Webster 1913 Edition



(#; 115)
: cf. F.
en croix
. See Cross,
From side to side; athwart; crosswise, or in a direction opposed to the length; quite over;
as, a bridge laid
a river
To come across
to come upon or meet incidentally.
To go across the country
to go by a direct course across a region without following the roads.


From side to side; crosswise;
as, with arms folded
Obliquely; athwart; amiss; awry.
The squint-eyed Pharisees look
at all the actions of Christ.
Bp. Hall.

Webster 1828 Edition



, prep. akraus'. [a and cross. See Cross.]
From side to side, opposed to along, which is in the direction of the length; athwart; quite over; as, a bridge is laid across a river.
Intersecting; passing over at any angle; as a line passing across another.

Definition 2024




Alternative forms



  1. To, toward, or from the far side of (something that lies between two points of interest).
    We rowed across the river.
    Fortunately, there was a bridge across the river.
    He came across the street to meet me.
  2. On the opposite side of (something that lies between two points of interest).
    That store is across the street.
  3. (Southern US, African American Vernacular)  On the opposite side, relative to something that lies between, from (a point of interest).
    • 1994 June 21, Thong P Tong <>, "Re: Battle Tech Center", message-ID <2u7lsi$>,, Usenet :
      And make sure you're parked across the mall in the outside lot. [] Last time I was there, I parked in a parking structure and paid an arm and a leg for it.
    • 1995, Ronald Kessler, Inside the White House, 1996 edition, ISBN 0671879197, page 243 :
      On another occasion, Clinton asked Patterson to drive him to Chelsea's school, Booker Elementary, where Clinton met the department store clerk and climbed into her car.
      "I parked across the entrance and stood outside the car looking around, about 120 feet from where they were parked in a lot that was pretty well lit," Patterson recalled. " [] They stayed in the car for thirty to forty minutes."
  4. From one side to the other within (a space being traversed).
    The meteor streaked across the sky.
    He walked across the room.
    Could you slide that across the table to me, please?
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 8, in The Celebrity:
      I corralled the judge, and we started off across the fields, in no very mild state of fear of that gentleman's wife, whose vigilance was seldom relaxed. And thus we came by a circuitous route to Mohair, the judge occupied by his own guilty thoughts, and I by others not less disturbing.
  5. At or near the far end of (a space).
    • 2004, Josephine Cox, Lovers and Liars, ISBN 0060525479, page 78 :
      "Mam's baking and Cathleen's asleep. I've got a pile of washing bubbling in the copper, so I'd best be off." With that she was across the room and out the door.
  6. Spanning.
    This poetry speaks across the centuries.
  7. Throughout.
    All across the country, voters were communicating their representatives.
    • 2012 March-April, Anna Lena Phillips, Sneaky Silk Moths”, in American Scientist, volume 100, number 2, page 172:
      Last spring, the periodical cicadas emerged across eastern North America. Their vast numbers and short above-ground life spans inspired awe and irritation in humans—and made for good meals for birds and small mammals.
    • 2013 June 21, Chico Harlan, Japan pockets the subsidy ”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 2, page 30:
      Across Japan, technology companies and private investors are racing to install devices that until recently they had little interest in: solar panels. Massive solar parks are popping up as part of a rapid build-up that one developer likened to an "explosion."
  8. So as to intersect or pass through or over at an angle.
    Lay the top stick across the bottom one.
    She had straps fastened across the conduit every six feet.
    • 2010, Alex Bledsoe, The Girls with Games of Blood, Tor, ISBN 9780765323842, page 147 :
      He parked across the end of the driveway, blocking her in.

Related terms

Derived terms



across (not comparable)

  1. From one side to the other.
    • 2013 July 20, Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      [The researchers] noticed many of their pieces of [plastic marine] debris sported surface pits around two microns across. Such pits are about the size of a bacterial cell. Closer examination showed that some of these pits did, indeed, contain bacteria, [].
    she helped the blind man across;  the river is half a mile across
  2. On the other side.
    If we sail off at noon, when will we be across?
  3. In a particular direction.
    He leaned across for a book.
  4. (crosswords) Horizontally.
    I got stuck on 4 across.



across (plural acrosses)

  1. (crosswords) A clue whose solution runs horizontally in the grid.
    I solved all of the acrosses, but then got stuck on 3 down.


Most common English words before 1923: ought · written · arms · #445: across · answer · early · saying