[ uh-brest ]
/ əˈbrɛst /

adverb, adjective

side by side; beside each other in a line: They walked two abreast down the street.
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.

Nearby words

  1. abrasiveness,
  2. abraxas,
  3. abrazo,
  4. abreact,
  5. abreaction,
  6. abri,
  7. abridge,
  8. abridged,
  9. abridgement,
  10. abridgment

Origin of abreast

First recorded in 1590–1600; a-1 + breast

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for abreast

British Dictionary definitions for abreast


/ (əˈbrɛst) /

adjective (postpositive)

alongside each other and facing in the same direction
(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

Word Origin and History for abreast



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