- in, at, or to a higher place.
- overhead, upstairs, or in the sky: My brother lives in the apartment above. A flock of birds circled above.
- higher in rank, authority, or power: She was told to speak to the person above.
- higher in quantity or number: books with 100 pages and above.
- before or earlier, especially in a book or other piece of writing; foregoing: the remark quoted above.Compare below(def 6).
- in or to heaven: gone to her eternal rest above.
- Zoology. on the upper or dorsal side.
- Theater. upstage.Compare below(def 9).
- higher than zero on the temperature scale: The temperature dropped to ten above this morning.
- in or to a higher place than; over: to fly above the clouds; the floor above ours.
- more in quantity or number than; in excess of: all girls above 12 years of age; The weight is above a ton.
- superior in rank, authority, or standing to: A captain is above a lieutenant.
- not subject or liable to; not capable of (some undesirable action, thought, etc.): above suspicion; to be above bad behavior.
- of too fine a character for: He is above such trickery.
- rather than; in preference to: to favor one child above the other.
- beyond, especially north of: six miles above Baltimore.
- Theater. upstage of.
- said, mentioned, or written above; foregoing: the above explanation.
- something that was said, mentioned, or written above: to refer to the above.
- the person or persons previously indicated: The above will all stand trial.
- heaven: truly a gift from above.
- a higher authority: an order from above.
- above all, most important of all; principally: charity above all.
Origin of above
before 900; Middle English above(n) (Cf. aboon), Old English abufan, onbufan (a-1, on + bufan above (cognate with Dutch boven), equivalent to b(e) by1 + ufan, cognate with Old Frisian uva, Old Saxon oban(a), Old High German obana, German oben, Old Norse ofan above; akin to over); see up; cf. about for formation
Above as an adjective ( the above data ) or as a noun ( study the above ) referring to what has been mentioned earlier in a piece of writing has long been standard. A few critics object to these uses in general writing, believing that they are more appropriate in business or technical contexts; they occur, however, in all kinds of edited writing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- on top of or higher than; overthe sky above the earth
- greater than in quantity or degreeabove average in weight
- superior to or prior toto place honour above wealth
- too honourable or high-minded forabove petty gossiping
- too respected for; beyondabove suspicion; above reproach
- too difficult to be understood bythe talk was above me
- louder or higher than (other noise)I heard her call above the radio
- in preference toI love you above all others
- north ofwhich town lies just above London?
- upstream from
- above all most of all; especially
- above and beyond in addition to
- above oneself presumptuous or conceited
- in or to a higher placethe sky above
- in a previous place (in something written)
- (in combination)the above-mentioned clause
- higher in rank or position
- in or concerned with heavenseek the things that are above
- the above something that is above or previously mentioned
- mentioned or appearing in a previous place (in something written)
Word Origin for above
Old English abufan, from a- on + bufan above
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
Word Origin and History for aboves
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Idioms and Phrases with aboves
In addition to the idioms beginning with above
- above all
- above and beyond
- above suspicion
- above the law
- all (none) of the above
- cut above
- head and shoulders above
- over and above
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.