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

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 1aft + -er 1-er ] : 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

afterward (or afterwards), later, latterly, subsequently, thereafter

Synonyms: Preposition

après, behind, below, following, next to, past

Synonyms: Adjective

aft, back, hind, hinder, hindmost, posterior, rear, rearward

Antonyms: Adverb

afore [chiefly dialect], ahead, antecedently, anteriorly, before, beforehand, earlier, previously

Antonyms: Preposition

afore [chiefly dialect], ahead of, before, ere, of, previous to, prior to, to

Antonyms: Adjective

anterior, fore, forward, front, frontal

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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 Queen was born on April 21, and Attenborough followed soon after on May 8. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Looking Back at David Attenborough's Relationship with Queen Elizabeth and the Rest of the Royal Family," 4 Apr. 2019 Dexter got sick soon after, and was forced to leave the tour after performing in only in a few shows. Kelly O'sullivan, Country Living, "Why 'The Voice' Contestant Dexter Roberts's Past Is Causing Controversy," 11 Mar. 2019 Dropping the APs takes pointless pressure off not only students—who would cram for the tests only to forget the material the day after—but overstressed teachers as well. Caitlin Macy, WSJ, "AP Tests Are Still a Great American Equalizer," 22 Feb. 2019 At the turn of the 20th century, a few factors transformed Thanksgiving — and the day after, which still wasn’t known as Black Friday — into a more commercial affair. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Black Friday is longer, and tamer, than ever," 20 Nov. 2018 The most important thing is going to be the day after, though. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Eyeing a 2020 run, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti explains how he (or someone else) could beat Trump," 17 Oct. 2018 This was supposed to be a medical call, his wife, Jessie San Nicolas cried Monday, the day after. Joe Robertson And Robert A. Cronkleton, kansascity, "'Why did you have to shoot him?' cries wife of man with sword killed by police," 2 July 2018 There’s a reason that after previously releasing on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, the new record is out on Young Turks, best known for pop-adjacent material like the xx, Sampha and FKA Twigs. August Brown, latimes.com, "Kamasi Washington's ‘Heaven and Earth’ proves jazz's vitality and political power," 29 June 2018 The impetus was two-fold, the elder Kelenic said, explaining his original motivation just days after Jarred's first-round selection on June 4 and subsequent signing by the New York Mets. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Jarred Kelenic's success partly relied on training at Waukesha facilities built by his dad, who hopes he can help more athletes," 13 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

While most celebs snapped at last night's Met Gala on the red carpet, many made sure to debut stunning looks at the after party as well. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Kim Kardashian’s Met Gala 2019 After Party Look Was Clearly Cher Inspired," 7 May 2019 But, even with the couple ditching the after show party together, as well as the photographic proof of a friendship between the two women, everyone is still focusing on those pesky love triangle rumors. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Bradley Cooper's Ex-Wife Posted a Cryptic Response to His Relationship With Lady Gaga," 26 Feb. 2019 Here's a before-and-after look at marijuana shops across Anchorage, some of which have transformed more dramatically than others. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Before and after: How retail marijuana has changed storefronts across Anchorage," 16 May 2018 So their before-and-after pictures show really dramatic improvements. Michelle Gant, Fox News, "The truth about those popular 'liquid nose jobs'," 4 May 2018 On Wednesday, the fitness influencer posted an Instagram before-and-after photo showing her postpartum body. Blake Bakkila, Health.com, "Emily Skye Reveals She Has Changed Her Body Goals Post-Baby in Her Latest Transformation Photo," 19 Apr. 2018 Teams employ various strategies to compete for fans' sought-after entertainment dollars. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Free baseball tickets? Orioles trying 'Kids Cheer Free' deal," 15 Apr. 2018 Morstead conducted more than two dozen interviews during a day that began before dawn and didn't end until well after sunset. Jeff Duncan, NOLA.com, "Thomas Morstead's third trip to Minnesota is a rewarding one," 2 Feb. 2018 Experts say the same thing occurred in late 1986 - donations surged that year, dropped the next - after enactment of the Reagan administration tax overhaul, the biggest reworking of the U.S. tax system until this one. Marcy Gordon, Houston Chronicle, "Charity donations likely to drop next year due to tax law," 28 Dec. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Check out the rest of the amazing before and afters below, and gather up some serious home inspo. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "This Company Let Kids Draw Their Dream Rooms—And Then Brought Them to Life," 19 Apr. 2019 Unfortunately, Tayshia is not the holder of Colton's v-card, and their morning-after is Awkward City. Amanda Mitchell, Marie Claire, "'The Bachelor' Recap: The Fence, It Hath Been Jumped," 5 Mar. 2019 But amid all of the cheerful talking squirrels and bippity-boppity-boos and eventual happily ever afters (usually involving impossibly small-waisted princesses), Disney decided that all of the mothers must die. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Why Does Disney Hate Mothers So Much?," 28 Mar. 2019 On especially sought-after streets—including Moray Place plus nearby Heriot Row and Northumberland Street—prices can rise to around $800 per square foot. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "Inside One of The United Kingdom’s Hottest Real-Estate Markets," 20 June 2018 Even more impressive than Mandy Moore's laundry room before-and-after. Danielle Tullo, House Beautiful, "You Won't Believe What This Kitchen Looks Like Now," 28 Sep. 2018 But that doesn’t mean that most artists see even a small fraction of that money, since the highest-value sales usually involve one wealthy collector putting a highly sought-after work up for auction. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Why is art so expensive?," 31 Oct. 2018 Vacancies for glacier monitors are rare and highly sought-after, and many glaciers have been in the same family for generations, passed down to sons and daughters, like Haraldsson, when the journey becomes too arduous for their aging watchmen. The Atlantic, "The Icelandic Families Tracking Climate Change With Measuring Tape," 6 June 2018 Vacancies for glacier monitors are rare and highly sought-after, and many glaciers have been in the same family for generations, passed down to sons and daughters, like Haraldsson, when the journey becomes too arduous for their aging watchmen. The Atlantic, "The Icelandic Families Tracking Climate Change With Measuring Tape," 6 June 2018

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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Statistics for after

Last Updated

10 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for after

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

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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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on after

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with after

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for after

Spanish Central: Translation of after

Nglish: Translation of after for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of after for Arabic Speakers

Comments on after

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