\ 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

on, upon

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Examples of against in a Sentence


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

His stats were similar to a week ago -- 20 of 25 passing for 224 yards compared to 18 of 25 for 234 yards against Florida Atlantic -- but this wasn’t broken plays and easy throws. Doug Lesmerises,, "Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields showed in two throws everything he can be," 8 Sep. 2019 Gruden said Brown would play in Oakland’s season opener Monday against the Denver Broncos. Sean Gregory, Time, "On NFL Kickoff, the New England Patriots Win Again," 8 Sep. 2019 The 2017 action crime thriller V.I.P., directed by Park Hoon-jung, generated an uproar over its scenes of graphic violence against women, with many critics labeling the film misogynistic. Danny Kim, The Hollywood Reporter, "Toronto: Crime Wave Hits South Korean Cinema," 8 Sep. 2019 Dayton 42, Indiana State 35: Sean Prophit scored two rushing touchdowns, the last a 13-yard jaunt that was the game winner and Dayton won its season opener against Indiana State on Saturday. Indystar Staff Reports, Indianapolis Star, "State college football roundup: Butler tops Indiana Wesleyan in OT," 8 Sep. 2019 Even though eyes were on the royal, today was all about Serena who is playing against Bianca Andreescu. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "Meghan Markle Wore a Casual Denim Dress to the US Open Final," 7 Sep. 2019 Alexander desperately wants to provide a similar contribution to his new team while playing against his ex-teammates. Eric Branch,, "For 49ers’ Kwon Alexander, a fresh start doesn’t erase pain of tragedy," 7 Sep. 2019 Florida State appears to run an offensive play against Louisiana Monroe on Saturday with a wide receiver lined up with his back to the line of scrimmage. Mark Heim |, al, "Watch Florida State run play with WR facing wrong way vs. Louisiana Monroe," 7 Sep. 2019 Biden devoted a good portion of his stump speech at both events to violence against women. Fox News, "Biden slams Trump, claims economy is 'teetering on a recession'," 7 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for against

Last Updated

11 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for against

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on against

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for against

Spanish Central: Translation of against

Nglish: Translation of against for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of against for Arabic Speakers

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