Definitions

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

  • prep. Derived or coming from; originating at or from: customs of the South.
  • prep. Caused by; resulting from: a death of tuberculosis.
  • prep. Away from; at a distance from: a mile east of here.
  • prep. So as to be separated or relieved from: robbed of one's dignity; cured of distemper.
  • prep. From the total or group comprising: give of one's time; two of my friends; most of the cases.
  • prep. Composed or made from: a dress of silk.
  • prep. Associated with or adhering to: people of your religion.
  • prep. Belonging or connected to: the rungs of a ladder.
  • prep. Possessing; having: a person of honor.
  • prep. On one's part: very nice of you.
  • prep. Containing or carrying: a basket of groceries.
  • prep. Specified as; named or called: a depth of ten feet; the Garden of Eden.
  • prep. Centering on; directed toward: a love of horses.
  • prep. Produced by; issuing from: products of the vine.
  • prep. Characterized or identified by: a year of famine.
  • prep. With reference to; about: think highly of her proposals; will speak of it later.
  • prep. In respect to: slow of speech.
  • prep. Set aside for; taken up by: a day of rest.
  • prep. Before; until: five minutes of two.
  • prep. During or on a specified time: of recent years.
  • prep. By: beloved of the family.
  • prep. Used to indicate an appositive: that idiot of a driver.
  • prep. Archaic On: "A plague of all cowards, I say” ( Shakespeare).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • prep. Expressing direction.
  • prep. Expressing separation.
  • prep. Expressing origin.
  • prep. Expressing agency.
  • prep. Expressing composition, substance.
  • prep. Introducing subject matter.
  • prep. Having partitive effect.
  • prep. Expressing possession.
  • prep. Forming the "objective genitive".
  • prep. Expressing qualities or characteristics.
  • prep. Expressing a point in time.
  • v. Common misspelling of 've.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prep. In a general sense, from, or out from; proceeding from; belonging to; relating to; concerning; -- used in a variety of applications; as
  • prep. Denoting that from which anything proceeds; indicating origin, source, descent, and the like
  • prep. Denoting possession or ownership, or the relation of subject to attribute
  • prep. Denoting the material of which anything is composed, or that which it contains
  • prep. Denoting part of an aggregate or whole; belonging to a number or quantity mentioned; out of; from amongst
  • prep. Denoting that by which a person or thing is actuated or impelled; also, the source of a purpose or action; due to
  • prep. Denoting reference to a thing; about; concerning; relating to.
  • prep. Denoting nearness or distance, either in space or time; from
  • prep. Denoting identity or equivalence; -- used with a name or appellation, and equivalent to the relation of apposition
  • prep. Denoting the agent, or person by whom, or thing by which, anything is, or is done; by.
  • prep. Denoting relation to place or time; belonging to, or connected with
  • prep. Denoting passage from one state to another; from.
  • prep. During; in the course of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • A word primarily expressing the idea of literal departure away from or out of a place or position.
  • From; off; from off; out of; away or away from: expressing departure from or out of a position or location: the older English of off, now differentiated from of.
  • In distance or direction from; away from; measuring from: noting relative position in space or time: as, the current carried the brig just clear of the island; Switzerland is north of Italy; within an hour of his death; upward of a year.
  • From, by intervention, severance, removal, or riddance, as by restraining, debarring, depriving, divesting, defrauding, delivering, acquitting, or healing: as, to rob a man of his money; to cure one of a fever; to break one of a habit.
  • From.
  • Noting substance or material: as, a crown of gold; a rod of iron.
  • Noting cause, reason, motive, or occasion.
  • With verbs of sense, noting the presence of some quality, characteristic, or condition: as, the fields smell of new-mown hay; the sauce tastes of wine.
  • From among: a partitive use.
  • Out of: noting subtraction, separation, or selection from an aggregate; also, having reference to the whole of an aggregate taken distributively: as, one of many; five of them were captured; of all days in the year the most unlucky; there were ten of us.
  • From being (something else); instead of: noting change or passage from one state to another.
  • From: noting an initial point of time.
  • On; in; in the course of: noting time: as, of an evening; of a holiday; of old; of late.
  • During; throughout; for: noting a period of time.
  • In: noting position, condition, or state.
  • On; in; at: noting an object of thought.
  • Concerning; in regard to; relating to; about: as, short of money; in fear of their lives; barren of results; swift of foot; innocent of the crime; regardless of his health; ignorant of mathematics; what of that? to talk of peace; I know not what to think of him; beware of the dog!
  • Belonging to; pertaining to; possessed by: as, the prerogative of the king; the thickness of the wall; the blue of the sky.
  • Belonging to as a part or an appurtenance: as, the leg of a chair; the top of a mountain; the hilt of a sword.
  • Belonging to or associated with as regards locality: as, the Tower of London; the Pope of Rome; Drummond of Hawthornden; Mr. Jones of Boston.
  • Having or possessing as a quality, characteristic attribute, or function: as, a man of ability; a woman of tact; news of importance; a wall of unusual thickness; a sky of blue.
  • Connected with in some personal relation of charge or trust: as, the Queen of England; the president of the United States; the secretary of a society; the driver of an engine.
  • Among; included or comprised in. Compare def. 5 .
  • Connected with; concerned in; employed for.
  • Constituting; which is, or is called: as, the city of New York; the continent of Europe; by the name of John.
  • On; upon.
  • For.
  • With.
  • By: noting, after passive verbs, the agent or person by whom anything is done: as, he was mocked of the wise man (Mat. ii. 16); beloved of the Lord; seen of men.
  • Containing; filled with: as, a pail of milk; a basket of flowers.
  • Over: used after words indicating superiority or advantage: as, to have the start of a rival; to get the best of an opponent.
  • With verbal forms, a redundant use, between transitive verbs and their objects.
  • With verbal nouns, or nouns derived from verbs, forming an objective (rarely a subjective) genitive phrase: as, “The Taming of the Shrew”; the hunting of the hare.
  • [Of before a possessive, usually pronoun (but also noun-case), forms a peculiar idiomatic phrase, in which the possessive has virtually the value of an objective case: e. g., a friend of mine (literally, of or among my friends) = a friend of me, one of my friends; a cousin of my wife's; etc.
  • Off.
  • A prefix, being of, off, in composition. See etymology.
  • An assimilated form of the prefix ob- before f-. See ob-.
  • n. Abbreviations of official;
  • n. of officinal.
  • n. An abbreviation of Order of Friars Minor.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English of, from Old English of ("of, from"), an unstressed form of af, æf ("from, off, away"), from Proto-Germanic *ab (“from”), from Proto-Indo-European *h₂epo (“from, off, back”). Cognate with Scots of, af ("off, away"), West Frisian af, ôf ("off, away"), Dutch af ("off, from"), Low German af ("off, from"), German ab ("off, from"), Danish af ("of"), Swedish av ("of"), Icelandic af ("of"), Gothic 𐌰𐍆 (af, "of, from"); and with Latin ab ("of, from, by"). Compare off. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • -- The relation of possession may be expressed not only by (_'s_) and by _of_ but by the use of such phrases as _belonging to_, _property of_, etc.

