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

  • adv. Side by side: ships docked two abreast.
  • adv. Up to date: keeping abreast of the latest developments.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. : At the same time; simultaneously

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adv. Side by side, with breasts in a line.”
  • adv. Side by side; also, opposite; over against; on a line with the vessel's beam; -- with of.
  • adv. Up to a certain level or line; equally advanced.
  • adv. At the same time; simultaneously.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Side by side, with breasts in a line: as, “the riders rode abreast,” Dryden.
  • Nautical: Lying or moving side by side, with stems equally advanced. When used to indicate the situation of a vessel in regard to another object, opposite; over against; lying so that the object is on a line with the beam: in this sense with of.
  • Figuratively, up to the same pitch or level: used with of or with: as, to keep abreast of the times in science, etc. At the same time; simultaneously.

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

  • adj. being up to particular standard or level especially in being up to date in knowledge
  • adv. alongside each other, facing in the same direction


From Middle English a ("on") + brest ("breast"), in sense “breasts (chests) in line, side-by-side and exactly equally advanced”; roughly “breast-by-breast”. (Wiktionary)



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