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Webster 1913 Edition


Above

A-bove′

,
p
rep.
[OE.
above
,
aboven
,
abuffe
, AS.
abufon
;
an
(or
on
) on +
be
by +
ufan
upward; cf. Goth.
uf
under. √199. See
Over
.]
1.
In or to a higher place; higher than; on or over the upper surface; over; – opposed to
below
or
beneath
.
Fowl that may fly
above
the earth.
Gen. i. 20.
2.
Figuratively, higher than; superior to in any respect; surpassing; beyond; higher in measure or degree than;
as, things
above
comprehension;
above
mean actions; conduct
above
reproach.
“Thy worth . . . is actions above my gifts.”
Marlowe.
I saw in the way a light from heaven
above
the brightness of the sun.
Acts xxxvi. 13.
3.
Surpassing in number or quantity; more than;
as,
above
a hundred
. (Passing into the adverbial sense. See
Above
,
adv.
, 4.)
above all
,
before every other consideration; chiefly; in preference to other things.
Over and above
,
p
rep.
or
adv.
,
besides; in addition to.

A-bove′

,
adv.
1.
In a higher place; overhead; into or from heaven;
as, the clouds
above
.
2.
Earlier in order; higher in the same page; hence, in a foregoing page.
“That was said above.”
Dryden.
3.
Higher in rank or power;
as, he appealed to the court
above
.
4.
More than;
as,
above
five hundred were present
.
Above is often used elliptically as an adjective by omitting the word mentioned, quoted, or the like; as, the above observations, the above reference, the above articles. – Above is also used substantively. “The waters that come down from above.”
Josh. iii. 13.

It is also used as the first part of a compound in the sense of before, previously; as, above-cited, above-described, above-mentioned, above-named, abovesaid, abovespecified, above-written, above -given.

Webster 1828 Edition


Above

ABOVE'

, prep.
1.
Literally, higher in place.
The fowls that fly above the earth. Gen. i. 20.
2.
Figuratively, superior in any respect.
I saw a light above the brightness of the Sun, Acts, 26.
The price of a virtuous woman is above rubies, Prov. 31.
3.
More in number or quantity.
He was seen by above five hundred brethren at once, 1 Cor. 25.
The weight is above a tun.
4.
More in degree; in a greater degree.
Hannaniah feared God above many. Neh. vii. 2.
The serpent is cursed above all cattle. Gen. iii.
5.
Beyond; in excess.
In stripes above measure. 2Cor. xi.
God will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able, 1 Cor. 10:13.
6.
Beyond; in a state to be unattainable; as things above comprehension.
7.
Too proud for.
This man is above his business.
8.
Too elevated in mind or rank; having too much dignity for; as
This man is above mean actions.
9.
It is often used elliptically, for heaven, or the celestial regions.
Let not God regard it from above, Job, 3.
The powers above.
10.
In a book or writing, it denotes before or in a former place, as what has been said above; supra. This mode of speaking originated in the ancient manner of writing, on a strip of parchment, beginning at one end and proceeding to the other. The beginning was the upper end.

ABOVE'

,
adv.
1.
Overhead; in a higher place.
2.
Before.
3.
Chief in rank or power. Deut. 28.
Above all is elliptical; above all considerations; chiefly; in preference to other things.
Above board; above the board or table; in open sight; without trick, concealment or deception. This expression is said by Johnson to be borrowed from gamesters, who, when they change their cards, put their hands under the table.

