[ uh-genst, uh-geynst ]
/ əˈgɛnst, əˈgeɪnst /



Archaic. before; by the time that.

Nearby words

  1. agade,
  2. agadir,
  3. agag,
  4. again,
  5. again and again,
  6. against all odds,
  7. against one's better judgment,
  8. against one's will,
  9. against the clock,
  10. against the grain


    over against, in contrast with: the rich over against the poor.

Origin of against

1125–75; Middle English agens, ageynes, equivalent to ageyn again + -es -s1; for -t cf. whilst, amongst Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for against

British Dictionary definitions for against


/ (əˈɡɛnst, əˈɡeɪnst) /


Word Origin for against

C12: ageines, from again, ageyn, etc, again + -es genitive ending; the spelling with -t (C16) was probably due to confusion with superlatives ending in -st

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 against



early 12c., agenes "in opposition to," a southern variant of agen "again" (see again), with adverbial genitive. The parasitic -t turned up mid-14c. and was standard by early 16c., perhaps from influence of superlatives.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with against


In addition to the idioms beginning with against

  • against all odds
  • against one's better judgment
  • against one's will
  • against the clock
  • against the grain
  • against the tide

also see:

  • beat one's head against the wall
  • cards are stacked against
  • come up against
  • count against
  • dead set against
  • guard against
  • have something against
  • hold something against
  • lift a hand against
  • over against
  • pit someone against
  • run against
  • set against
  • swim against
  • turn against
  • two strikes against
  • up against
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.