[ uhn-til ]
/ ʌnˈtɪl /


up to the time that or when; till: He read until his guests arrived.
before (usually used in negative constructions): They did not come until the meeting was half over.


onward to or till (a specified time or occurrence): She worked until 6 p.m.
before (usually used in negative constructions): He did not go until night.
Scot. and North England. to; unto.

Nearby words

  1. unthread,
  2. unthrifty,
  3. unthrone,
  4. untidy,
  5. untie,
  6. untimely,
  7. untimeous,
  8. untinged,
  9. untiring,
  10. untitled

Origin of until

1150–1200; Middle English untill, equivalent to un- (< Old Norse unz up to, as far as) + till till1

Usage note

See till1.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for until

British Dictionary definitions for until


/ (ʌnˈtɪl) /

conjunction (subordinating)

up to (a time) thathe laughed until he cried
(used with a negative) before (a time or event)until you change, you can't go out


(often preceded by up) in or throughout the period beforehe waited until six
(used with a negative) earlier than; beforehe won't come until tomorrow

Word Origin for until

C13 untill; related to Old High German unt unto, until, Old Norse und; see till 1


The use of until such time as (as in industrial action will continue until such time as our demands are met) is unnecessary and should be avoided: industrial action will continue until our demands are met

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 until



c.1200, from Old Norse und "as far as, up to" (related to Old English end; see end) + till "until, up to" (see till (prep.)). Originally also used of persons and places. Cf. Swedish intill, Danish indtil. The Modern German equivalent, bis (Old High German biaz), is a similar compound, of Old High German bi "by, at, to" and zu "to."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with until


see put off until tomorrow; talk one's arm off (until blue in the face). Also see under till.

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