Definition 2021


above

above

English

Preposition

above

A circle above a square
  1. Physically over; on top of; worn on top of, as clothing. [First attested prior to 1150.]
    He always put his coat on above his sweater.
  2. In or to a higher place; higher than; on or over the upper surface; — opposed to below or beneath. [First attested prior to 1150.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Translation of Genesis 2:20,
      Fowl that may fly above the earth.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      Then came a maid with hand-bag and shawls, and after her a tall young lady. She stood for a moment holding her skirt above the grimy steps, [] , and the light of the reflector fell full upon her.
    • 2013 May-June, William E. Conner, An Acoustic Arms Race”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 206-7:
      Earless ghost swift moths become “invisible” to echolocating bats by forming mating clusters close (less than half a meter) above vegetation and effectively blending into the clutter of echoes that the bat receives from the leaves and stems around them.
  3. Farther north than. [First attested prior to 1150.]
    Idaho is above Utah.
  4. Rising; appearing out of reach height-wise. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
  5. Figuratively, higher than; superior to in any respect; surpassing; higher in measure, degree, volume, or pitch, etc. than; out of reach; not exposed to; not likely to be affected by; incapable of negative actions or thoughts. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
    Even the chief of police is not above suspicion.
    He was aways above reproach.
    That's above my comprehension.
    to cut above average
    • (Can we date this quote?), Marlowe, (Please provide the title of the work):
      Thy worth [] is actions above my gifts.
    • (Can we date this quote?) translation of Acts 36:13,
      I saw in the way a light from heaven above the brightness of the sun.
  6. Higher in rank, status, or position. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
    to stand head and shoulders above the rest
  7. In addition to; besides. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
    over and above
    above and beyond the call of duty
  8. Surpassing in number or quantity; more than; as, above a hundred. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)]
  9. In preference to.
  10. Too proud to stoop; averse to; disinclined; too honorable to give.
    The owner was above taking more than a token salary.
  11. (theater) Upstage of.
  12. Beyond; on the other side.

Usage notes

  • (surpassing in number or quantity): Passing into the adverbial sense.

Translations

Derived terms

Adverb

above (not comparable)

  1. Directly overhead; vertically on top of. [First attested prior to 1150.]
    • 2013 May 11, “The climate of Tibet: Pole-land”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8835, page 80:
      Of all the transitions brought about on the Earth’s surface by temperature change, the melting of ice into water is the starkest. It is binary. And for the land beneath, the air above and the life around, it changes everything.
  2. Higher in the same page; earlier in the order as far as writing products go. [First attested prior to 1150.]
    • (Can we date this quote?), Dryden, (Please provide the title of the work):
      That was said above.
  3. Into or from heaven; in the sky. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
    He's in a better place now, floating free as the clouds above.
  4. In a higher place; upstairs; farther upstream. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
  5. Higher in rank, power, or position. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
    He appealed to the court above.
  6. (archaic) In addition. [First attested around (1150 to 1350.)]
  7. More in number. [First attested around (1350 to 1470.)]
  8. Above zero; above freezing. [First attested in the mid 20th century.]
    It was a cold day at only 5 above.
  9. (biology) On the upper half or the dorsal surface of an animal.
    The sparrow I saw was rufous above and off-white below.

Derived terms

  • "Above" is also used as the first part of a compound in the sense of before, previously; as, above-cited, above-described, above-mentioned, above-named, above-said, above-specified, above-written, above-given.

Translations

Adjective

above (not comparable)

  1. Of heaven; heavenly. [First attested around (1150 to 1350).]
  2. Being located higher on the same page or on a preceding page. [First attested in the mid 18th century.]

Usage notes

  • Above is often used elliptically as an adjective by omitting the word said, mentioned, quoted, or the like:
    • the above(-said) observations
    • the above(-cited) reference
    • the above(-quoted) articles

Translations

Noun

above (uncountable)

  1. Heaven. [First attested around (1150 to 1350).]
  2. Something, especially a person's name in legal documents, that appears higher on the same page or on a preceding page.
  3. Higher authority.
  4. (archaic) betterment, raised status or condition.
    • (Can we date this quote?), William Morris, (Please provide the title of the work):
      [] that he had no doubt but that they should come to their above on the morrow.

Usage notes

  1. Above is often used further elliptically as a noun by omitting the noun, where it is should be clear what is omitted.
    See the above.

Related terms

Translations

References

  • Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "The vertical axis", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition, Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8
  • Laurence Urdang (editor), The Random House College Dictionary (Random House, 1984 [1975], ISBN 0-394-43600-8), page 4
  • Elliott K. Dobbie, C. William Dunmore, Robert K. Barnhart, et al. (editors), Chambers Dictionary of Etymology (Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, 2004 [1998], ISBN 0550142304), page 4

    Statistics

    Most common English words before 1923: year · dear · high · #297: above · received · read · together