its heavy, dark wood, was more sought after in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and broadly speaking, prices have declined the past few years. oregonlive, 2 June 2021 Florida Fish and Wildlife, the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to rescue Poust’s father and sister shortly after. Jeanette Settembre, Fox News, 2 June 2021 Soon after, Anderson presented the school’s JFK Medal of Honor recognizing outstanding performance in personal behavior and responsible action to Joshua Grant Radis. Elizabeth Owens-schiele, chicagotribune.com, 1 June 2021 Soon after, on June 14, austere Saturn and rebellious Uranus square off for the second of three times in 2021. Lisa Stardust, refinery29.com, 1 June 2021 On a political panel about LGBTQ rights shortly after, Yatromanolakis did just that. NBC News, 1 June 2021 Soon after, though, Gibson retired as an amateur and attempted to become a pro tennis player, but there wasn’t much money in the sport, especially for women. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 1 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition But after a campaign by Kent’s admirers, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to preserve it as a historic-cultural monument. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 June 2021 Fears inflation could run red-hot if policymakers stand by idly were rekindled last week after the measure of inflation preferred by the Federal Reserve hit its strongest reading in 13 years. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 3 June 2021 Scott County’s needle exchange began in 2015 after then-Gov. chicagotribune.com, 3 June 2021 The limited public access began Tuesday after more than a year of closures because of the pandemic. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 3 June 2021 The painstaking process of trying to unwind Madoff's fraud began not long after the money manager's arrest in December 2008. Arkansas Online, 3 June 2021 Late Tuesday, after hearing from friend and foe of the redesign plan, commissioners began the hard work of deciding which parts should stay and which should go. Susannah Bryan, sun-sentinel.com, 3 June 2021 The Mariners won 93 games in Melvin’s first season at the helm in 2003 then fired him after a 99-loss campaign in 2004. Matt Kawahara, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 June 2021 There, Portland fell behind 132-123 with 2:16 remaining after Austin Rivers hit a three for Denver. oregonlive, 2 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Under the 50/30/20 budget, all your must-have expenses — including housing, utilities, transportation, insurance and minimum loan payments — would be 50% or less of your after-tax income (your gross income minus income and payroll taxes). Liz Weston, oregonlive, 27 Feb. 2021 Half of your after-tax income goes toward needs (housing, food, utilities), 30% to wants and 20% is for saving/paying down debts. Star Tribune, 23 Jan. 2021 Exotic was not available to comment on the numerous allegations made against him during the after show. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, 12 Apr. 2020 Iowa trailed 18-14 after one quarter but made 11 of 13 shots – missing its only two 3-point attempts – to outscore Purdue 25-15 in the second quarter for a 39-33 halftime lead. Staff Reports, Indianapolis Star, 9 Feb. 2020 The point-after attempt failed, leaving Heights up 6-0 with 3:38 left in the first quarter. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, 18 Nov. 2019 Her colorist, Jack Martin, revealed this and more in his latest Instagram post, which shows a before-and-after look at Osbourne's transformation. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, 18 Feb. 2020 Matt Ruffolo's point-after attempt gave the Wildcats a 7-6 lead with 6:17 left in the first quarter. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, 30 Nov. 2019 Iowa congresswoman Cindy Axne endorsed Joe Biden for president, giving the former vice president a sought-after vote of confidence with just nine days until the Feb. 3 first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, 25 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The 36-year-old James, who is still dealing with the after-effects of a high right ankle sprain, turned back the clock. Los Angeles Times, 28 May 2021 Also, the lines for the bathrooms will be much shorter, and the after-show beers much cheaper. Michael Calore, Wired, 17 May 2021 And in San Antonio, the go-to cure for that throbbing day-after headache and touchy tummy long has been barbacoa. Paul Stephen, San Antonio Express-News, 28 Apr. 2021 If 2020 was the year of the Zoom wedding, 2021 promises to be a year of after-parties. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2021 Definitely, especially since the bay is known to have harbored heavy metals like mercury, partly as a long after-effect of the Gold Rush. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Apr. 2021 To get more meals out, Morris' staff prepares bulk orders for local after-school programs twice a week. Maria Morava And Ralph Ellis, CNN, 20 Mar. 2021 During pandemic lockdowns and moves to virtual performances, de Bastion noticed that accessibility is often an after-thought — especially for those who do not hear. oregonlive, 17 Mar. 2021 An important word to note in the day-after disappointment. BostonGlobe.com, 21 Mar. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of after

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Preposition

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Conjunction

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Auxiliary verb

1778, in the meaning defined above

Noun

circa 1902, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for after

Adverb

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 of entry 1); cf. Sanskrit apataram, "farther off." In a Germanic context the forms may well have interacted with each other.

Preposition

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

Conjunction

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

Adjective

independent use of after-

Auxiliary verb

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

Noun

by shortening

Prefix

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

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Time Traveler for after

Time Traveler

The first known use of after was before the 12th century

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Statistics for after

Last Updated

5 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“After.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/after. Accessed 12 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for after

after

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of after

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: following in time : at a later time

after

preposition

English Language Learners Definition of after (Entry 2 of 4)

: at a time following (something or someone) : later than (something or someone)
US used to describe a time following a specified hour
: following and because of (something)

after

conjunction

English Language Learners Definition of after (Entry 3 of 4)

: later than the time that : later than when

after

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of after (Entry 4 of 4)

old-fashioned + literary : later in time

after

adverb
af·​ter | \ ˈaf-tər How to pronounce after (audio) \

Kids Definition of after

 (Entry 1 of 3)

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

after

preposition

Kids Definition of after (Entry 2 of 3)

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.

after

conjunction

Kids Definition of after (Entry 3 of 3)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on after

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for after

Nglish: Translation of after for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of after for Arabic Speakers

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