\ə-ˈgen(t)st, -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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms & Antonyms for against

Synonyms: Preposition

anti, contra

Antonyms: Preposition

for, pro

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Preposition

Sarah Palin is continuing to speak out against Sacha Baron Cohen. Evan Real, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sarah Palin Reveals Details of Sacha Baron Cohen Showtime Interview," 13 July 2018 In an unrelated item, several members of the public spoke against a recent proposal to create a connection from Hanson Lane to Warnock Drive via Keyser Road, Equestrian Trail and/or Royal Vista. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Garden advocate wants Ramona Street completion off priority list," 11 July 2018 Davids, as an advocate for LGBTQ issues, was set to speak out against Pence at the hot dog giveaway. Edward Mckinley, kansascity, "KC Health Department puts the kibosh (kielbasa?) on sausage party outside Pence event," 11 July 2018 The comments come as some Democratic lawmakers and candidates speak out against Pelosi's leadership. Brooke Singman, Fox News, "Pelosi calls questions about her leadership 'sexist'," 10 July 2018 Their opening game in the 2018 WC is against Croatia on June 16. Steven Goff, Houston Chronicle, "FIFA president: World Cup could expand to 48 teams in 2022, ahead of schedule," 13 July 2018 And then France is playing in the World Cup finals Sunday morning at 10 a.m. against Croatia. Lainey Seyler, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Bastille Days runners light it up on a hot opening night of the French-themed festival," 13 July 2018 On the pitch, France failed to advance to the knockout stage at the 2002 World Cup; four years later, Les Blues reached the final against Italy, but Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt of Italy’s Marco Materazzi in that game overshadowed the accomplishment. Sean Gregory, Time, "32 Teams Entered, 2 Remain. Your Ultimate Guide to the World Cup Final," 13 July 2018 Ivan Perisic tied the score in the 68th minute, Mario Mandzukic got the go-ahead goal in the 109th, and Croatia shocked England with a 2-1 victory Wednesday that advanced a nation of just over 4 million to a World Cup final against France. Ronald Blum, The Christian Science Monitor, "Croatia will make its first-ever appearance in World Cup final," 12 July 2018

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about against

Statistics for against

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for against

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 \

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on against

What made you want to look up against? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a generally accepted meaning of a word

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble-tiles-that-read-scrabble-quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!