[ uhv, ov; unstressed uhv or, especially before consonants, uh ]
/ ʌv, ɒv; unstressed əv or, especially before consonants, ə /
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What does "amaranth" mean?
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Origin of of

before 900; Middle English, Old English: of, off; cognate with German ab,Latin ab,Greek apó.See off, a-2, o'

usage note for of

Of is sometimes added to phrases beginning with the adverb how or too followed by a descriptive adjective: How long of a drive will it be? It's too hot of a day for tennis. This construction is probably modeled on that in which how or too is followed by much, an unquestionably standard use in all varieties of speech and writing: How much of a problem will that cause the government? There was too much of an uproar for the speaker to be heard. The use of of with descriptive adjectives after how or too is largely restricted to informal speech. It occurs occasionally in informal writing and written representations of speech. See also couple, off.

Other definitions for of (2 of 4)

[ uhv ]
/ əv /

auxiliary verb Nonstandard.
have: He should of asked me first.
Compare a4.

Origin of of

A phonetic spelling representing the pronunciation of the word in continuous rapid speech

usage note for of

Because the preposition of, when unstressed ( a piece of cake ), and the unstressed or contracted auxiliary verb have ( could have gone, could've gone ) are both pronounced [uhv] /əv/ or [uh] /ə/ in connected speech, inexperienced writers commonly confuse the two words, spelling have as of ( I would of handed in my book report, but the dog ate it ). Professional writers have been able to exploit this spelling deliberately, especially in fiction, to help represent the speech of the uneducated: If he could of went home, he would of.

Other definitions for of (3 of 4)


or OF., O.F.


Other definitions for of (4 of 4)


variant of ob- (by assimilation) before f: offend.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use of in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for of (1 of 2)

/ (ɒv, unstressed əv) /


Word Origin for of

Old English (as prep and adv); related to Old Norse af, Old High German aba, Latin ab, Greek apo

undefined of

See off

British Dictionary definitions for of (2 of 2)


abbreviation for
Old French (language)
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