Idioms

    after all, despite what has occurred or been assumed previously; nevertheless: I've discovered I can attend the meeting after all.

Origin of after

before 900; Middle English; Old English æfter; cognate with Old Frisian efter, Old Saxon, Old High German after, Gothic aftaro, Old Norse eptir; equivalent to æf- (see aft1) + -ter suffix of comparison and polarity (cognate with Greek -teros)

Synonym study

1. See behind.

aft

1
[aft, ahft]Nautical, Aeronautics

adverb

at, close to, or toward the stern or tail: Stow the luggage aft.

adjective

situated toward or at the stern or tail: The aft sail was luffing.

Origin of aft

1
before 950; Middle English afte, Old English æftan from behind, equivalent to æf- opposite + -t- suffix of uncertain value + -an suffix marking motion from; cognate with Old Frisian efta, Old Saxon, Old High German aftan, Gothic aftana, Old Norse aptan, Greek opís(s)ō behind; not akin to Greek apó off
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


British Dictionary definitions for after

after

preposition

following in time; in succession toafter dinner; time after time
following; behindthey entered one after another
in pursuit or search ofchasing after a thief; he's only after money
concerningto inquire after his health
consideringafter what you have done, you shouldn't complain
next in excellence or importance tohe ranked Jonson after Shakespeare
in imitation of; in the manner ofa statue after classical models
in accordance with or in conformity toa man after her own heart
with a name derived fromMary was named after her grandmother
US past (the hour of)twenty after three
after all
  1. in spite of everythingit's only a game, after all
  2. in spite of expectations, efforts, etche won the race after all!
after you please go, enter, etc, before me

adverb

at a later time; afterwards
coming afterwards; in pursuit
nautical further aft; sternwards

conjunction

(subordinating) at a time later than that at whichhe came after I had left

adjective

nautical further aftthe after cabin

Word Origin for after

Old English æfter; related to Old Norse aptr back, eptir after, Old High German aftar

aft

adverb, adjective

mainly nautical towards or at the stern or rearthe aft deck; aft of the engines

Word Origin for aft

C17: perhaps a shortened form of earlier abaft
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 after
prep.

Old English æfter "after, next, throughout, following in time, later," from Old English of "off" (see of) + -ter, a comparative suffix; thus the original meaning was "more away, farther off." Cf. Old Norse eptir "after," Old High German aftar, Gothic aftra "behind." Cognate with Greek apotero "farther off."

After hours "after regular working hours" is from 1861. Afterwit "wisdom that comes too late" is attested from c.1500 but seems to have fallen from use, despite being more needed now than ever. After you as an expression in yielding precedence is recorded by 1650.

aft

adv.

Old English æftan "from behind, behind, farthest back," from superlative of Old English æf, af, of "away, away from, off" (see of). The Germanic superlative suffix *-ta corresponds to PIE *-to (cf. Greek protos "first," superlative of pro "before"). Now purely nautical.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with after

after

In addition to the idioms beginning with after

  • after a fashion
  • after all
  • after all's said and done
  • after a sort
  • after a while
  • after hours
  • after one's own heart
  • after the fact

also see:

  • day after day
  • get after
  • go after
  • inquire after
  • keep after
  • live happily ever after
  • look after
  • morning after
  • name after
  • run after
  • see after
  • sought after
  • take after
  • throw good money after bad
  • time after time
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.