\ ə-ˈgen(t)st How to pronounce against (audio) , -ˈgin(t)st, -ˈgān(t)st \

Definition of against

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : in opposition or hostility to spoke against his enemies
b : not in conformity with : contrary to against the law
c : in competition with racing against each other
d : as a basis for disapproval of had nothing against him
2a : directly opposite : facing … she sat down just over against me …— Daniel Defoe
b obsolete : exposed to
3 : compared or contrasted with profits are up against last year
4a : in preparation or provision for saving against an uncertain future
b : as a defense or protection from a shelter against the cold
5a : in the direction of and into contact with knocked against the ropes
b : in contact with leaning against the wall
6 : in a direction opposite to the motion or course of : counter to sail against the wind
7a : as a counterbalance to weighing risk against profit
b : in exchange for a lower rate against the dollar
c : as a charge on charged against her account
8 : before the background of viewed against the sky



Definition of against (Entry 2 of 2)

: in preparation for the time when … throw on another log of wood against father comes home.— Charles Dickens

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Synonyms for against

Synonyms: Preposition

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Examples of against in a Sentence

Preposition We must continue the struggle for justice and against injustice. She voted against the proposal. He spoke against appeasing the enemy. Some people were for the proposal but others were against it. There's a law against doing that. two runners racing against each other Touching the ball with your hands is against the rules.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition Lawmakers considered using some of the unspent money to pay for infrastructure projects, but ultimately decided against it. Rachel Cohrs, STAT, 10 Sep. 2021 Once cybercriminals are regularly using a form of technology, there is no other way to defend against it. Renee Tarun, Forbes, 10 Sep. 2021 Ex parte means the court issues an order before the respondent knows there's a case against him or her. Elizabeth Depompei, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Sep. 2021 Robert Durst is a sick, old, defenseless man beaten up and demonized by prosecutors to cover up a lack of evidence against him, his lawyer said Thursday in closing arguments at the New York real estate heir's murder trial. Fox News, 10 Sep. 2021 The Cowboys have never beaten Brady, who improved to 6-0 against them, with five victories coming during his historic 20-year run with the New England Patriots. Fred Goodall,, 10 Sep. 2021 Four Mequon-Thiensville School Board members who have had recall petitions launched against them have filed challenges to those petitions. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 2021 Natalyn Archibong, Antonio Brown, Jennifer Ide and Carla Smith voted against it. Anjali Huynh, ajc, 9 Sep. 2021 Wendy said a kidnapping attempt against her was foiled by a local pastor who wrote a letter vouching for her accounts. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, 9 Sep. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'against.' 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 against


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for against


Middle English ayenest, ayenst, ayeinst, agaynste, alteration (with parasitic -t, perhaps originally from partial assimilation to a following article) of ayeines, ageynes, from ayein, ageyn again + -es -'s


Middle English, derivative of against against entry 1

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Time Traveler for against

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for against

Last Updated

13 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Against.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for against



English Language Learners Definition of against

: in opposition to (someone or something)
: in competition with (someone or something)
used to indicate the person or thing that is affected or harmed by something


\ ə-ˈgenst How to pronounce against (audio) \

Kids Definition of against

1 : opposed to Everyone was against her idea.
2 : not agreeing with or allowed by against the law
3 : as protection from We built a shelter against the cold.
4 : in or into contact with The ball bounced against the wall.
5 : in a direction opposite to against the wind
6 : before the background of green trees against a blue sky

More from Merriam-Webster on against

Nglish: Translation of against for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of against for Arabic Speakers


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