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. 2019
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?
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
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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.