after

1 of 7

adverb

af·​ter ˈaf-tər How to pronounce after (audio)
: following in time or place : afterward, behind, later
we arrived shortly after
returned 20 years after

after

2 of 7

preposition

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

see also take after

after

3 of 7

conjunction

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

after

4 of 7

adjective

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

after

5 of 7

auxiliary verb

af·​ter ˈäf-tər How to pronounce after (audio)
chiefly Ireland
used with a present participle to indicate action completed and especially just completed
the poor old man is after dying on meJ. M. Synge

after

6 of 7

noun

after-

7 of 7

prefix

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

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 the cruise ship had more spacious cabins in after years the government set up a special fund for disabled veterans of the war
Recent Examples on the Web
Adverb
Not long after, Priest won the 2023 Money in the Bank ladder match, crowning himself Señor Money in the Bank afterwards, leading to his current championship reign. Joe Otterson, Variety, 9 Apr. 2024 Jamila, who shared a Zola link to her wedding registry in August 2017, tied the knot with her husband Theus soon after. Sophie Dodd, Peoplemag, 6 Apr. 2024 But soon after, her mother got stranded on a gravel bed in the lagoon, where she was discovered, helpless, by a passing road maintenance crew on March 23. Andrew Jeong, Washington Post, 6 Apr. 2024 Not long after, Frank decided to go bigger and more ambitious with BabyView, which has the same idea but would feature more babies, crisper audio, and higher-resolution video. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 5 Apr. 2024 Performing static stretches before a workout might relax the muscles in a way that's detrimental to producing rapid force right after. Alyssa Hui, Verywell Health, 5 Apr. 2024 Soon after, someone had the bright idea that customers might be interested in a road car inspired by the victorious racers. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 4 Apr. 2024 Someone took Brown to Regions Hospital in a private vehicle and he was pronounced dead soon after, police said. Mara H. Gottfried, Twin Cities, 4 Apr. 2024 Soon after, Gossett was acting on Broadway, and received critical acclaim in 1959 for his role as Travis Younger in Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun. Shelby Stewart, Essence, 29 Mar. 2024
Preposition
But after rapid improvement in the fall, price increases have accelerated on a monthly basis to a range of 0.3% to 0.4% so far this year. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, 10 Apr. 2024 The partygoers who had come from Denmark, Germany and cities across the U.S. poured themselves coffee and took in the glamorous poolside setting after celebrating Nathan the previous evening with testimonials and dinner made with the help of her family, friends and colleagues. Laurie Ochoa, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 Media and entertainment companies maintained that their only goal was to go after foreign websites that distribute unauthorized copies of content. Winston Cho, The Hollywood Reporter, 10 Apr. 2024 Any Arsenal fans watching the Bayern warmup will likely have been experiencing an ominous sense of déjà vu after Kane’s first shot –- on his weaker left foot –- kissed the underside of the crossbar on its way towards the top corner. Matias Grez, CNN, 10 Apr. 2024 Authorities searching for a vehicle stolen overnight in a Sacramento County armed carjacking arrested two adults and three underage teens Friday morning after lengthy chase in Northern California. Rosalio Ahumada, Sacramento Bee, 30 Mar. 2024 Khodorkovsky, who in 2004 was Russia’s richest person, was released in December 2013 after a pardon from Putin. Devin Sean Martin, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 He was released after posting $25,000 bail and remains out of custody. Caleb Lunetta, San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Mar. 2024 In his gap year after the BRIT School, Cole joined several youth theater companies. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 29 Mar. 2024
Adjective
Following the show’s taping, the two also stepped out for the after party together. Sadie Bell, Peoplemag, 2 Mar. 2024 Friday through Sunday night, different groups of musicians will take the stage from 11 p.m. until after 1 a.m., with trombonist Vincent Chandler hosting an after hours jam session Sunday night. Duante Beddingfield, Detroit Free Press, 31 Aug. 2023 Even following its after hours tumble, the company’s shares fetch around 13 times forward earnings—a premium to American Eagle Outfitters, PVH Corp. and VF Corp. This analysis comes from the Journal's Heard on the Street team. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2023 The after stateroom can be optioned as a lounge, turning the Fiart 43 into an excellent choice for a cruising couple who is ready to say ciao, bella!, albeit with a noticeable American accent. Kevin Koenig, Robb Report, 27 Feb. 2023 As a general rule, experts suggest investing between 15% to 25% of your after-tax income. Ivana Pino, Fortune, 4 Jan. 2023 What does your after-party look like once the show ends? Calie Schepp, EW.com, 26 Dec. 2022 Investing early: Some experts recommend setting aside anywhere from 15%-25% of your after-tax income for investing, although this could look a little different for everyone. Ivana Pino, Fortune, 19 Oct. 2022 And in the after end of the console is a sink and barbecue that offers service to a dining settee that ostensibly seats eight people, though that seems optimistic if everyone shows up at the same time. Kevin Koenig, Robb Report, 21 Sep. 2022
Noun
School operations and afters chool programs will continue as planned, officials said. Chris Pandolfo, Fox News, 5 Apr. 2024 From red carpet arrivals to the show to the after party, there’s visual continuity, explains MaryJane Partlow, the Academy’s executive vice president, awards production and special events. Kathy A. McDonald, Variety, 6 Mar. 2024 Of course, the sheer trend also made an appearance at the afters, and attendees took different approaches to baring it all. Hannah Jackson, Vogue, 13 Mar. 2024 The company is owned by FL Entertainment, which also posted profits on Thursday showing revenues of €4.5 billion ($5.8 billion) two years afters making its debut on the Amsterdam stock market. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 7 Mar. 2024 The benefit event, with an after party for $1000 Silver and $1500 Gold contributors, was part of a string of comedy shows planned for across the U.S. as the RFK Jr. campaign looks to continue raising campaign funds. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 22 Feb. 2024 Moody will enter his first postseason under extra scrutiny after missing a 38-yard field-goal attempt, then slicing a point-after try to snap his phenomenal 60-for-60 start. Cam Inman, The Mercury News, 8 Jan. 2024 In the after photo, Nugget looks impeccably coiffed — and is even sporting a small bow around her neck. Esme Mazzeo, Peoplemag, 26 Feb. 2024 Chiefs Kingdom celebrated their back-to-back Super Bowl wins with an after party at Zouk Nightclub at Resorts World Las Vegas. Alex Ross, Peoplemag, 13 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'after.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near after

Cite this Entry

“After.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/after. Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

after

1 of 4 adverb
af·​ter ˈaf-tər How to pronounce after (audio)
: following in time or place : later, behind

after

2 of 4 preposition
1
a
: behind in time or place
following after us
after dinner
b
: below in rank or order
the highest mountain after Mount Everest
2
: for the reason of catching, seizing, or getting
ran after the ball
go after gold
3
a
: with the name of or a name derived from that of
named after his father
b
: in imitation of
patterned after a Gothic cathedral

after

3 of 4 conjunction
: later than the time when
opened the door after she knocked

after

4 of 4 adjective
1
: later in time
in after years
2
: located toward the stern of a ship or tail of an aircraft
Etymology

Adverb

Old English æfter "behind, later"

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