View synonyms for after


[ af-ter, ahf- ]


  1. behind in place or position; following behind:

    men lining up one after the other.

  2. later in time than; in succession to; at the close of:

    Tell me after supper. Day after day he came to work late.

  3. subsequent to and in consequence of:

    After what has happened, I can never return.

  4. below in rank or excellence; nearest to:

    Milton is usually placed after Shakespeare among English poets.

  5. in imitation of or in imitation of the style of:

    to make something after a model; fashioned after Raphael.

  6. in pursuit or search of; with or in desire for:

    I'm after a better job. Run after him!

  7. concerning; about:

    to inquire after a person.

  8. with the name of; for:

    He was named after his uncle.

  9. in proportion to; in accordance with:

    He was a man after the hopes and expectations of his father.

  10. according to the nature of; in conformity with; in agreement or unison with:

    He was a man after my own heart. He swore after the manner of his faith.

  11. subsequent to and notwithstanding; in spite of:

    After all their troubles, they still manage to be optimistic.


  1. behind; in the rear:

    Jill came tumbling after.

  2. later in time; afterward:

    three hours after; happily ever after.


  1. later in time; next; subsequent; succeeding:

    In after years we never heard from him.

  2. Nautical, Aeronautics.
    1. farther aft.
    2. located closest to the stern or tail; aftermost:

      after hold; after mast.

    3. including the stern or tail:

      the after part of a hull.


  1. subsequent to the time that:

    after the boys left.


  1. afters, British Informal. the final course of a meal, as pudding, ice cream, or the like; dessert.


/ ˈɑːftə /


  1. following in time; in succession to

    after dinner

    time after time

  2. following; behind

    they entered one after another

  3. in pursuit or search of

    chasing after a thief

    he's only after money

  4. concerning

    to inquire after his health

  5. considering

    after what you have done, you shouldn't complain

  6. next in excellence or importance to

    he ranked Jonson after Shakespeare

  7. in imitation of; in the manner of

    a statue after classical models

  8. in accordance with or in conformity to

    a man after her own heart

  9. with a name derived from

    Mary was named after her grandmother

  10. past (the hour of)

    twenty after three

  11. after all
    1. in spite of everything

      it's only a game, after all

    2. in spite of expectations, efforts, etc

      he won the race after all!

  12. after you
    please go, enter, etc, before me


  1. at a later time; afterwards
  2. coming afterwards; in pursuit
  3. nautical further aft; sternwards


  1. subordinating at a time later than that at which

    he came after I had left


  1. nautical further aft

    the after cabin

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Word History and Origins

Origin of after1

First recorded 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- ( aft 1 ) + -ter, suffix of comparison (cognate with Greek -teros; presbyter ( def ) )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of after1

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

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Idioms and Phrases

  1. after all, despite what has occurred or been assumed previously; nevertheless:

    I've discovered I can attend the meeting after all.

More idioms and phrases containing after

  • 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

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Synonym Study

See behind.

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Example Sentences

Chefs have been on the trend for years, hosting underground dinner parties and after-hour meals for staff.

Imagine the rightful morning-after furor if a racial slight had been broadcast in primetime.

And the Pentagon tweeted alleged before-and-after photos of a building attacked by the advanced fighter.

Nigeria, once synonymous with corruption and waste, is now one of the most sought-after destinations for investors.

This means closely examining photos for sought-after traits like height and a symmetrical face.

But I don't see that that sort of thing helps him to decide upon the most suitable career for a young man in after-war conditions.

He wanted besides to stay for the after-service, which he had not done since he was a young man—never since his marriage.

I beg you not to quarrel with me for the word; some of the partakers in that after-service remain from no higher motive.

But the after-piece excited much emotion: it was called "The Discovery of Brazil."

He had dashed for an after-compartment to their storage place of tools, and returned with a blow-torch in his hand.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




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