as if


: as it would be if
It was as if he had lost his last friend.
: as one would do if
He ran as if ghosts were chasing him.
: that
It seemed as if the day would never end.
used to say that something is not true, not possible, will not happen, etc.
"I am sure I am very affectionate," said Dora; "you oughtn't to be cruel to me, Doady!" "Cruel, my precious love! As if I would—or could—be cruel to you, for the world!"Charles Dickens
sometimes used informally as an interjection to say that something suggested or claimed is impossible, incorrect, or ridiculously unlikely to be true
A simple collection of songs? As if. How about a conceptual ode to London's millennia-old history?Craig McLean
Big budgets? High-priced actresses? As if! The film cost a modest $13 million, a figure achieved by not casting stars, but rather stars-in-the-making …Nicholas Fonseca

Examples of as if in a Sentence

she looked as if she wanted to ask one more question before we left
Recent Examples on the Web Chance — the half-naked guy on the left — waves around a fistful of lottery tickets above a golden urn, as if to taunt Fortune — the naked lady on the right. Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2024 The sprawling homeless encampment behind a stand of big-box stores has been around so long that people in the upstate New York city of Ithaca call it by name, as if referring to a neighborhood or historic district. Photographs Todd Heisler, New York Times, 19 May 2024 The majority of commenters seem to be reacting to the meme as if the information is factually accurate. Athena Sobhan, Peoplemag, 17 May 2024 The scene opens with the action already underway, as if a bystander has just started recording an escalating drama. Miles Klee, Rolling Stone, 17 May 2024 Photo : Joe Fletcher The dining area and kitchen appear as if hovering on the ocean. Emma Reynolds, Robb Report, 9 May 2024 The credit card issuer and the merchant, the online ticket powerhouse AXS, are treating the complaint as if Dewey wants a refund now, after changing her mind. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 9 May 2024 The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum said the facility took precautions and treated the employee as if the foxes were rabid to being with. Rey Covarrubias Jr., The Arizona Republic, 6 May 2024 Butterfly Effect is one of the genre’s strangest and most desolate visions, a 14-track collection of soundscapes and improvisations that seem to have been created almost accidentally, all of it coated in a layer of corrosion as if soaked in battery acid prior to release. Daniel Bromfield, SPIN, 6 May 2024

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

Word History

First Known Use

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of as if was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near as if

Cite this Entry

“As if.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

as if

: the way it would be if
it was as if we had never left
: the way one would do if
they acted as if they'd never heard of us
: that entry 2 sense 1a
it seemed as if the day would never end
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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