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

  • adverb On high; overhead.
  • adverb In heaven; heavenward.
  • adverb Upstairs.
  • adverb To a degree that is over zero.
  • adverb In or to a higher place.
  • adverb In an earlier part of a given text.
  • adverb In or to a higher rank or position.
  • preposition Over or higher than.
  • preposition Superior to in rank, position, or number; greater than.
  • preposition Beyond the level or reach of.
  • preposition In preference to.
  • preposition Too honorable or proud to undertake.
  • preposition More than.
  • preposition Upstream of.
  • preposition North of.
  • noun An earlier part of a given text.
  • noun The person or persons already referred to in a text.
  • adjective Appearing earlier in the same text.
  • idiom (above all) Over and above all other factors or considerations.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In or to a higher place; overhead; often, in a special sense: In or to the celestial regions; in heaven.
  • Upstairs.
  • On the upper side (opposed to beneath); toward the top (opposed to below): as, leaves green above, glaucous beneath; stems smooth above, hairy below.
  • Higher in rank or power: as, the courts above.
  • Before in rank or order, especially in a book or writing: as, from what has been said above.
  • Besides: in the expression over and above.
  • Above is often used elliptically as a noun, meaning: Heaven: as, “Every good gift … is from above,” Jas. i. 17. Preceding statement, remarks, or the like: as, from the above you will learn my object. It has the force of an adjective in such phrases as the above particulars, in which cited or mentioned is understood.
  • In or to a higher place than.
  • Superior to in any respect: often in the sense of too high for, as too high in dignity or fancied importance; too elevated in character: as, this man is above his business, above mean actions.
  • More in quantity or number than: as, the weight is above a ton.
  • More in degree than; in a greater degree than; beyond; in excess of.
  • Synonyms Over, Above. See over.

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

  • preposition In or to a higher place; higher than; on or over the upper surface; over; -- opposed to below or beneath.
  • preposition Figuratively, higher than; superior to in any respect; surpassing; beyond; higher in measure or degree than
  • preposition Surpassing in number or quantity; more than. (Passing into the adverbial sense. See Above, adv., 4.)
  • preposition before every other consideration; chiefly; in preference to other things.
  • preposition besides; in addition to.
  • adverb In a higher place; overhead; into or from heaven.
  • adverb Earlier in order; higher in the same page; hence, in a foregoing page.
  • adverb Higher in rank or power.
  • adverb More than.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • preposition In preference to.
  • preposition Too proud to stoop; averse to; disinclined; too honorable to give.
  • preposition theater Upstage.
  • preposition Beyond; on the other side.
  • adverb biology On the upper half or the dorsal surface of an animal.
  • noun Something, especially a person name in legal documents, that appears higher on the same page or on a preceding page.
  • noun Higher authority.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb at an earlier place
  • adverb in or to a place that is higher


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

[Middle English aboven, from Old English abūfan : a-, on; see a– + būfan, above; see upo in Indo-European roots.]


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