    Higher Lessons in English A work on english grammar and composition

  • _A Description of the natives of_ Louisiana; _of their manners and customs, particularly those of the_ Natchez: _of their language, their religion, ceremonies_, Rulers _or_ Suns, _feasts, marriages, &c.

    History of Louisisana Or of the Western Parts of Virginia and Carolina: Containing

  • Besides, he caused a general visitation to be made of all the land from Quito to Chile, registering the whole population for more than a thousand leagues; and imposed a tribute [_so heavy that no one could be owner of a_ mazorca _of maize, which is their bread for food, nor of a pair of_ usutas, _which are their shoes, nor marry, nor do a single thing without special licence from Tupac Inca.

    History of the Incas

  • "Some days after the above trial, (which by the way did not come to an ultimate decision, as I believe) I was present in my brother's office, when Judge Turner, in a long conversation with my brother on the subject of his trials with his wife, said, '_That woman has been the immediate cause of the death of_ six _of my servants, by her severities_!

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • For _it is impossible not to foresee_, that the words and actions of men in different ranks and employments, and of different educations, _will perpetually be mistaken by each other_; and it cannot but be so, whilst they will judge with the utmost carelessness, as they daily do, _of what they are not perhaps enough informed to be competent judges of_, even though they considered it with great attention. "

    Apologia pro Vita Sua

  • Grief; for, as they came along the Road, they found it all bloody; and having good Cause to believe it was made bloody with the Blood of some of the White Brethren, they had very sorrowfully swept the Road; and desired them to inform the Governor of_ Pensilvania _of their (the_

    The Treaty Held with the Indians of the Six Nations at Philadelphia, in July 1742 To which is Prefix'd an Account of the first Confederacy of the Six Nations, their present Tributaries, Dependents, and Allies

  • D. Hayworth, taking on John McCain in Arizona, was spurned for an endorsement, and even Ron Paul, the libertarian congressman who has been the emblem of sentiment against big government for decades, has found himself accused of  "going Washington."

    Has Obama Hit Bottom?

  • The state prosecutor's office says 37-year-old Dragan Neskovic was arrested Wednesday in the northeastern town of  Bijeljina on suspicion of genocide.

    Bosnia Arrests Suspect in Srebrenica Massacre

  • JOHN BURNETT: Last week, they held a town-hall meeting in Fort Hancock, a sleepy agricultural town on the border, about an hour east of El Paso that looks like the bleak set of� "No Country for Old Men."

    Sheriff To Texas Border Town: 'Arm Yourselves'

  • Then there's the music written explicitly for the stage: the soul of  Memphis; the hip-hop and salsa of  In the Heights, which won the Tony Award for best musical; and the rock score of  Next to Normal, which just won the Pulitzer Prize.

    The ‘Idiot’ That’s Boosting Broadway

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