from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • preposition Behind in place or order.
  • preposition Next to or lower than in order or importance.
  • preposition In quest or pursuit of.
  • preposition Concerning.
  • preposition Subsequent in time to; at a later time than.
  • preposition Subsequent to and because of or regardless of.
  • preposition Following continually.
  • preposition In the style of or in imitation of.
  • preposition With the same or close to the same name as; in honor or commemoration of.
  • preposition According to the nature or desires of; in conformity to.
  • preposition Past the hour of.
  • preposition Irish Used with a present participle to indicate action that has just been completed.
  • adverb Behind; in the rear.
  • adverb At a later or subsequent time; afterward.
  • adjective Subsequent in time or place; later; following.
  • adjective Located near the stern of a vessel or the rear or an aircraft or spacecraft.
  • conjunction Following or subsequent to the time that.
  • noun Afternoon.
  • noun Chiefly British Dessert.
  • idiom (after all) In spite of everything to the contrary; nevertheless.
  • idiom (after all) Everything else having been considered; ultimately.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In mineralogy, derived from; having the form of: said of pseudomorphs, which retain only the form of the original mineral: as, malachite pseudomorph after cuprite; cassiterite pseudomorph after feldspar. See pseudomorph.
  • Later in time; subsequent; succeeding: as, an after period of life.
  • Naut,: Further aft, or toward the stern of the ship: as, the after-sails; the after-hatch-way.
  • Pertaining to the after-body of a ship: as, after-timbers.
  • Behind; in the rear: as, to follow after.
  • Later in time; afterward: as, it was about the space of three hours after.
  • Behind in place: as, men placed in a line one after another.
  • Later in time than; in succession to; at the close of: as, after supper.
  • In pursuit of; in search of; with or in desire for.
  • In imitation of, or in imitation of the style of: as, to make a thing after a model; after the French; after the antique; after Raphael.
  • According to; in proportion to; in accordance with: as, “after their intrinsic value,” Bacon, War with Spain.
  • According to the nature of; in agreement or unison with; in conformity to.
  • Below in rank or excellence; next to: as, Milton is usually placed after Shakspere among English poets.
  • Concerning: as, to inquire after a person.
  • Subsequent to and in consequence of: as, after what has happened I can never return.
  • Subsequent to the time that.
  • Synonyms Behind, After. See behind.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb Subsequently in time or place; behind; afterward.
  • adjective Next; later in time; subsequent; succeeding.
  • adjective (Naut.) Hinder; nearer the rear.
  • adjective (Naut.) the part of a ship abaft the dead flat, or middle part.
  • preposition Behind in place.
  • preposition Below in rank; next to in order.
  • preposition Later in time; subsequent. It often precedes a clause. Formerly that was interposed between it and the clause.
  • preposition Subsequent to and in consequence of.
  • preposition Subsequent to and notwithstanding.
  • preposition Moving toward from behind; following, in search of; in pursuit of.
  • preposition Denoting the aim or object; concerning; in relation to


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English æfter; see apo- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English after, from Old English æfter ("after, along, behind, through, throughout, during, following, in consequence of, according to, for the purpose of, by means of, about, in pursuit of, for"), from Proto-Germanic *after, *afteri (“more aft, further behind”), from Proto-Indo-European *apotero (“further behind, further away”), comparative form of *apo- (“off, behind”); see also Proto-Indo-European *h₂epo (“off, away”) and English aft. Cognate with Scots efter ("after"), North Frisian efter ("after, behind"), Dutch/Low German achter ("behind"), German After ("anus"), Danish & Swedish efter ("after"), Norwegian etter ("after"), Icelandic eftir ("after"), Icelandic aftur ("back, again"). The Proto-Indo-European is the source of apo- ("away, without"), from Ancient Greek ἀπό (apo); comparative is also the source of Ancient Greek ἀπωτέρω (apōterō, "further").


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  • Means "anus" in German.

    July 13, 2009