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abreast

[uh-brest] /əˈbrɛst/
adverb, adjective
1.
side by side; beside each other in a line:
They walked two abreast down the street.
2.
equal to or alongside in progress, attainment, or awareness (usually followed by of or with):
to keep abreast of scientific developments; keeping abreast with the times.
Origin of abreast
1590-1600
First recorded in 1590-1600; a-1 + breast
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for abreast
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • "They would come in twenty abreast to the licks where we lay in wait for them," said the Tallega.

    The Trail Book Mary Austin
  • As I got abreast of the main-mast, I saw some one had let run the halyards.

    Ned Myers James Fenimore Cooper
  • By degrees they let the boat drop back till her bow was abreast of the ladder.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
  • They were then just abreast of the park of Montivilliers, and there they witnessed a most horrible sight.

    The Downfall Emile Zola
  • The window was "abreast" of them, but also it was a trifle high.

    Thankful's Inheritance Joseph C. Lincoln
British Dictionary definitions for abreast

abreast

/əˈbrɛst/
adjective (postpositive)
1.
alongside each other and facing in the same direction
2.
foll by of or with. up to date (with); fully conversant (with)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for abreast
adv.

mid-15c., on brest, from a- (1) + breast (n.); the notion is of "with breasts in line." To keep abreast in figurative sense of "stay up-to-date" is from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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9
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