- in opposition to; contrary to; adverse or hostile to: twenty votes against ten; against reason.
- in resistance to or defense from: protection against burglars.
- in an opposite direction to: to ride against the wind.
- into contact or collision with; toward; upon: The rain beat against the window.
- in contact with: to lean against the wall.
- in preparation for; in provision for: money saved against a rainy day.
- having as background: a design of flowers against a dark wall.
- in exchange for; as a balance to or debit or charge on: He asked for an advance against his salary.
- in competition with: a racehorse running against his own record time.
- in comparison or contrast with: a matter of reason as against emotion.
- beside; near; before: The car is against the building.
- Archaic. before; by the time that.
- over against, in contrast with: the rich over against the poor.
Origin of against
- opposed to; in conflict or disagreement withthey fought against the legislation
- standing or leaning beside or in front ofa ladder against the wall
- coming in contact withthe branches of a tree brushed against the bus
- in contrast tosilhouettes are outlines against a light background
- having an adverse or unfavourable effect onthe economic system works against small independent companies
- as a protection from or means of defence from the adverse effects ofa safeguard against contaminated water
- in exchange for or in return for
- rare in preparation forhe gave them warm clothing against their journey through the night
- as against as opposed to or as compared withhe had two shots at him this time as against only one last time
Word Origin and History for over against
early 12c., agenes "in opposition to," a southern variant of agen "again" (see again), with adverbial genitive. The parasitic -t turned up mid-14c. and was standard by early 16c., perhaps from influence of superlatives.
Idioms and Phrases with over against
As opposed to, contrasted with, as in Over against the Smiths, the Johnsons were well off. [c. 1500]
In addition to the idioms beginning with against
- against all odds
- against one's better judgment
- against one's will
- against the clock
- against the grain
- against the tide