Nearby words

  1. arytenoid muscle,
  2. arytenoidectomy,
  3. arytenoiditis,
  4. arytenoidopexy,
  5. arête,
  6. as . . . as,
  7. as a matter of course,
  8. as a matter of fact,
  9. as a rule,
  10. as a whole


Origin of as

before 1000; Middle English as, als, alse, also, Old English alswā, ealswā all so (see also), quite so, quite as, as; cognate with Middle Dutch alse (Dutch als), Old High German alsō (Middle High German álsō, álse, als, German also so, als as, as if, because)

Synonym study

8. See because.

Usage note

As a conjunction, one sense of as is “because”: As she was bored, Sue left the room. As also has an equally common use in the sense “while, when”: As the parade passed by, the crowd cheered and applauded. These two senses sometimes result in ambiguity: As the gates were closed, he walked away. (When? Because?)
Asas is standard in both positive and negative constructions: The fleet was as widely scattered then as it had been at the start of the conflict. Foreign service is not as attractive as it once was. Soas is sometimes used in negative constructions (… not so attractive as it once was ) and in questions ( “What is so rare as a day in June?” ).
The phrase as far as generally introduces a clause: As far as money is concerned, the council has exhausted all its resources. In some informal speech and writing, as far as is treated as a preposition and followed only by an object: As far as money, the council has exhausted all its resources.
As to as a compound preposition has long been standard though occasionally criticized as a vague substitute for about, of, on, or concerning: We were undecided as to our destination. As to sometimes occurs at the beginning of a sentence, where it introduces an element that would otherwise have less emphasis: As to his salary, that too will be reviewed. As to what and as to whether are sometimes considered redundant but have long been standard: an argument as to what department was responsible. See also all, farther, like1, so1. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for as it were



conjunction (subordinating)

(often preceded by just) while; when; at the time thathe caught me as I was leaving
in the way thatdancing as only she can
that which; whatI did as I was told
(of) which fact, event, etc (referring to the previous statement)to become wise, as we all know, is not easy
as it were in a way; so to speak; as if it were really so
as you were
  1. a military command to withdraw an order, return to the previous position, etc
  2. a statement to withdraw something just said
since; seeing thatas you're in charge here, you'd better tell me where to wait
in the same way thathe died of cancer, as his father had done
in spite of the extent to whichintelligent as you are, I suspect you will fail
for instancecapital cities, as London

adverb, conjunction

  1. used correlatively before an adjective or adverb and before a noun phrase or a clause to indicate identity of extent, amount, etcshe is as heavy as her sister; she is as heavy now as she used to be
  2. used with this sense after a noun phrase introduced by the sameshe is the same height as her sister


in the role of; beingas his friend, I am probably biased
as for or as to with reference toas for my past, I'm not telling you anything
as from or as of formal (in expressions of time) fromfares on all routes will rise as from January 11
as if or as though as it would be ifhe talked as if he knew all about it
as is or as it is in the existing state of affairsas it is, I shall have difficulty finishing all this work, without any more
as per See per (def. 3)
as regards See regard (def. 6)
as such See such (def. 3)
such as See such (def. 5)
as was in a previous state
as well See well 1 (def. 13)
as yet up to now; so farI have received no compensation as yet

Word Origin for as

Old English alswā likewise; see also





an ancient Roman unit of weight approximately equal to 1 pound troy (373 grams)
the standard monetary unit and copper coin of ancient Rome

Word Origin for as

C17: from Latin ās unity, probably of Etruscan origin



the internet domain name for

American Samoa


symbol for

chem arsenic


abbreviation for

Also: A.S. Anglo-Saxon
Australian Standards
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 as it were



c.1200, worn-down form of Old English alswa "quite so" (see also), fully established by c.1400. Equivalent to so; any distinction in use is purely idiomatic. Related to German als "as, than," from Middle High German also. Phrase as well "just as much" is recorded from late 15c.; the phrase also can imply "as well as not," "as well as anything else." Interjection of incredulity as if! (i.e. "as if that really could happen") is attested from 1995, an exact duplication of Latin quasi.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for as it were


The symbol for the elementarsenic



aortic stenosis
auris sinistra (left ear)

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for as it were


The symbol for arsenic.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with as it were

as it were

Seemingly, in a way, as in He was living in a dream world, as it were. A shortening of “as if it were so,” this idiom has been in use since Chaucer's time (he had it in his Nun's Priest's Tale, c. 1386). Also see so to speak.

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