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[uhn-til] /ʌnˈtɪl/
up to the time that or when; till:
He read until his guests arrived.
before (usually used in negative constructions):
They did not come until the meeting was half over.
onward to or till (a specified time or occurrence):
She worked until 6 p.m.
before (usually used in negative constructions):
He did not go until night.
Scot. and North England. to; unto.
Origin of until
1150-1200; Middle English untill, equivalent to un- (< Old Norse unz up to, as far as) + till till1
Usage note
See till1. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for until
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Since he went to Salamis in search of you, I have not seen him until late this evening.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • The silence remained unbroken, until Paralus asked for music.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Will you take care of some money for me until I get a chance to deposit it in the savings bank?

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Not until five o'clock had he by turns urged and fought himself to the ferry.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • until that ecstasy of release should come, he would do his duty,—yes, his duty.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
British Dictionary definitions for until


conjunction (subordinating)
up to (a time) that: he laughed until he cried
(used with a negative) before (a time or event): until you change, you can't go out
(often preceded by up) in or throughout the period before: he waited until six
(used with a negative) earlier than; before: he won't come until tomorrow
Usage note
The use of until such time as (as in industrial action will continue until such time as our demands are met) is unnecessary and should be avoided: industrial action will continue until our demands are met
Word Origin
C13 untill; related to Old High German unt unto, until, Old Norse und; see till1
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 until

c.1200, from Old Norse und "as far as, up to" (related to Old English end; see end) + till "until, up to" (see till (prep.)). Originally also used of persons and places. Cf. Swedish intill, Danish indtil. The Modern German equivalent, bis (Old High German biaz), is a similar compound, of Old High German bi "by, at, to" and zu "to."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with until
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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