Definitions

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

  • preposition In a direction or course opposite to.
  • preposition So as to come into forcible contact with.
  • preposition In contact with so as to rest or press on.
  • preposition In hostile opposition or resistance to.
  • preposition Contrary to; opposed to.
  • preposition In competition with.
  • preposition In contrast or comparison with the setting or background of.
  • preposition In preparation for; in anticipation of.
  • preposition As a defense or safeguard from.
  • preposition To the account or debt of.
  • preposition Directly opposite to; facing.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Of motion or direction: In an opposite direction to, so as to meet; toward;
  • upon: as, to strike against a rock; the rain beats against the window: to ride against the wind.
  • Of position: In an opposite position; directly opposite; in front of: in this sense often preceded by over: as, a ship is against the mouth of a river.
  • In contact with; bearing upon: as, to lean against a wall; in optical contact with (something behind); athwart: as, the ship loomed up dark and grim against the sky.
  • Of action or purpose: In opposition to; in contrariety to; adverse or hostile to: as, twenty votes against ten; against law, reason, or public opinion.
  • In resistance to or defense from: as, protection against burglars, cold, fire, etc.; to warn one against danger; the public are cautioned against pickpockets.
  • In provision for; in preparation for; in anticipation of; with reference to.
  • In exchange for; in return for; as a balance to: as, an exporter draws against merchandise shipped.
  • For the purpose of consuming time: as, he talked against time, that is, merely to gain time, a method sometimes adopted by members of legislative and deliberative assemblies who desire to defeat some measure or motion by lapse of time, or to gain time for supporters to assemble.
  • (by ellipsis). Against the time that; by the time that; before: as, be ready against I get back.

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

  • preposition Abreast; opposite to; facing; towards; ; -- in this sense often preceded by over.
  • preposition From an opposite direction so as to strike or come in contact with; in contact with; upon.
  • preposition In opposition to, whether the opposition is of sentiment or of action; on the other side; counter to; in contrariety to; hence, adverse to
  • preposition Archaic or Dial. By of before the time that; in preparation for; so as to be ready for the time when.
  • preposition in a direction contrary to that in which the sun appears to move.

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

  • preposition In a contrary direction to.
  • preposition Close to.
  • preposition In front of; before a background.
  • preposition In physical contact with.
  • preposition In physical opposition to, or in collision with.
  • preposition In contrast and/or comparison with.
  • preposition In competition with, versus.
  • preposition In opposition to.
  • preposition In exchange for.
  • preposition As counterbalance to.
  • preposition As a charge on.
  • preposition As protection from.
  • preposition obsolete Exposed to.
  • preposition In anticipation of; in preparation for (a particular time, event etc.).
  • conjunction obsolete By the time that (something happened); before.

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, alteration of againes, from Old English ongeagn.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Formed from Middle English agenes, againes ("in opposition to"), a southern variant of agen, or directly from again, either way with adverbial genitive singular ending -es; the parasitic -t was added circa 1350, probably by confusion with the superlative ending -est.

Examples

  • Simultaneously 'With us' and 'against us' yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Simultaneously \'With us\' and \'against us\ ''; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: The US is helping the Sunnis, both inside and outside of Iraq to target al Qaeda in Iraq, but these are also anti-government forces opposed to the very government that America created.

    Simultaneously 'With us' and 'against us'

  • The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) _against domestic violence_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 4 of 4

  • The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) _against domestic violence_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4

  • They were using them against the Government; and it was thought, by some, that they might as well work for as _against_ the

    Incidents of the War: Humorous, Pathetic, and Descriptive

  • The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) _against domestic violence_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • -- The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) _against domestic violence_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • -- The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) _against domestic violence_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 3 of 4

  • The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a republican form of government; and shall protect each of them against invasion; and, on application of the legislature, or of the executive, (when the legislature cannot be convened) _against domestic violence_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Smith who was against the League and Jones who was against Article X, and Brown who was against Mr. Wilson and all his works, each for his own reason, all in the name of more or less the same symbolic phrase, register a vote _against_ the Democrats by voting for the

    Public Opinion

  • Their return to a rigid theory of versification was a reaction against the loose methods of various disciples of Lamartine and Hugo; a deliberate conspiracy (to quote M. Sully Prudhomme, one of their most distinguished poets) ‘against the excessively facile line, the line which is feeble and flabby, fluid as water, and as formless’.

    Introduction

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