Definition 2023


according to



according to

  1. (idiomatic) Based on what is said or stated by; on the authority of.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Babington Macaulay
      According to him, every person was to be bought.
    • 2013 June 8, Obama goes troll-hunting”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8839, page 55:
      According to this saga of intellectual-property misanthropy, these creatures [patent trolls] roam the business world, buying up patents and then using them to demand extravagant payouts from companies they accuse of infringing them. Often, their victims pay up rather than face the costs of a legal battle.
    According to the directions, the glue takes 24 hours to dry.
  2. In a manner conforming or corresponding to; in proportion
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thomas Sprat
      Our zeal should be according to knowledge.
  3. Depending on.

Usage notes

  • According to is shown as a preposition in all four American unabridged dictionaries MW3, RHU, Encarta, and AHD.
  • The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (CGEL) classifies according as a preposition with to phrase as its complement, noting that the meaning when used as a preposition differs from the meaning of the "-ing" form of the verb accord.

Derived terms